INDIANAPOLIS — A company is being ordered to pay out more than $1 million to people who used its financial trading services.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the settlement settles allegations that WealthPress violated the law by making false earnings claims to convince people to buy its financial trading services.
In its lawsuit, the FTC said Wealthpress and its owners, Roger Scott and Conor Lynch, used deceptive claims to sell people investment advising services. The lawsuit claims WealthPress sold consumers on its services with false claims about the likelihood consumers would make money by following the recommended trades, when in many cases consumers lost substantial sums of money.
“I’ll show you how you can potentially make $24,840 dollars—or more—every single week. With quick simple … trades that require zero market knowledge or trading experience.”Claim made in promotional video documented by the FTC lawsuit
The lawsuit alleges that the company’s videos made it seem as though the supposed “experts” whose trading strategies were being sold to consumers had made numerous successful trades. However, the FTC said the trades were often not real, hadn’t been made by the “expert,” and were never sent to consumers.
The FTC said so many consumers requested refunds or credit card chargebacks that WealthPress was put on a list of problematic merchants by Mastercard.
“When somebody claims their service will ‘make you very wealthy very quickly’ and ‘put you on the path to millionaire status, no matter your starting point today,’ they’d better have proof,” the FTC said in its consumer alert.
To settle the allegations, the FTC said WealthPress agreed to stop making deceptive or misleading claims about earnings. The company will also pay more than $1.7 million to settle the case, $1.2 million of which will go back to the people affected.
The company was also ordered to send an email and mail notice to anyone who bought goods or services about the settlement.
The FTC reminds people that before paying for any investment-related service they should:
- Know that no one can guarantee any return on investment in stocks, commodities, cryptocurrency, real estate or the foreign exchange market. Only scammers do that. So anyone who promotes riches and doesn’t mention the risks involved is a scammer.
- Research the offer. Search online for the name of the company and words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.” Other people’s experience with the company can tip you off to possible problems.
- Question the statistics and testimonials…which can be faked. A company might show reviews from people who’ve used their program and “made lots of money.” But those could be paid actors or made-up reviews. Read more about How To Evaluate Online Reviews.