INDIANAPOLIS — A retired Indianapolis woman set out to make a little extra money working at home, but she ended up losing hundreds of dollars.
She signed up for a program called MOBE (My Online Business Education), but it turned out to be a scam. She lost $500 and is now warning others about the pitfall.
Deborah Fisher, 64, found a company called MOBE while surfing the internet. The firm said it could teach people how to build their own business and earn money online. It cost her $49 upfront for the 21-step program.
They sent her materials and gave her a coach. She got to Step 8, and she was told she would need to spend $2,500. She put that on a credit card, but the request for cash didn't end.
"When you get to Step 10, they are asking for $4,000 more. That's when I said I couldn't do it," Fisher said.
Among the materials she was sent was a book with photographs of people who had followed the MOBE way receiving giant checks and displaying expensive cars and boats they had purchased. But all she got from her experience was bills.
"I feel terrible because I should know better. I should've known better," she said. "I, in fact, was warning other people don't do that. If someone is offering and you gotta pay money, don't do it."
Fisher's scam nightmare got worse Tuesday when she received a certified letter saying she was being sued for $7,000. It looks like a lawsuit, but is it really?
"I would be very, very cautious," Tim Maniscalo of the Better Business Bureau said. "She might want to consult an attorney. That sounds like a scare tactic. I don't know what document she signed or what contractual obligations she has. I'd be way of giving them any more money."
The Federal Trade Commission charged three people with bilking more than $125 million from thousands of consumers with their fraudulent business education program. So far, one defendant has turned over $33,000 in frozen assets.
At this point, it is unclear how many people will get any money back. The Better Business Bureau said nationwide, work-at-home employment scams are the No. 1 complaint it receives.