On July 29, 2021, the FTC announced it would be sending approximately $2.3 in refund checks to consumers who lost money in credit card relief schemes. The 7,786 refund checks average $293 each. The relief is part of a settlement the FTC reached with multiple defendants in two actions filed jointly with the state of Ohio in 2019.
In one action, the FTC alleged two defendant companies, enabled by a service provider defendant, “made false and unfounded promises that they would significantly reduce the interest rates on consumers’ credit cards,” with “a 100 percent money-back guarantee.” Such actions were alleged to be in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”), 16 C.F.R. Part 310. The state of Ohio also alleged violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (“CSPA”), O.R.C. 1345.07, and the Ohio Telephone Solicitation Sales Act (“TSSA”), O.R.C. 4719.01 et seq.
In the other, the FTC alleged that defendants “generated and processed remotely created payment orders or checks that allowed dishonest merchants to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts” in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, the FTC’s TSR. The state of Ohio also alleged violations of the CSPA.