"I was out of work. I looked in the paper and I saw this ad," explained fraud victim James McTighe.
McTighe was excited by the ad's claim that he could earn up to $2,000 every week in a sales job--and that the company running the ad would actually help him get started.
"They were going to give me, I think 100 or 200 leads a month and that was supposed to go on forever," said McTighe.
THe cost to buy into this program could be anywhere from $1500 to $15,000.
Erin Leipold, US Postal Inspector said, "The fee was supposed to go toward things like their training and start up materials for things like business cards and materials they need to start up their business."
James paid more than $14,000 to get involved and he lost it all. The program was a scam.
Number of victims: 500
Total losses: Half a million dollars
Postal inspectors uncovered the congame by posing as a participant.
"We did an undercover buy as an applicant. I went through the application process. There were several red flags that process that made us think this wasn't a legitimate opportunity," Leipold said.
The promise of making big money, quickly, was one of them.
"The job offered $100,000 plus pay. Any job that offers that type of salary, a very high salary, with very little experience as well as very little training is a huge red flag for us," Leipold explained.
The mastermind behind this scheme was Sanford Hoffman. He was sentenced to almost 4 years in prison on conspiracy to commit mail fraud charges.
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