WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– People looking for ways to create a nest egg for their retirement, or to make a quick and profitable turn around are using the internet to search for investment opportunities.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers that anyone who promises to take your money and make a big profit in a short time is probably involved in an illegal scheme.

Recently the FTC settled with WealthPress, a company the FTC says violated the law by making false earnings claims to convince people to buy its financial trading services. According to the FTC’s lawsuit, WealthPress told people they could make substantial profits with its trading services, but couldn’t support that claim. Instead of making big money, the FTC says many WealthPress clients lost money trading, on top of the hundreds or thousands of dollars they paid for the so-called service and the recurring charges that followed.

As part of the settlement, WealthPress will stop making deceptive or misleading claims about earnings and pay more than $1.7 million to settle the case, with $1.2 million going back to the people affected.

Before you pay for any investment-related service, or ANY offer that includes claims about how much you’ll make, how fast:

  • Know that no one can guarantee any return on investment in stocks, commodities, cryptocurrency, real estate or the foreign exchange market. Only scammers do that. So anyone who promotes riches and doesn’t mention the risks involved is a scammer.
  • Research the offer. Search online for the name of the company and words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.” Other people’s experience with the company can tip you off to possible problems.
  • Question the statistics and testimonials…which can be faked. A company might show reviews from people who’ve used their program and “made lots of money.” But those could be paid actors or made-up reviews. Read more about How To Evaluate Online Reviews.