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FTC Busts Entertainment Web Site Operators

MIAMI (CN) - An entertainment Web site and the Florida couple who run it scam customers by claiming they can get jobs as movie extras paying up to $300 a day, the FTC claims in Federal Court. It sued Resource Publishing Co. dba Entertainment Work, and its "officers," Jason Arthur Barnes and Raquelle Hart Barnes.

The Federal Trade Commission claims the Barneses charge customers for access to expired or irrelevant job listings on their Web site. They charge victims' debit or credit cards for a "trial membership" then make it difficult or impossible to cancel, according to the complaint. The business is based in Palm Beach Gardens.

The FTC cites an ad the defendants placed in The Washington Post: "Movie Extras $100-$300/day. All Looks, Types/Ages. TV, Film & Print," followed by an 800 number.

But after paying $19.95 for their "trial membership," the victims find that the postings require specific experience or skills, have expired or are far away, the FTC says. And after frustrating the victims' efforts to cancel their "membership," within

the trial period, the Barneses debit their cards another $80 for a year "membership," according to the complaint.

Most victims never get a so-called "Welcome Letter" that supposedly includes a code they need to cancel their "membership" online, and those who call and manage to get through, are charged $15 to cancel, the FTC says.

The FTC seeks a restraining order and injunction, rescission of contracts, and refunds.

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