Cut out of her part
Cut out of her part
Owner: Eva Niewiadomski
Location: Chicago
Amount lost: $7,500

In 2008, I was contacted by a TV and film production company about an amazing promotional opportunity. My company Catalyst Ranch provides meeting spaces in Chicago. This company offered a great way to market to business travelers by featuring us in a TV show. The deal cost me $7,500.

Everything seemed to be going fine. The company sent someone out to shoot footage of the facility and sent us the first version of the commercial. But after that everything went downhill. We sent them some edits but didn't get a final cut. And we kept asking about an air date because there wasn't one included in the contract. Eventually, they told us that they no longer had a relationship with the network.

I retained a lawyer but couldn't afford to pursue the case. The company kept moving and changing addresses. I also posted my experience on a website that warned against scams and soon other small business owners came forward with similar complaints about this same company.

I now will not talk to anyone who calls us unsolicited, and that is the advice I would offer to other business owners: Do not do business with someone unless they are recommended by someone you know.


By Andrea Williams, contributing writer @CNNMoney - Last updated November 30 2011: 1:07 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Confessions of a con artist

Diann Cattani's embezzlement of a small business started off as an innocent mistake and then quickly got out of control.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.