Can’t Touch This: Jesse Willms’ Assets Frozen

money 150x150 Cant Touch This: Jesse Willms Assets FrozenHe’s alleged to have piled up over $450 million with an internet marketing scam, but Canadian Jesse Willms won’t be spending that money anytime soon.

Canadian newspapers are reporting that a Seattle judge has frozen Willms’s American assets. And that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is working with Canadian authorities on Willms’s assets there. According to the FTC, a final order in the case could mean money back for consumers.

Willms and his 10 internet companies are accused of cheating people in Canada, the U.S., Australia, the U.K., and New Zealand by advertising products like acai berry supplements, colon cleansers and teeth whiteners as free trial offers or risk-free, then billing customers’ credit cards monthly. Additional products were sent automatically unless the customers navigated a complicated cancellation process.

Media reports say that Willms has blamed his troubles on unscrupulous business associates who he claims defrauded him by stealing credit card numbers in order to generate commissions with bogus sales. He is scheduled for trial in the U.S. in July 2012.

Willms and his companies, including Wu-Yi Source and a penny auction site, first came to the attention of the BBB Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana when we began receiving a series of complaints sent to a drop-box in Montana.

Since 2008, BBBs in Canada, Los Angeles, and Spokane have received over 4,000 complaints about companies run by Jesse Willms.

Protect Yourself:
To avoid being lured by trial offers, it is a good idea to do the following:

  • Make it a Habit to Read Your Credit Card Statements. Find out right away if you’re being billed for something you never agreed to.
  • Read the Fine Print. The terms and conditions should tell you exactly what you’re paying for, how much it costs, what the return policy is and what the cancellation policy is.
  • Start With Trust. Research the company on www.bbb.org or other trusted sites to see what customers have to say about the company, its products, and its customer service.

View the entire FTC action here.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.