I believe I have ALSO been scammed by James Smith and his Utah-based company, National Real Estate Investors (NRI). Their "course materials" claim they are "America's Best Real Estate Investment Training." HA!
My cousin and I listened to James Smith for several hours in a conference center meeting room last December (2006) here in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, we naively fell for all of their "lines" and paid $2995-EACH for a three-day training course and 12-months of personal mentoring.
We attended the 3-day training, which was very "inspiring" (and I use that term VERY lightly). Then, at the conclusion, they told us there was more we needed to learn before we could really be successful investing in real estate and invited us to attend an additional five-day annual conference held by NRI in Utah (the "M5") where we would get to even meet James Smith personally... All that for only $9,995-EACH more!
Nevertheless, even though we opted out of the additional training (Thank Heavens!), we had been fooled that we could run right out then and make money in the world of real estate investing (with, of course, the support of our personal mentor for 12 months). Unlike, many of my wiser Rip-Off peers, I didn't catch on to the scam right away nor did I do the proper research on this company. I was really foolishly serious about making this work! The sad part is that I had lost my job at the time --after 25+ years with a seriously failing major U.S. auto company-- and I was desparate!! I wanted so much to believe what James Smith was saying that it clouded my usually level-headed thinking.
So, in February 2006, I filled out the Mentee Profile sheet and faxed it to their offices in Utah. After several weeks with no contact from NRI, I placed a call in March '06 to an (800) number I had and left a message on a machine asking if they could confirm receiving my fax... No call back. I waited several more weeks with no contact from NRI and called again in April '06 only to get another recorded message on which I left an "agitated" follow up inquiry. It is now June and I have yet to receive any contact at all (letter or live) confirming the receipt of my faxed profile or efforts to arrange for the "promised" mentoring process.
I feel so Violated!! Fooled!! Scammed!! Stupid!! etc. I am still currently unemployed as the job market in southeast Michigan sucks due to the tanking auto industry and really shouldn't have "invested" the money. Now I could really use that $3K I spent for nothing to pay my mortgage payments, medical bills and groceries.
Has ANYONE out there ever been successful at getting their money refunded from any of these wealth "gurus" past the first 3-day legal cancellation period? I sure would like to try, but I need any and all advice out there on how I should go about it.
Madison Heights, Michigan