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For consumers who took out loans with online payday lender AMG, the company’s illegal tactics left many of them saying OMG. But finally there’s good news for AMG customers arriving in the form of $505 million in refund checks just mailed to people who borrowed money between January 2008 through January 2013. That’s the largest amount ever sent in a refund program run by the FTC. At the same time, we have two messages for companies: a law enforcement warning to those who engage in similar shady tactics and a favor to ask of reputable members of the business community.

When consumers turned to AMG for online payday loans, they agreed to pay the company a one-time finance fee, but an emboldened AMG helped themselves to more – and more and more. Add up AMG’s hidden fees and unauthorized withdrawals and people ended up paying far more for the loans that the agreed-upon amount. For example, a consumer who took out a $300 loan agreed to pay back $390. But by the time AMG finished fleecing the account, the consumer actually had to pay $975. And remember: These were folks already struggling to make ends meet.

The FTC sued AMG and Scott A. Tucker for a long list of law violations. In 2016 a United States District Judge ruled that the defendants had engaged in a host of illegal practices. Then in 2017, a federal jury in New York convicted Tucker and his attorney Timothy Muir for crimes related to the lending scheme. Tucker was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison.

Although portions of the cases remain on appeal, the FTC and the Department of Justice have already obtained $505 million in settlements as a result of those law enforcement actions and related ones. And the FTC is sending that money right back where it belongs: to the more than one million consumers who were injured by AMG’s illegal actions.

Checks will be sent to consumers who took out loans between January 2008 and January 2013 from these AMG-related companies: 500FastCash, Advantage Cash Services, Ameriloan, OneClickCash, Star Cash Processing, UnitedCashLoans, and USFastCash. There is no application process and those consumers don’t have to do anything to get money back. The FTC and a refund administrator have used AMG’s business records to identify eligible consumers and calculate their refunds.

Consumers should cash their checks within 60 days. If they have questions – or if they borrowed from those lenders before January 2008 – they can call 1-866-730-8147. The FTC’s AMG refund page has more information.

In addition, the FTC has a law enforcement warning for companies contemplating similar tactics. It’s always bad business to engage in deceptive and unfair practices. But law enforcement agencies are particularly troubled when companies kick cash-strapped consumers when they’re down. And depending on the facts, questionable business practices can subject companies, individual corporate officers, and their attorneys to criminal prosecution.

Now for that favor we’re asking of business executives. HR professionals report that employees’ financial worries can affect their job performance. With more than a million checks going out to people who got payday loans from AMG, chances are you have an employee or two struggling to make ends meet. The FTC has free resources for consumers trying to get out of debt. An article on the break room bulletin board or information available through your HR team may be the first step toward helping them get their financial houses back in order.
 

360 Comments

Klondike
September 28, 2018
Excellent work!
Grateful
October 21, 2018

In reply to by Klondike

Thank you
Stuart Lloyd
September 29, 2018
Thank you soooooo very much! I appreciate your hard work for all the millions that were taken advantage of. Thank you FTC!!!!!
Debbie
October 01, 2018

In reply to by Stuart Lloyd

Yeah they took a lot of extra money for me I just didn't have it in me to fight I'm so glad somebody did finally but I did lose my bank account because of it I was overdrafted and was not able to pay the payments on the overdraft fees or anything
LINDA FARMER
October 02, 2018

In reply to by Stuart Lloyd

i recieved two checks can i cash the checks or is this a scam..
FTC Staff
October 05, 2018

In reply to by LINDA FARMER

Did you get two checks and letters from the FTC and its refund administrator? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Lisa
November 02, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I got one check will I receive another? I see some people posting they got 2 checks.
FTC Staff
November 05, 2018

In reply to by Lisa

You might get one check or you might get more than one check. The number of checks you get is connected to the name, address and account information the FTC found about you.

The FTC tried to combine information about accounts so it could send one check to each person. But sometimes it wasn't clear whether information was about one person or two people. When information was not clear, we did not combine it. For example, we did not combine accounts that had a maiden name and a married name, or accounts that had one name but two addresses. When we saw that, we sent separate checks.

TVM
October 01, 2018
Are these checks valid or a scam ?
Susan Raspotnik
October 01, 2018
Thank you so very, very much for this check. It means the world to me that someone cares for someone else when they are at their all-time low in their lives. Thanks again!!!!! I took out numerous payday loans, is it possible that I will get another check?
FTC Staff
October 03, 2018

In reply to by Susan Raspotnik

The FTC has sent out all the money that is available.

Leanne Sturdivant
October 10, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I just called and found out that for whatever unfair reason I was not issued a check! I used one of the loan companies listed in this article!
Jim G
October 01, 2018
I opened this letter thinking it was a $10 refund for a Dr. copay. This was so wonderful and unexpected a surprise I had to go online to verify the check was real. Thank you very much, all who made this happen.
Tiffany J
October 04, 2018

In reply to by Jim G

Hi. Is your check from US Bank? I have one and was unsure if it was legitimate.
Tasha
October 08, 2018

In reply to by Tiffany J

Yes it is. We weren't sure if it was legit either but it is! Cash it before November 26th.
Kim White
October 01, 2018
Very good work
Martha Price
October 01, 2018
Thank you so much for stopping this type of crooked practice by these payday lenders. I would never do this again. This check came just in time as I was struggling to get by.
c.f. leach
October 01, 2018
My husband and I both received these refund checks and all the return address says is FTC v. AMG Srvices Refund Administrator - 6180 - PO Box 63, Minneapolis, MN 55440-0063---and the checks are from us bank---with a signature from someone with the first name of Paul---are these checks legitimate?
FTC Staff
October 03, 2018

