Sellers Playbook Scam Halted
The Federal Trade Commission and the State of Minnesota have charged Minnesota-based Sellers Playbook with running a large business opportunity scam. A federal court temporarily halted the operation pending resolution of the case.
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Sellers Playbook allows you to operate your Amazon store from your happy place and create positive cash flow by outsourcing the hard parts so you can focus on the things that matter to you most.
As evidenced by online shopping trends over recent years, Amazon is in a state of exponential growth. You can sign up for webinar after webinar, read countless blog articles, or download a hard drive worth of white papers; but there’s nothing quite like having that information consolidated in a single place and hearing about it from the industry’s leading professionals. That is where Sellers Playbook comes in. Learn how to use our powerful system to:
- Source credible suppliers.
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The FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office allege that Sellers Playbook lured consumers into buying its expensive “system” by claiming that purchasers were likely to earn thousands of dollars per month selling products on Amazon. The company used false and unsubstantiated claims, such as make“$20,000 a month” and “Potential Net Profit: $1,287,463.38.” Few, if any, consumers achieved these results, and most lost money.
The defendants are Sellers Playbook Inc., Exposure Marketing Company (also doing business as Sellers Online and Sellers Systems), and Jessie Conners Tieva and Matthew R. Tieva, who have owned and managed these companies. According to the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, the defendants, who have no affiliation with Amazon.com, took in more than $15 million from consumers from April 2017 to May 2018. Many consumers paid them more than $32,000.
Here is their earnings disclaimer:
YOUR SUCCESS OR LACK OF IT
Your success in using the information or strategies provided by Sellers Playbook, Inc. depends on a variety of factors. We have no way of knowing how well you will do, as we do not know you, your background, your work ethic, your dedication, your motivation, your desire, or your business skills or practices. Therefore, we do not guarantee or imply that you will have any earnings at all. Internet businesses and earnings derived therefrom involve unknown risks and are not suitable for everyone. You may not rely on any information presented on the website or otherwise provided by us unless you do so with the knowledge and understanding that you can experience significant losses (including, but not limited to, the loss of any and all monies paid to purchase any of our products, any monies spent setting up, operating, and/or marketing any of our products or services, and further, that you may have no earnings at all).
Jessie Conners Tieva and Exposure Marketing Company previously promoted, sold and benefited from a similar scheme, known as FBA Stores, which ceased operation in March 2018 as a result of an FTC enforcement action. In June 2018, its key operators were banned from selling business opportunities and business coaching services, and required to surrender approximately $10.8 million for return to consumers. The defendants in the case announce today were not defendants in the FBA Stores case.
The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, and the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. They are also charged with violating the Consumer Review Fairness Act through contracts that improperly sought to restrict consumers’ right to review the products and services they purchased.
The Commission vote approving the complaint was 5-0. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota entered a temporary restraining order against the defendants on July 30, 2018, and a preliminary injunction hearing is currently scheduled for August 13, 2018.
This case was brought with the assistance of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Minnesota, Amazon.com, Inc., and the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Consumers can report complaints about similar situations to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787. They can also download a complaint form from www.ag.state.mn.us (link is external) and mail the completed form to the Attorney General’s Office, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400, St. Paul, MN 55101-2131.
– Source ftc.gov