December 14, 2020
New cases, FTC data highlight broad
scope of scams making false promises of big income
Carson City, NV– Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D.
Ford, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal, state
and local law enforcement partners announced a nationwide crackdown on scams
that target consumers with fake promises of income and financial independence. The impact of these scams has intensified as
scammers take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis.
“Operation Income Illusion,” the crackdown encompasses more than 50 law
enforcement actions against the operators of work-from-home and employment scams,
pyramid schemes, investment scams, bogus coaching courses and other schemes
that can end up costing consumers thousands of dollars.
have a massive effect on consumers, according to a new analysis of FTC complaint data. Consumers have
reported to the FTC that they lost more than $610 million to these scams since
2016, with reported losses of more than $150 million in the first nine months
are shameful, but these income scams are particularly despicable,” said Attorney
General Aaron D. Ford. “Many Nevadans are desperate for job opportunities
and are vulnerable to false promises of guaranteed income. I hope the materials
we share will help Nevadans identify these scams quickly so they can avoid
schemes and devote their time to legitimate job opportunities.”
are preying on the unemployment and anxiety arising from the pandemic by making
false promises of big income working from home,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“If someone promises you guaranteed income, but then tells you to pay them,
tell the FTC right away so we can work to shut them down.”
consumer articles give consumers tips on how to spot and avoid job scams,
investment schemes, and business coaching scams. A new video shows how to avoid income scams. Two
new infographics help people spot these scams and avoid them. All of these educational materials are
also available in Spanish at consumidor.ftc.gov
to increasing awareness, the FTC is bringing four new law enforcement cases as
part of Operation Income Illusion, as well as announcing a new settlement in a
previously filed case. Other agencies reporting actions
as part of the sweep include: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for
the Eastern District of Arkansas, and several agencies in various states.
Some of the
schemes targeted in Operation Income Illusion had a noted impact on specific
groups such as students, military families, people on a limited fixed income,
immigrants, Black Americans, Latinos, the deaf and hearing loss communities, or
Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate
You can learn more about consumer
report fraud at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press
the latest FTC news and resources.
In addition to
Nevada, other state authorities involved in Operation Income Illusion include: Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin and the Fresno County
District Attorney’s Office in California.