“Amazing Wealth System” not so amazing, alleges the FTC

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An FTC lawsuit alleges that money-making claims made by a related group of companies and individuals for their Amazing Wealth System are “amazing” all right – if by “amazing” you mean “not credible” or “unsupported by the facts.” The complaint charges the defendants with violating the FTC Act and the Business Opportunity Rule. One interesting factual twist is how elements of the “system” allegedly depend on subverting Amazon’s rules about online reviews and third-party sales.

Defendants advertise their Amazing Wealth System via direct mail, radio, YouTube videos, social media, and live events. (Consumers may know them by names like Amazon Wealth Systems, FBA Stores, Insider Online Secrets, or Online Auction Learning Center. But let’s be clear: The defendants have no affiliation with Amazon.)

According to the FTC, the defendants lure prospective purchasers in with claims like this:

  • “My name is Adam Bowser, and over the past 18 years I have sold over $50 million online. I’m going to be hosting a few local workshops around the Seattle area to share my secrets for making money on Amazon.”
  • “Get started selling on Amazon and make $5,000-$10,000 in the next 30 days . . . Even if you have never sold anything online before.”
  • “Just last year we sold over $12 Million on Amazon.com. Now we want to help you become our next Amazon success story.”

The defendants’ initial step is bringing consumers in for a free two-hour seminar. At the seminar, they pitch their $995 three-day workshops: “How many of you would love to be able to learn how you can make an extra $5,000 to $10,000 a month by spending 30 minutes to an hour a day learning and implementing a plug-and-play system I’m going to share with you here in a moment.”

According to the FTC, the three-day workshops shift the hype into overdrive, including the sale of more expensive packages like the $34,995 “Diamond” enrollment. As one pitch person said at a workshop, “So whether you want an extra $20- to $30,000 a year or you want to create a million dollar a year business, I’m going to show you how to do either of those.”

The complaint alleges that in purporting to showing people “how to do either of those,” much of the information the defendants convey is basic stuff available for free on Amazon’s Resources and Tutorials page. However, other “tips, tricks, and techniques” allegedly violate Amazon’s Business Solutions Agreement, the document that sets forth the rules that companies must follow if they want to sell on Amazon. For example, according to the FTC, the defendants instruct consumers who buy their Amazing Wealth System to get fake product reviews for the items they list on Amazon – advice that violates Amazon’s Anti-Manipulation Policy for Customer Reviews. Another of those “tricks” teaches people to use various ruses in an effort to “win the box” – in other words, to be the seller of choice in Amazon’s coveted Buy Box when the same merchandise is available from multiple sellers. As a result, says the FTC, purchasers who use the defendants’ system often experience problems with their Amazon stores, including getting suspending and losing their ability to sell on the site.

The FTC lawsuit charges that people who buy the Amazing Wealth System and try to use the defendants’ strategies are unlikely to earn the income the defendants advertise. And according to the lawsuit, the defendants’ brief “earnings disclaimers” are ineffective to undo the net impression that people who implement the “system” are likely to make money.

The complaint alleges other specific violations of the Business Opportunity Rule. The FTC says the defendants failed to make advertising disclosures mandated by the Rule, including the number and percentage of people who bought the business opportunity and achieved at least the stated level of earnings. Furthermore, in many cases, the defendants allegedly failed to furnish prospective purchasers in a timely fashion with the disclosure document and attachments required by the Business Opportunities Rule.

The case is pending in federal court in Nevada. The court has appointed a temporary receiver over the corporate defendants, enjoined the defendants from making deceptive claims, and frozen their assets pending resolution of the FTC’s preliminary injunction motion.

Even at this early stage, the case is a reminder to companies that offer business opportunities to conduct a Rule review to make sure they’re in compliance. What’s the message for would-be entrepreneurs? View money-making claims with a seriously skeptical eye. In addition, if anyone suggests that you solicit, post, or in any other way involve yourself with product reviews that aren’t 100% accurate and independent, you’re getting really bad advice. The FTC endorsements page has resources on that subject.
 

Comments

I went to the initial Amazing Wealth Systems free seminar twice. Tge second one I signed up for the three day program and at that one I dove into the deep in with the sharks! However, knowing this would take work on my end. If I didn’t put in effort no money would come out of it. At no time was I promised to get rich quick. In fact I am certain that it was stated that the average person only made $500 or so in profit after 6 months of hard work. I far exceeded that in one month! Anyone who thinks they can pay the money and then sit back and watch it roll in is dreaming. Yes you can do it on your own, without coaching, tools, wholesalers, etc. Amazon does have tools and a lot of help blogs, to find them will take a lot of time. My past experiences shows that spending the money for the education cuts your learning curve down and increasing your odds of making money. At no time did Amazing Wealth System ever promote getting fake reviews in fact quite the opposite. They certainly promote getting reviews after selling an item, but NEVER fake reviews as stated above. They do advise that Amazon is very particular about sellers and you must dot your i’s and cross your T’s. Amazon will suspend your store for anything so be quite careful you follow all of Amazons rules and keep up to date on all rules as they can and will change. Amazing Wealth Systems never says to break the rules or get around them not one time, they always said to follow them!
Thank you for your time.

ITS ABOUT TIME! Thee are terrible. I saw the seminar in Vegas this month just to peak at what I’m missing in my current selling world in Amazon. I immediate knew this was a scam in my first 30 min. Being a current seller on amazon, I spoke to some of the staff and they couldn’t answer my questions.. something felt off and wrong.

Will people receive a full refund of their money? I have already contacted my bank about retrieving the money I had wired to AWS. Is AWS responsible for returning money given to them for their fake "membership" packages?

The FTC just filed the lawsuit in March, so the case is still before the Court.

How do I join the lawsuit. They defrauded me of $9995 + $4995. Please advise of steps I should take to get my money back.
Thank you,
Jim

I also payed AWS a lot of money, over $25,000 for coaching which was completely inadequate. I payed for software that no longer works. I payed for ungating in Amazon Categories which was a waste of money. They started working on the ungating process then sent and email that I had to finish the process.

I called the FTC and put in a request for a refund. I would like to know how to pursue this further, join the lawsuit or whatever else is necessary to be sure I am on the right track to getting my money refunded. Kindly, Lori Grey

The FTC has filed the lawsuit and it's pending in court right now.  When there is updated information, we'll definitely post it on ftc.gov.

We attended a seminar in Winnipeg, Canada last November 2017 which cost $995.00 CA. After considering this further we found it wasn't for us and advised them we wouldn't be participating in the program within the 3 day period We also returned the product which cost and additional $50.00. After numerous emails and telephone conversations we still did not receive our money- They kept telling us it was approved and would be sent soon.It has been 6 mos.now - Today I emailed and telephoned but no answer. Is there anything more we can do at this time?

I was also scammed by this company. I attended the workshop in Jan 4th - Jan 6th in Houston. Purchased the "Gold " plan for $10,000. I am so disappointed. Please let me know how I can join the class action lawsuit if there is one pending. thanks

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