FTC alleges MOBE tells a whale of a tale with misleading money-making claims

Share This Page

The company’s name is MOBE – pronounced Mōb, not Moby – but according to a lawsuit filed by the FTC, the defendants tell quite a fish story to the consumers they hook with money-making promises.

The nine corporations and three individuals named in the complaint sell “business education” products through web ads, direct mail, and live events. (MOBE stands for “My Online Business Education.”) The defendants claim to have a “simple 21-Step” system consumers can implement to make substantial income “without creating your own products” and “without dealing with customers.” Pitching a “master plan to massive paydays with ease,” they promise that “average people with no prior experience online are depositing $1,250, $3,300, and even $5,500 commissions ” into their bank accounts “on auto-pilot.”

When consumers visit the defendants’ website, they’re taken to a registration page for the 21-Step System, which the defendants initially offer for $49 or less. But that’s just the start. The 21-Step system turns out to be a series of videos. The initial ones offer vague teases about “funnels that have paid out millions and millions of dollars in commissions to people just like you who went through this training” and assurances that later steps will reveal the “secret” method for generating substantial income online. Ultimately, the defendants explain that the “missing ingredient” to making money through the MOBE system is to buy additional tiered memberships and then earn commissions by getting other people to sign up with MOBE, too. According to the defendants, the higher the membership, the greater the commission. Just how pricy are those upper-level memberships? The “Gold Masterclass” costs consumers $4,997 while the “Diamond Mastermind” sets people back a staggering for $29,997.

According to the complaint, the defendants encourage people to place their own social media ads, create websites, use copy-and-paste emails, and record testimonials to get others to sign up for MOBE. They also sell members add-on products – like the email addresses of people likely to buy business opportunities. In addition, the defendants repackage their “system” and sell it under other names. According to one ad, consumers can “discover how a poisoned, brain-damaged man … RAKES IN A 6-FIGURE INCOME FROM HOME AND HOW YOU CAN TOO, GUARANTEED.” (The … and the ALL CAPS are in the original ad.) They also market the “Patriot Funnel System” with the promise that people will “DISCOVER THE SHOCKING $97,337 SECRET A WAR VET UNCOVERED FROM HIS SWEAT-BOX ROOM IN AFGHANISTAN.” The pitch to older consumers and retirees is a so-called “Surefire Way to Create a Six-Figure Retirement Income in Less Than 12 Months.”

But regardless of how the defendants package the system online or at live events, the FTC alleges that the primary thing MOBE sells is more MOBE memberships. As a result, the FTC says that very few people – if anybody – achieved the advertised results and that many consumers found themselves in an even deeper financial hole. That should come as no surprise to the defendants, who themselves admitted in a buried fine-print hyperlink that the “average Consultant, which includes both active and inactive members, generates less than $250 per year.”

What about buyers who want to take the defendants up on their prominent “100% risk-free” promise that “We Guarantee You’ll Be Satisfied With Your Course and Coaching In 30 Days, Or We’ll Happily Give You Your Money Back”? According to the complaint, the defendants often failed to honor their refund policy or imposed onerous hoops through which dissatisfied consumers had to jump.

Filed in federal court in Florida, the lawsuit challenges the defendants’ earnings claims and refund representations. The Judge issued an ex parte temporary restraining order against principals Matthew Lloyd McPhee (in most MOBE promotions, he goes by Matt Lloyd), Susan Zanghi, and Russell W. Whitney, Jr.; MOBE Ltd.; and eight related corporations. But even at this initial stage, this case – and other recent FTC actions challenging allegedly deceptive money-making promises – suggests that people interested in supplementing their income should be on alert.

Small business owners or others interested in additional earnings are wise to be wary of “systems” that promise substantial passive cash, especially when the system depends on selling others the same “opportunity.” When promoters claim to have the “secret” to making big bucks online, the needle on your malarkey-ometer should be in the red zone. The FTC has free resources to consult before sinking cash into a purported money-making venture.


Thank you! What about policing those Real Estate seminar folks that offer you to Flip properties and Wholesale properties?!? They are NOT telling the folks that they need a lot of regulated purchase agreement contracts and to be in compliance with the escrow and title companies....! They leave out too much information They are not selling the idea of the business, because a lot of it is missing - you have to buy more into it! Then there still is a lot of legal compliance stuff missing.....

