Better Business Bureau: Get Rich schemes put out of business

By Alan Bligh
Sept. 1, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.

We have all heard of get rich quick schemes. Sometimes law enforcement must take action. At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court ordered the marketers of three get-rich-quick systems to pay a record $478 million for deceiving close to one million consumers with phony claims that they could make easy money using their programs.

Some consumers even paid nearly $15,000 for special counseling. The order also imposes a lifetime ban that puts the defendants permanently out of the infomercial and telemarketing businesses. The defendants were:

The John Beck program,

The John Alexander's Real Estate Riches in 14 Days program and

The Jeff Paul's Shortcuts to Internet Millions program.

The court found that nearly all the consumers who signed up lost money.

Protect against West Nile

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 75 percent of the West Nile cases reported this year have been reported in Texas. One option for you is to hire a professional pest control service. If you're considering hiring a pest control service, Better Business Bureau suggests the following:

Research the company at and compare prices.

Check to see that the company is licensed and bonded.

Ask for an inspection.

Ask about the warranty. If bugs come back will the company redo the work.

Be cautious of guarantees. While pest control companies can help minimize the number of mosquitoes, completely eliminating the pests may not possible. Be cautious of any company that makes guarantees claiming it can eliminate 100 percent of mosquitoes. This is a red flag.

Ask about safety and risks. Be sure to ask the company about the safety of the chemicals it uses. Let the company know if you have pets, children or sensitive plants as that may impact the products it selects for your home.

Read the fine print. Carefully review any contract before you sign. If you've decided on a monthly treatment plan, make sure that schedule is included in your contract. Pay close attention to termination policies and fees should you decide to stop treatment.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by email at



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