In reply to by c.f. leach

The checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Anonymous
October 01, 2018
Is this legitimate? I received a check today but I’m afraid to deposit it.
FTC Staff
October 03, 2018

In reply to by Anonymous

Did you get a check from the FTC? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Jennifer
October 01, 2018
Thank you FTC and thank you Lord!
Lc
October 01, 2018
It is about time someone caught up to thesefalse advertising companies
Michigan1001
October 01, 2018
To Whom It May Concern, Thank you, for your help!
Andrea S.
October 01, 2018
Thank you FTC!
marcia chorba
October 01, 2018
This was excellent work, I received my check today, it was a blessing at a time I really needed it!
Bill Hammond
October 01, 2018
I received a check today for 295 and change. Thanks for the hard work FTC!
Melanie
October 01, 2018
How do you know if the checks are real or fraudulent????
FTC Staff
October 05, 2018

In reply to by Melanie

Did you get a letter and check from the FTC and its refund administrator? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Shang
October 01, 2018
Wasn’t sure how legit this was but I appreciate the work and the check!
Angela Henderson
October 01, 2018
Oh my god thank you this feels like an answer to prayer thank you FTC sooo much this means the world to me. It’s amazing to know there really are people watching out for little guy.
Donna
October 01, 2018
I received two checks, 2 different amounts.. is this real or a scam?
FTC Staff
October 05, 2018

In reply to by Donna

Did you get two checks and letters from the FTC and its refund administrator? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

August Williams
October 14, 2018

In reply to by Donna

Maybe went to two Payday Loan places. One check from one and a check from the other
Mr. Artis
October 01, 2018
Omg....! Thank you Lord Jesus first then thank you to the FTC for looking out for hard working American people, may God continue to bless each and everyone of you that had a hand in refunding our monies! And Lord Jesus have Mercy on the ones that did this illegal business for Greed!
S.Gill
October 01, 2018
Thanks . I was not expecting that at all.
michael
October 01, 2018
i received a check how do i know this is legit
FTC Staff
October 05, 2018

In reply to by michael

Did you get a letter and check from the FTC and its refund administrator? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Valerie LaClair
October 01, 2018
I was stunned and so grateful to get this refund in the mail. These rapacious companies almost ruined my life. God bless you.
Valerie LaClair
October 01, 2018
I was stunned and so grateful to get this refund in the mail. These rapacious companies almost ruined my life. God bless you.
Guest
October 01, 2018
Excellent Work!!
Wanda Smith
October 01, 2018
I got a check today but I’m scared to cash it. Is this a scam or is it legitimate ?
FTC Staff
October 05, 2018

In reply to by Wanda Smith

Did you get a letter and check from the FTC and its refund administrator? Checks from the FTC are legitimate. When you get a check from the Federal Trade Commission, it comes with a letter that explains why you got the check and gives details about the case. You and your bank can go to www.FTC.gov/AMG for details about the refund. You can call the company that the FTC hired to manage the refund process at 1-866-730-8147. If you get a check, you should cash or deposit it within 60 days.

Bobby Smith
October 01, 2018
FTC Thank you for recognizing the financial struggle that we go through that presses use to go out and put our self into further debt just to try and get by we all have struggles barely getting by like being a single parent with 3 kids making 35000 a year and being forced to pay medical insurance when you cant hardly feed and cloth you children maintain your vehicle let along afford payments on one and insurance on it plus pay your taxs school suplys then through this struggle to be taken advantage of by people you think are helping you like right now i have a auto loan the price tag on the vehicle was 27,000 at 10 percent interest due to my credit but what no one told me when i made the purchase was that i was getting charged 10 percent every single day for the term of the loan on top of that before i found this out the bank that gave me the loan offered every year in the month of december to allow use to not make a payment for christmas releif but in the end it was just a way to get even more money because each month that i did it just added another month on the term and even more interest its sad that the vehicle that i could buy brand new with cash is 27,000 but by financing at the end of the loan im paying 41,000 it makes me feel like a fool all i wanted was a dependible vehicle to get to work get my kids to the doctor but it feels good knowing there are people out there that cares and looks out for those of us that get up every morning and try to do the right thing without hurting other people THANK YOU FTC!!!!
Eartha K wyatt
October 01, 2018
How would one know if they had to pay back come in from payday loans from a while ago
Cheryl Campbell
October 01, 2018
THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION....THE LORD BLESS YOU AS YOU FIGHT FOR THE CONSUMERS...
Linda
October 01, 2018
I was struggling financially at the time I took the drastic measure of taking out an online payday loan. I had not dealt with an online payday loan company. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the loan paid off, and it kept renewing itself until what started as a $500 loan ended up to around $1500. Once I got their fingers away from my throat, I stayed away. Thank you for going after all of these companies.
Meechie
October 01, 2018
Thank you for a job well done!!!!!! I was struggling at that point of my life and this does my heart well to know the “righteous shall not be forsaken”.
E black
October 01, 2018
Wow...I just came home to a refund check...thank you very much FTC & DOJ.....JUSTICE SERVED!

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