I’ve been trying to get my $25,000 back for a few years now... I did EVERYTHING they told me to do up until I was broke and couldn’t afford to advertise anymore. I never made a cent. I lost my house and everything else and now live with my mother. I’m a 57 year old single female with thousands in debt. Thanks MOBE. Oh, and please may I have my $25,000 back now???

I new there were others out there that invested and didn't make anything I to lost out on 20,000 and didn't make anything I tried getting my money back in the first 2 months of signing up and they refused my refund I had a very hard time getting in touch with anyone at the beginning my sponsor finely helped me I still tried to make it work even got talked into a mentor that was not cheap I cried was very stressed out and still had my coaches wanting me to spend more on advertising you really have to spend a lot on advertising to make the real money when they make you think that it takes a few big bucks to get you up and running not true am not hating on the one's it worked for I just hope there is light at the end of this dark tunnel and I get my money back

Same here, I tried to get my money back to no avail. I think I made like $40.00 in the past two years. I kick myself for not listening to my gut but their sales team was just good at brain washing you. I am not sure if we will ever get out money back. I guess it is a loss..

Thanks Pam! I lost almost 3k for masterclass then Max Aria ( a head coach) told me I should get financing through a partner of theirs lending america llc. And xfsllc. That is going to now cost me around 10k and I have no job. Yay! Anyway, hope all works out for everyone who lost money. If you want to discuss....

They owe me over $3,000!

This scam has been going on a LONG TIME! These crooks should all serve time and repay all of the "investors" that they "STOLE" from.

Hi, I am from Canada. I have been ripped off by these guys. Is there any solution to get a refund. I have just paid them more then $3000 USD 11 days ago.
Where can I submit my refund request..? All websites are halt.
What is the best way out to get out of this Scam business.
Many Thanks.

Look up John chow online, and he'll assist you, he happily refunded my application

yes i a wondering the same thing

If you paid via credit card, call them (visa, mc, amex) and ask them to do a charge back. You have 120 days after it's posted to your account to request a charge back (not receiving what was promised which can clearly be demonstrated by the FTC action.)

We are going to have to wait for a disposition of the case.If MOBE is determined to be a fraudulent business then there will be restitution owed to those of us that were scammed.But God knows how long it will take to get a disposition and be refunded.

I’m wondering the same thing because it’s a lot of freaking money that I worked hard for.

Hi I lost $17000 if it’s only 11 days and you paid by credit card you can go back to your bank.

I am happy with Mobe. Its a company that educates the person by teachng how to use Instagram ,FB etc for advertising .
No one is making anyone spend money.
It's a personal decision.
You lose money in tbe stock market, n no one says I been ripped off.
Bc that's the way it goes.
This is hard work, and if someone doesn't do the work they don't make the money .
But there are a lot that have made money w Mobe.
I stand by Matt on this.

But what happens when he purposely falsify the marketing materials? Isn't that proof enough that this is a ponzi scheme?

MOBE an excellent Ponzi Scheme.
There is no product to sell.
They sell propaganda.taught.
Actually they claim that the conventional education is the biggest obsticle in getting rich, real rich, filthy rich!

No tricks of trade are taught. If you can fool somebody with a poker face, you can make a bundle.
Somebody has to be suckered to make money.

What a nice web they weaved!
This guy Matt Loyd is so smooth.
He should be conferred upon the title of being the best conman, cheater and deceiver of this century.

Smooth talker!

All those who are advocating for MOBE have no other option. Otherwise their empires fall.
Fact remains, they don't make a dime until they fool somebody.
They did not make money, they stole it.
Training, Meetings in exotic places are just to justify their train roberries and sucker more fools in to rake more money.

I followed their "Business Coach, instructors, website material, lots and lots of reading. All this is to demonstrate how difficult it is to do all by yourself. And here are our service modules to do this and this and this, all pre-done and packaged for you, AT SUCH A NOMINAL COST. You just sit back, relax and rake money.

Their magazines? Beat their own drums. No tricks of trade. They use nice, heavy, the best quality glazed paper.
I am so disappointed with myself to have gone against the best of my instincts.

