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The Federal Trade Commission is mailing approximately 75,000 refund checks to
consumers who were deceived by an online marketing operation that sold work-at-home opportunities. The FTC brought the case as part of its ongoing efforts to protect financially strapped consumers from scams that falsely promise job opportunities. The FTC alleged that Abili-Staff Ltd., Equitron LLC, Pamela Jean Barthuly, and Jorg Wilhelm Becker falsely promised consumers that, for a fee of up to $89.99, they would have access to job listings and get a full refund if they did not get a job. The refunds are a result of a court order.

Approximately $729,700 is being returned to consumers; the average payment will be about $9.70. Consumers who receive the checks from the FTC's refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Consumers with questions should call the refund administrator, Epiq Systems, 1-877-868-7790, or visit

Consumers thinking about a work-at-home opportunity should read Looking to Earn Extra Income? Rule Helps You Avoid Bogus Business Opportunity Offers.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Abili-Staff redress)

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