*SCAM ALERT* MOBE (‘My Online Business Education’) was an internet coaching business that was shut down by the FTC for ‘bilking more than $125 million from thousands of consumers’ in 2018.
The FTC’s investigation is currently still ongoing.
Details for help getting your money back are listed below.
It’s a bit late in the game for me to be doing a ‘real’ MOBE review.
Because this company was shut down by the FTC last year.
Leaving countless MOBE customers seriously out of pocket.
And many former ‘affiliates’ red-faced.
So, in this MOBE scam roundup, I’ll be explaining how
And what you can do if you’re still trying to claim a refund from MOBE.
What Was MOBE?
MOBE was an internet ‘coaching business’.
Founded by an Australian named Matthew Lloyd McPhee in 2011.
The MOBE brand went by several names.
‘My Online Business Empire’, ‘My Online Business Education’, and ‘My Own Business Education’ to name but a few.
In their own words:
‘MOBE is a business training company catering to small business owners and entrepreneurs’.
Their training resources included online courses, coaching, seminars, live training, and ‘mastermind’ groups.
What Was Taught in MOBE’s Training?
Thankfully, I was never involved with MOBE.
However, many sources claim that the content of their courses was actually quite useful.
Apparently covering topics such as:
- Lead generation;
- Marketing strategies;
- Making money on YouTube;
- Creating sales funnels;
- Personal development;
- Starting a consulting business;
- How to legally pay less tax.
I can’t personally verify the quality of the content because I never signed up.
But I suspect this material was chiefly just a front to obscure their back-end business model.
By offering what appeared to be a legitimate service on the front-end.
And thus avoid being classed as a pure pyramid scheme.
The 21-Step Upsell Funnel
This is where it all started to go wrong for MOBE.
Their initial ‘starter’ product ‘My Top Tier Business’ (MTTB) acted as a primer to the barrage of upsells that awaited as you progressed through the ’21-Steps’ programme.
Former students said that they felt pressured into buying the next follow-on product.
With the top end ‘services’ apparently costing as much as $100,000!
Image source: BehindMLM.com
MLM in Disguise
Many felt that the MOBE ‘Compensation Plan’ was a thinly veiled MLM (‘multi-level marketing’) set up.
Despite MOBE claiming that they used the ‘affiliate marketing’ model to promote their products.
Because in order to promote MOBE’s products to others – you first had to buy them yourself.
AND pay $19.95 each month to become and remain eligible to earn commissions on the products you sold.
This is not the case with legitimate affiliate programmes.
Plus, the two-tier downline also meant that you could profit from your referral’s referrals.
This video visualises the structure of MOBE’s Compensation Plan:
Video credit: Erick Brockway
Fraudulent Money-Back Guarantee
There were countless reports of individuals not being able to get a refund when MOBE was still live.
Despite MOBE claiming to offer a 60-day money-back guarantee:
Image credit: DaleRogers.co.uk
Why Did MOBE Get Shut Down?
MOBE was closed by the FTC due to deceptive and misleading conduct.
A press release by the FTC dated June 11, 2018 states that they have:
‘Charged three individuals’ for ‘bilking more than $125,000,000 from thousands of consumers with a fraudulent business education program…’ [source].
Before going on to state that the defendants claim that the ‘proven system’ for making money is fundamentally reliant upon selling the same system to others.
The report also reveals that many MOBE customers experienced ‘crippling losses’ and mounting debts.
With some individuals quoting losses in excess of $20,000.
The FTC also cites the issue with MOBE using false money-back guarantees to mislead people into believing that the programme was risk-free.
Can You Claim a Refund if You Got Scammed by MOBE?
But there’s some hope.
At the time of writing, the FTC investigation is still ongoing.
So, if you lost money to MOBE – you’ll need to wait until you’re able to file a claim.
At the moment, no timeframe for the opening of a claims portal has been established.
The Court Appointed Receiver will be running the portal as far as I am aware.
You can keep up to date with proceedings here on the MOBE Receivership website.
Once this portal is open, you can then begin to take the required legal action to hopefully reclaim your money.
I’ll try to update this section as more details emerge.
And please do keep me up to speed with your personal progress in the comments section at the end of the post.
What Can We Learn From the MOBE Scam?
A couple of things stand out for me.
1: Beware the ‘Long-Game’ – The Devil Really is in the Details
We need to realise just how deep a scam can run.
That is, even if everything looks legit on the front-end.
(A professional looking website, testimonials, money back-guarantees etc).
And there’s legitimate value in the initial offer.
The real trap may lie in wait further down the line.
So, even if you’re getting value from your initial purchase.
You need to seriously question every potential up-sell as you progress through a company’s ‘sales funnel’.
2: Wise Up to Sales Tactics
Ever wonder why the ‘make money online’ space is flooded with scams and low-quality products?
It’s because the typical end user is desperate.
People who have lost their jobs, can’t work due to health issues, or are struggling to make ends meet are driven by fear.
Meaning that they’re perfectly prepared to spend their last $47 on a course if it promises to make them ‘six-figures’ in X timeframe.
Because someone who’s desperate for a solution is open to being manipulated with relative ease.
Be sure to wise up to these 3 manipulative marketing strategies used by online gurus to exploit your psychological state.
3: Be Careful Who You Listen To
Not everything is as it seems on the internet (shock!).
If you Google ‘product X review’ there’s a strong possibility that many of the top results are going to be riddled with affiliate links.
Now, affiliate marketing is not necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, I use affiliate links on this site.
But some affiliate marketers will create ‘reviews’ with the sole intention of trying to get you to sign up.
(And even Trustpilot reviews can be faked).
Now, I do think that Google’s algorithms are getting better at filtering out this biased content.
But in the meantime, you’ll want to perform your due diligence before buying pretty much anything online.
Especially in the ‘MMO’ space.
And make sure that you pool your research from as many different reputable sources as possible.
Is There a Legitimate MOBE Alternative?
There are plenty of ‘loopholes’ that will allow you to make ‘quick’ money online.
(Matched betting is probably the best option if you live in the UK).
But if you’re looking to generate a sustainable source of income online.
Then you’ll need to create actual VALUE for other people.
Because that’s how REAL business works.
How to Create Value if You’re a Beginner
And what’s the easiest way to create value?
Well, it’s certainly true that you can create value by completing online jobs, starting a consulting business, or even freelancing.
But in my opinion, affiliate marketing is the easiest way to get started.
Because the products have already been created for you.
Allowing you to get straight to the business of creating associated value and making sales.
Learn from the Mistakes of MOBE
Thanks to the MOBE debacle.
Folks are now starting to wise up to online scams.
So, if you’re going to succeed as an affiliate marketer.
You’re going to have to do it ETHICALLY.
And that all starts with knowing how to pick an affiliate programme that’s NOT engineered like MOBE’s Compensation Plan.
Check out my Affiliate Marketing Guide to learn how to get started the RIGHT way.
Did You Get Caught Out By MOBE?
Did you lose a lot of money?
What did you think about the quality of their content?
Did you feel pressured into buying things that you didn’t want?
Let me know of your experiences with MOBE in the comments section below.