Good luck FTC.

Only by selling MOBE hype to more unsuspecting people. Always with the "just buy this one thing to unlock the secret of making lots of money" hype.

If you paid by credit cart, call them and present your case as a charge back dispute stating due to FTC legal involvement you have not received the services you paid for. They may cover the loss. Worths a shot, especially if you paid recent.

Go to your bank and explain that MOBE is shut down so you can't get the training you paid for. They should be able to reverse the charges.

I to am from Canada and have just recently invested in this.
I would also like to know how to get my money back.
If anyone knows how to do this or who to contact I would greatly appreciate a reply.
Thank you

U can’t the web r all shutdown I wanted refund but they have 30 days policy which is a rip off.

So it hasnt been proved yet that mobe has done anything wrong and the claim isnt that its a scam anyway. At the moment the FTC have a temporary restraining order against mobe thats why the websites are down .

There will be a court hearing in due course in July i believe .if the court rules in favor of mobe . then the company will continue trading if the court agrees with the evidence the FTC put forward then Mobe will be closed down .

If the latter is the case the FTC will continue with their investigation and the receiver will prepare all the accounts and prepare everything to close mobe down .This process will take at least a year probably a lot longer then after the FTC and the accountants have taken out their fees whatever is left will be distributed to the creditors . So there is a lot of work to be done as mobe is a large and complicated set of companies . so dont hold your breath for a your refund . Also just so you understand you say you invested in mobe 11 days ago .The reason you cant access the products you invested in is because the FTC stopped mobe trading and took down all the websites .I hope this helps

I have invested 30,000$ in MOBE just a short month ago. My personal experience with MOBE has been that unfortunately as this article suggests, many MOBE promoters are treating it as a "money making" scheme, very similar to Pyramid scheme orgs. However, as a scientist and a business woman, I have to say that the actual course material is good, and it is applicable to any business, not just for people who want to join MOBE - which is what I was planning to do and only reason I invested in it. I personally hope MOBE can come out of this "cleaned-up", which means they have to enforce business ethics into the way their products are promoted by their affiliates, and instead of making getting rich promises, simply sell what they have which are good quality business education courses. The educational products have value (I have an MBA from a reputable university, I have some idea what a business course should entail). The problem is with the way this system was taken advantage of by many MOBE promoters - including MOBE official reps. That needs to be properly addressed.

first of all I`m real sorry for your loss of so much money they only got me for the $49.00 and the $9.99 for the eWallet ppcard some of the stuff they were teaching was all wrong like paid traffic is better than free traffic they were just telling us that so they could charge more money for those "leads"but I`m sure there are good ideas in between their BS like the secret I do think if you do things and live life in a positive light good thing will come of it but unlike he was saying he was linning his own pockets he wasn`t sharing in the wealth "doing good things for others " "helping people "

They are correct, Paid traffic is better than free traffic. anyone that is in online business knows that!!! and MOBE teaches you how to do it in the correct way. When you paid for traffic in order to get leads, you DO NOT paid to MOBE, you paid the service provider you choose, such as Facebook, Youtube, Bing, Google, and so on. MOBE teaches you how to run ads on those different platforms, and also how to drive FREE traffic and offline traffic, ALL that training is included in the package. They offer leads, yes, but they DO NOT FORCE you, it is only one extra option for people that want everything a little bit more easy, and also they explain all the risks before hand. If you want to buy leads without learning what mobes teaches you, and without doing the job that is up to you, Do not blame others for your laziness.

Carmen, very well said. Nobody is forced to do anything by MOBE and if you want to scale your business or want to see results faster, yes, you do have to pay for advertising. It just is... and it takes a LOT OF HARD WORK on anyone's part to make it online. And MOBE says that in just about every video. This is not a get rich quick scheme, neither is it a pyramid scheme. The affiliate program allows you to EARN WHILE YOU LEARN, giving people the much needed cashflow to shift from traditional income streams to an online income. Everyone has every opportunity to earn their tuition back as well. BUT it TAKES WORK.

