Is scam-assistance site scamming its own customers? -

Is this scam help site a sham?

There's not much to the website -- no fancy home page -- just a place to log in and some contact information. The Better Business Bureau has some questions for the owner.

Tom Gallagher, president of the Richmond BBB, says the company is charging consumers thousands of dollars to settle disputes with work-at home and business opportunity companies.

Gallagher says keep your cash -- the BBB and other government agencies, like consumer affairs, do the same work for free.

"We've got about 4,600 companies in central Virginia that pay dues to belong to be BBB to be an accredited business. That fee supports our work," he explains.

Consumers report that they pay an up-front fee to the site and send a letter of compliance to the company, which then returns the complaint back to the person with an envelope addressed to the BBB. The BBB says it's not working with the company and doesn't subcontract its services.

"Not only [is that] a red flag; it's not the way we do things," says Gallagher. is based in Phoenix, Ariz. According to the BBB, it began operating in March 2011.

It has an ‘F' rating and there are complaints from at least 20 different states.

"It's going to spread," says Gallagher. "This kind of thing is viral."

The BBB has tried to contact the website, but has not gotten a response. Gallagher says if you have a problem, call the BBB. He says that regardless if a business is a paying member or not, the BBB will investigate.

"That doesn't affect the way we handle the complaints. If a company is a member or not a member or accredited or not accredited, it doesn't make any difference in our process," Gallagher explains. "We pay no attention to that at all."

He advises never to pay for something you can get for free -- and always know what you're getting when you pay.

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