FTC Orders Halt to ‘Bogus’ HGTV-Endorsed Seminars

October 7, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered a temporarily halt to seminars endorsed by HGTV stars, alleging the programs are “misleading” and make “bogus” claims about how people can strike it rich in real estate.

The FTC published a formal complaint on Friday against Zurixx LLC, which sponsors free real estate events endorsed by Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead, stars of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop.” According to the complaint, event attendees pay $1,997 for a three-day seminar in which they are taught how to apply for new credit cards and increase the credit limits on existing cards. The instructors suggest using new lines of credit to pay for additional training that costs more than $41,000, the FTC says.

Zurixx has offered refunds to attendees who complained about the quality of the seminars. But the FTC alleges that customers would only receive a refund if they signed an agreement that would prevent them from writing negative reviews or speaking to regulators about the training course. Zurixx has responded to the FTC’s complaint, saying the company welcomes an investigation and expects “a positive outcome as we work directly and openly with the agencies involved.”

FTC Halts ‘Misleading’ Real Estate Seminars Endorsed by HGTV Stars,” The Hollywood Reporter (Oct. 4, 2019) and “FTC Halts ‘Misleading’ Real Estate Seminars With HGTV Stars,” Associated Press (Oct. 5, 2019)