LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Earn money from the comfort of your own home. It's a sales pitch meant to grab your attention. But it landed one Las Vegas man in serious debt. 13 Action News with a warning before you agree to what could be your next job offer.
"I feel like a total idiot," says Jim McClain.
He feels duped by a recent work-at-home job opportunity. Jim got an email about a company wanting to teach him how to open his own business for online sales.
"You buy product. You get it delivered. You repackage it and sell it for a price on eBay or Amazon," says Jim.
He emailed the company, expressing his interest. So they called and sent him this contract, agreeing to a six-month coaching program, teaching him how to run his new business. The cost of this program: nearly $13,000. To pay for it, they sent Jim a link to apply for a line of credit.
"She never hung up. She stayed on the phone and I'm filling out all the information," says Jim.
He was approved for two new credit cards, a Visa and Discover, which were quickly charged. Jim was also put in touch with a second party, helping him open a Limited Liability Company with the state of Nevada. The fees were adding up fast and Jim was starting to have second thoughts.
"And my wife was sitting across from me telling me; No, no, don't do this, don't do that," says Jim.
In all, Jim says he was on the phone for almost six hours. Exhausted, he decided to think about his decision overnight. The next morning he called the company to say he changed his mind. At first, Jim says they weren't taking no for an answer.
"He said you signed a deal with our compliance department that you agree to our training. You agreed to getting the credit cards. You agreed to all this," says Jim.
Lucky for Jim, the company's own contract states: "Anyone may cancel this transaction within three (3) business days..." Eventually, that's exactly what they did, even refunding all the charges.
"Ask questions. Ask questions. Don't just jump in with both feet," says Rhonda Mettler with the Better Business Bureau.
She says they get complaints about work-at-home job offers all the time. She says, Jim's case is full of major red flags. One: Watch out for companies with upfront fees.
"That doesn't make any sense. You don't have to pay for anything, if you're being hired," says Rhonda.
Two: Don't let them keep you on the phone for too long.
"They're trying to wear you down. They're trying to pressure you into doing something that you don't want to do and probably shouldn't do," says Rhonda.
And three: Don't underestimate the caller.
"These are intelligent people that are pulling off scams. They're clever," says Rhonda.
That's exactly why Jim decided to reach out to 13 Action News. He says looking back, it was hard to refuse their sales pitch.
"Like you know, this intrigues me. I have to check into this," says Jim.
But in the end, his recommendation is pretty simple
"Don't do it," says Jim.