Scam Report

Real Estate Scheme Sued By FTC

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Real Estate Scheme Sued By FTC
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These days, it seems like everyone wants to make money by flipping houses.

There are companies out there promising to tell you how, but not all those promises are real. The most recent example is Zurixx, a real estate investment company sued by the FTC and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (DCP).

Zurixx markets and sells a “flipping system” that says it lets people generate substantial income by flipping houses. Zurixx representatives regularly show supposed “success stories” of customers who made thousands using its system, claiming that the system involves little risk, time, or effort.

Zurixx purports to offer consumers coaching and training on how to make large sums of money by buying houses and quickly updating and reselling them, a practice known as “flipping.” Its advertisements routinely feature endorsements from celebrities like Tarek and Christina El Moussa from HGTV’s “Flip or Flop,” Hilary Farr from HGTV’s “Love It or List It,” and Peter Souhleris and Dave Seymour from A&E’s “Flipping Boston.” The ads entice consumers to free events that Zurixx claimed would teach consumers how to make large profits by flipping “using other people’s money.”

But, according to a complaint by the FTC and DCP, those claims are false or deceptive, and Zurixx cannot back them up.

Zurixx lures people to free live events, says the FTC, using ads endorsed by celebrities from popular home renovation TV shows.

The ads promise that event attendees will learn how to make money from investing in real estate by using other people’s money.

However, according to the FTC and DCP, the free event is just a scheme to get people to buy Zurixx’s three-day “risk-free” workshop, which costs $1,997.

The complaint also says that Zurixx tells workshop attendees to get new credit cards, or to increase the credit limits on existing cards, supposedly to help finance real estate deals. But, say the FTC and DCP, in many instances, Zurixx has then told people to use this new credit to pay for its “advanced training” packages costing thousands of dollars.

When people complain or get refunds, Zurixx has required some people to sign an agreement barring them from speaking with state attorneys general and other regulators.

The gag provision also stops them from reporting to the Better Business Bureau and – wait for it – the FTC.

If someone promises that you can earn a lot of money with little risk, time, or effort, that’s a sign of a scam. If you spot one, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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