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

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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.

Edited on August 16, 2018 to add:  Looking for more information about this case? Read What you need to know if you were a MOBE customer on the FTC’s Consumer Blog.

Comments

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..

The fact that you didn't do anything is probably 100% of the reason you MADE NOTHING. The funny part is that you said you lost out on $20,000 - you didn't LOSE out on ANYTHING. You have no idea how to run a business. And because you don't know how to run a business, you blame everyone else for what you didn't do in your business, which is what you have done your entire life. Now, you ruin someone else's life because you have no accountability in your life. Blame everyone else for your lack of work ethic. Because I know MANY people who make it work, who run a profitable business using MOBE and what they've learned. If you paid attention, you could have probably doubled your money. But, you didn't, you decided to BLAME and then play a third grade b.s. story with the FTC. What goes around comes around. You'll always get what you deserve. And learn how to spell...Finely or Finally?

@Nicole Jolie
Regardless of what Pam Simon did or didn't do to make the MOBE "business" work, should not detract from the simple fact that MOBE is a third-rate Pyramid Scheme with no hope whatsoever of working in the real world as it provides no value, or at best very little value. Good riddance to bad rubbish, that's what I say.

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....

Yes, I was trying to get an education when it went a different way after Max Aria. I am over 75,000. In and I was studying 6 hours a day because I knew nothing about the internet and still don’t understand after 3 months. And yes I was referred to lending Amercia LLC also after looking at my last email they were doing business also with Sprout financial a MOBE affiliate till June 11,2018. I am now trying to dispute my charges for the education I never received and the WSGT that was a joke and shut down with clicks that were never set up along with a funnel that was prepared that I never used. But the kicker was when I asked Max Aria who my sponsor was that I never heard from and had no contact information or photo. I got burnt. Max Aria....

yeah i also gave some website 25,000 thinking it would work out perfectly.. damn never did get that money back... FTC please shut them down for me because im a dumbass!

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.

Yes they need to work the rest of their lives to pay us all back!!

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.)

What if you paid them via Debit? Same thing or you're not sure?
Thank you so much

I already called my credit card companies. Even though the FTC has stepped in i was told its still not valid the FTC is 3rd party ?????

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.

The lawyers make all the money not you...consider this a tax right off...you can deduct 3000/yr on your tax return until you deplete what you lost.

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.

I could not have said it any better. Thanks

I am so mad I invested over 17,000 into this company only to find out that they have been shut down by the FTC. I started September 2017 and have yet to make a dime. They made is seem so easy like they were going to be there every step of the way but you have to pay more and more money for all those steps. If the FTC is successful how do we go about getting our money back. MOBE has been shut down which means that we unable to make any profits if we wanted too, which all means that their not providing what was promised to us when we signed up. I'm at a lose for words - If anyone has any helpful information as to contacting the FTC. Please respond. HELP!!!

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

Did you ever get in touch with John Chow? I'm just trying now, Canadian as well! Hopefully that works, it's been past 120 days for me the my credit card company can't help unfortunately.

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.

It take money! Bottom line. I worked as hard or harder than anyone else! I even asked Matt for a job personally. His answer was always send me an email. I have a college education and would qualify for his phone team, or talent recruiting team, or business position.b ur I got no where. I was willing to do anything to make it in this company but apparently I didn’t qualify for what he wanted. In my opinion, a person doesn’t make it in his company unless they have unlimited resources. Every time I was told to go to a different level and this would be the level or funnel or mentor that would make me a star in the company. Yes, one of my coaches told me I was going to be his star. The trouble is, that once you get to that level you have to pay more to learn the secrets to become a top earner. It is never enough and if you don’t understand something, you have to pay another mentor to learn how to make money like they do. I don’t have a husband or extra money so it was impossible for me to be successful. I have had two businesses and three successful careers but this was not within my reach due to not enough funds. I spent 30k and had to file bankruptcy. I learned my lesson !!

MOBE is not a scam. I learnt so much about business and mindset through the training. I learnt how to market any business on Facebook through their courses and traffic coaches. I would like to be able to access the products I purchased and attend the all expenses paid mastermind events that I have paid for. I believe there can always be improvements made in any business and I would like the FTC to give Matt Lloyd the opportunity to rectify these things for the benefit of the global community.

What Sally said is true, nothing is perfect, nobody is perfect in this world. Improvement can always be implemented but if MOBE is being shut down it will do more harm to the global community which come in thousands as compared to the number of those who claim they have been scam. Business is a journey some succeed pretty fast because of past experiences some will takes years but this is norm. Just yesterday someone I know who join Mobe 3 years ago was busy with another thing suddenly some friend become interested in online business so she got excited and started to share the business but to her horror when she tried to find some information online she realised Mobe it has been shut down by FTC. She was totally devastated

@Sally - the bottom line is simple: MOBE offers no value whatsoever. Period.

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.

Agree.
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.

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