first of all I`m real sorry for your loss of so much money they only got me for the $49.00 and the $9.99 for the eWallet ppcard some of the stuff they were teaching was all wrong like paid traffic is better than free traffic they were just telling us that so they could charge more money for those "leads"but I`m sure there are good ideas in between their BS like the secret I do think if you do things and live life in a positive light good thing will come of it but unlike he was saying he was linning his own pockets he wasn`t sharing in the wealth "doing good things for others " "helping people "

first of all I`m real sorry for your loss of so much money they only got me for the $49.00 and the $9.99 for the eWallet ppcard some of the stuff they were teaching was all wrong like paid traffic is better than free traffic they were just telling us that so they could charge more money for those "leads"but I`m sure there are good ideas in between their BS like the secret I do think if you do things and live life in a positive light good thing will come of it but unlike he was saying he was linning his own pockets he wasn`t sharing in the wealth "doing good things for others " "helping people "

They never even took the initial money out of my account for the steps thankfully and I never proceeded in the steps after I felt like they were only sales pitching me. Once I started to feel something fishy going on I just stopped with the videos and stopped replying to my coach. Glad they were caught in time! They should pay EVERYONE back their money. Smh

I agree with your statement. However, when they are telling you the truth it isn't a half truth, or illegal. It is telling you what you need to hear to make the decision. If they tell you something different then they would be lying to you. You could take the money making aspect off of it, but that is a huge part of the marketing campaign and it is definitely true. So why change it? There are no half truths here, and only a scheme for incredible riches and success as an entrepreneur I think.

No matter what it is, MOBE's material is always there, still very valuable to countless business owner

I agree 100%. I too just upgraded to Titanium two weeks ago. I was up on youtube (6/12) today and the vultures are already Hovering over head ready to take money from the disappointed. Hang in there folks. I tell people upfront that money doesn't rain down from the skies. You have to work for it. Like any business startup you have to put in time and sweat to build your business. It's unfortunate that the loudest squealers are the ones who don't want to work and get all the money. It's called Entitlements and there is far too much of it in this country. I believe MOBE will survive and be back on top again.

Totally agree with you.

I agree that the material is good. I wanted it to help me with my work. Not to be a MOBE consultant.

Totally agreed with Breeze. I am a foreign consumer and have invested over 86,000$ in MOBE just a short month ago. My personal experience with MOBE has been that unfortunately as FTC’s complaint/motion and many other consumers find, the MOBE “coaches” or “consultants” keep selling something in their conversations/emails/calls/events etc. In particular, my “traffic coach” is to teach me buy more stuffs from her instead of really guiding me through the necessary steps to set up online marketing campaigns, otherwise my progress will be extremely slow. Selling never stops after purchases. It does look like pyramid scheme or something fraudulent. However, I agree that some of the actual course materials and the business coaching are good and applicable to any business. I personally hope that FTC will, as they have prayed for relief in their complaint/motion, request the court’s order to redress injury to consumers worldwide (not just Americans) for rescission or reformation of contracts, restitution, the refund of monies paid, and the disgorgement of ill-gotten monies. This is especially important to those new joiners who have not really got the full purchase delivered yet.

I agree with you about Mobe being educational.Some people that work for mobe have mislead some of us. I feel I was pressured into joining by how easy it was to make lots of money.I was told it doesn't take much money to make the big money. That is not true

Mobe is really a scam company, people earn big commissions from those who they add in their downline. For example, when someone buys Gold, the upline earns directly 1,250. and so on. One thing, those who come to the live events are all MObe consultants, those who earn commissions from downline. They are trained to rob more and more. I paid thousands of dollars, now i want to get it back. Is there any way to send my complaints to FTC, against MOBE.

If you are a MOBE Community Member on Facebook, Matt just posted a link so you can get info about what is going on. Near the bottom of the info in the link there is another link you can click on to file a complaint with the FTC. I just got done filing a complaint. MOBE is a scam and we deserve to get our money back!

