Local Man Loses Thousands in Online Money-Making Program - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/03/06

Local Man Loses Thousands in Online Money-Making Program

Critics call it a get-rich-quick scheme. Now, the 12daily Pro investment program is under investigation by the federal government. We told you about the program a few months ago (Consumer Groups Warm of Potential Fraud).

We're talking thousands of dollars per victim, more than $50 million overall. The program works like this: you invest $1,000 to start. Twelve days later, you invest up to $3,000, expecting a 40 percent return on your investment. Victims, including one Tybee Island man, say they didn't get anything.

Twelve days of pulling up internet ads on your computer, and getting paid for it. Easy money. "Sounded like a good thing, absolutely," said Ron Vollmer.

He joined the 12daily Pro craze, investing $1,000 to start in what is called an autosurfing program. The basic idea: visit 12 participating websites a day, and after 12 days, get a payback on your investment.

"I noticed the money was not being transferred to my checking account," Vollmer told us.

$4,000 later, he had a bad feeling about 12daily Pro. "I was expecting to make 40 percent of return after 12 days," he said. "Unfortunately, I lost it all in six weeks."

"More and more people I run into say, 'Hey, have you heard of 12daily Pro?'" said Ross Howard with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau. "Uh oh, you got bit."

Howard and the BBB know all about 12daily Pro. So does the Securties and Exchange Commission. "They've hooked $50 million out of people in this country and around the world."

"I probably made $8,000 in profit," Julian Saenz from Hinesville told us in a February interview. He swore by the program and defended it. "The only thing [critics] have released are false claims that this is a pyramid and this is a scam, with no actual documentation," he said.

"Would you call it a scam if you were making money off it?" said Howard. "When he starts losing money, he'll be the first to cry it's a scam."

Howard calls 12daily Pro a vicious financial cycle. "They're using the same money that comes in to pay out," he said. "Whoever was last in line loses."

"I didn't see a penny of it unfortunately," said Vollmer. He was near the end of that line and may never get his money back.

He is warning others not to fall for any get-rich-quick schemes. "If it seems that easy to make money, it's not right."

The federal investigation into 12daily Pro, and the company handling funds for the program, called Stormpay , is ongoing. Meanwhile, all assets have been frozen and the 12daily Pro website has been shut down.

Vollmer says he should have listened to his wife. She said don't do it. He did.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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