stil more scam for profit college websites linked to dallas mystery man

I wrote yesterday and this morning about scam websites that promise people help with jobs, food stamps, heat assistance, and Medicaid. These are things that low-income and working Americans want, but the sites are really just fronts to get people’s phone numbers so that workers at a call centre in Utah can try to get them to enrol in overpriced, low-quality for-profit colleges.

Within 90 minutes of me posting yesterday’s story, one of the sites I talked about, localemploymentnetwork.org, was taken down. Maybe the site’s owners were just being careful, or maybe they were worried about what I said about how the site’s owner, Neutron Interactive, and the call center’s owner, EdSoup/EduTrek, might be breaking federal and state laws.

This morning, I found other scam sites on the same server as localemploymentnetwork and Neutron’s corporate site, and I wrote about them.

Now I’ve taken a closer look at medicaidinsurancebenefits.com, the second bait-and-switch site I mentioned yesterday. The site says, “Find and Seek Medicaid Benefits in Your Area.” Before going any further, the user must give their email address and phone number and “agree” to a small print notice that says they can be contacted about job openings, career alerts, legal services, and educational opportunities. The site gives an address in the Philippines as a way to get in touch. Former employees of EdSoup told me that the site was just another way to get phone numbers for misleading for-profit college pitches.

Information found on the Internet shows that someone named Fernando Reighard registered medicaidinsurancebenefits.com three months ago at a home address in Dallas. I can’t find any information about Fernando Reighard in any database, other than the fact that similar websites have been registered in his name in recent months, such as medicaidapplicationusa.com and snapfoodstampsonline.com. You can see some screen shots of these sites here and here, in case they disappear. Fernando Reighard is also listed as the person who registered the websites recallsettlementsearch.com, which helps people who have been hurt by GM cars or affected by recalls, and topstudentloanhelp.com, which is not running right now.

Hang on. Fernando Reighard and the Dallas house address are also linked by a website registration to an email address, [email protected], which I found was linked to a website called familyhelpnetworkusa.com, which supposedly helps people find housing. When I went to the website to find out about help, I came across a window that asked me to agree to the following:

By clicking “Get Started Right Away,” I agree that EdSoup, U.S. News University Connection, LLC, or our preferred partners can call me at the number I give, even if it’s a cell phone number, to talk about job openings, career alerts, legal services, and educational opportunities.

(Okay, I see U.S. News. I don’t know if they’re really part of this chain of shady people, but I do want to learn more about U.S. News’s role in lead generation in the future. For now, though:) The fact that EdSoup is mentioned again shows how connected this web of for-profit college marketers is.

Public records show that Eric W. Johnson of Dallas bought the house that Fernando Reighard gave as his address when he recently signed up for a website in June. No one answered Fernando Reighard’s Google Voice number listed on website registrations, and Eric W. Johnson’s number led to a mailbox that was full.

Who runs all these fake websites that try to trick people who are having trouble into taking sales calls for for-profit colleges? When will the big for-profit colleges that are connected to these operations and get 85–90% of their money from taxpayers tell us the truth about how they run their businesses?

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