The only reason anyone would say that Mobe is a scam is if they didn't do the work. Matt has always been upfront about putting in the work it's going to take to be successful. Their training gives you everything you need to know about building a business online. Matt has always said to build your own business and you can promote My Online Business Education to start making some money online. He has always been upfront about the people who make descent money online have their own business and promote Mobe on the back end. He has never said that you'll get rich promoting Mobe. Each program you buy into has different training. Everyone who has joined Mobe knows this.
If the FTC would have actually did some work and researched the different levels of training they would have found this out. I believe that real investigative work should be done before just shutting a company down. You shouldn't just take the words of people who weren't putting in the effort that it truly takes to be successful. The FTC needs to realize the 80/20 rule exists in everything. That includes business. Most are looking for easy money. When they realize that it takes a lot of work they tend to complain about being scammed or ripped off.

Hi John. What you are referring to as "scam" is literally the definition of commission based payment - which is the structure ALL companies use for their in-house and outsourced sales and marketing teams. That is NOT a scam, its perfectly legal to pay commission for services or products sold. This structure exists in over 80% of businesses in the world, including giants like amazon and almost all small businesses who want to outsource their marketing. MOBE is actually one of the only marketing agencies that only pays the direct affiliate who brought in the sale, rather than everyone on top, which means the structure is actually quite fair in comparison to many other marketing companies. My personal opinion is, MOBE has good quality business training courses, passionate and dedicated staff who were committed to deliver what MOBE had promised its customers (at least as far as I encountered) and their commission structure is fair and solid. The ONLY issue I believe is the way the products were being promoted by some affiliates as a make money opportunity, rather than learning opportunity. If MOBE had exact same structure, courses, staff, prices, process, etc - but only promoted "learning" rather than "getting rich" they would not have ANY legal problems. Anyhow that is my view.

As for your complaint - you did so by writing here. FTC is legally required to read these comments - so you have made your voice heard.

it is a stealing scheme. Authority needs to stop it.

I invested $16000 USD and regretted every single penny I spent. The mentor kept sending me in circles, I went into debt, they encouraged me to call the banks and take out a line of credit, bend the truth on my taxes and when I asked for help from them.. crickets! Because of this I’ve gone into depression, end up working two jobs to barely pay my bills. I would testify My experience in a court of law in a heartbeat.

I understand the concern regarding the recruiting aspect, and I agree that Mobe places TOO MUCH emphasis on recruitment. However, the recruitment is only to expand the business. The training itself is really good, and anyone who claims they have been scammed is simply not using the training and expecting the Company to do the work for them.

It's not unlike Law School. Every Law Student comes in with the hope of one day being a Robert Kardashian, but less than 1% do. Is Law School, then, a scam? I understand the need for checks and counterchecks, but I urge you to simply enforce a change of focus on Mobe. Their Marketplace his literally over a hundred other products that can easily bring extreme revenue to both the company and the affiliates. I do not believe that just because some people don't do the work, that those who do should be penalized.

very well said.

I couldn't agree more Victor.

It's possible that the people who are allowed to purchase the materials could have been screened more carefully (but as you say even people who have to qualify for University aren't likely to use their studies to the end that they're intended)

To the FTC - I've been a MOBE customer and affiliate since 2012 and have used the MOBE materials effectively as part of my own curriculum (ie. the people who have purchased from me have done so with eyes wide open and knowing that it was the actual content we were after to support our coaching time together). There has been trial and error and lots of growth in the years since.

If there are nuances to the marketing that should be corrected (and there may well be! I have generally used the "me as coach" track vs the 21 Steps so I'm not in the loop as to what needs fixing) - by all means fix it!

But meanwhile, preventing consumer access to the materials that we purchased and the masterminding events that have never been anything other than top notch and life impacting - that turns YOU into the bad guys. Interfering with content consumers due to some corrections and remedies that can be made more even handedly feels unjust and punitive to those who have been happy customers.

If you really mean to find a way through that serves ALL consumers... and not just pay the lawyers who will otherwise be the first beneficiaries of a lengthy court battle...

A permanent or even long shut down is not the way.

You're penalizing the greater compliment of customers.

Find a middle ground.


Thank you for you attention in this matter.

I signed up for the Silver/Gold masterclass, and grew kind of frustrated with the process. And how vague the 21 steps are. I never paid the full amount because I’m too broke. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t applying myself very hard to this new venture. I want to believe you’re right about this. Time will tell.


Add new comment

Comment Policy

Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system (PDF), and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system (PDF). We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.