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At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has temporarily halted a bogus credit repair scheme known as The Credit Game for promoting a series of lies and deceptions. The FTC alleged the scheme’s operators lied to credit reporting agencies regarding information on consumers’ credit reports and pitched consumers a supposed business opportunity that was essentially starting their own bogus credit repair scheme.
In a complaint filed against The Credit Game and its owners, Michael and Valerie Rando, the FTC alleged that the company has illegally charged consumers hundreds and even thousands of dollars for credit repair services of little to no value and told consumers to “invest” their COVID-19 governmental benefits on their unlawful services. In some cases, the company’s “services” included filing false identity theft reports with the FTC and encouraging consumers to take actions that were unlawful. The FTC asked the court to immediately halt the company’s illegal operations, appoint a receiver, and freeze the defendants’ assets. The court issued a temporary restraining order doing so on May 3, 2022.
As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of “The Credit Game,” a credit repair scheme that cost consumers millions of dollars, face a lifetime ban from the credit repair industry in proposed court orders filed today.
Michael and Valerie Rando and their companies, first sued by the FTC in May 2022, would also be required to turn over a wide array of property that would be liquidated and used to provide refunds to consumers harmed by the scam.
The FTC has temporarily shut down a credit card debt relief scheme operated by Sean Austin, John Steven Huffman, and John Preston Thompson and their affiliated companies that allegedly took millions from people by falsely promising to eliminate or substantially reduce their credit card debt.
Since 2019, Austin, Huffman, and Thompson have operated a network of companies incorporated in Tennessee, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming that have worked together as a common enterprise to support the defendants’ deceptive credit card debt relief scheme, the FTC alleged. Their companies have operated under multiple names such as ACRO Services, American Consumer Rights Organization, Consumer Protection Resources, Reliance Solutions, Thacker & Associates, and Tri Star Consumer Group.
FTC, California Act to Stop Ygrene Energy Fund from Deceiving Consumers About PACE Financing, Placing Liens on Homes Without Consumers’ Consent
FTC, CFPB Submit Amicus Brief Defending Consumers’ Ability to Dispute Inaccurate Items on Credit Reports
FTC Takes Action to Stop Credit Karma From Tricking Consumers With Allegedly False “Pre-Approved” Credit Offers
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $9.7 Million To Consumers Harmed by LendingClub’s Deceptive Hidden Fees
FTC and 18 States Sue to Stop Harris Jewelry from Cheating Military Families with Illegal Financing and Sales Tactics
The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 18 states sued national jewelry retailer Harris Jewelry to stop the company from cheating military families with illegal financing and sales practices. According to the complaint, the jewelry company deceptively claimed that financing jewelry purchases through Harris would raise servicemembers’ credit scores, misrepresented that its protection plans were not optional or were required, and added the plans to purchases without consumers’ consent. The complaint also includes a charge that the jewelry company violated the Military Lending Act, the FTC’s first action under this Act.
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $9.7 Million To Small Businesses Harmed by Yellowstone Capital’s Merchant Cash Advance Operation
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $970,000 To Consumers Harmed by Deceptive Payday Lending Operation
FTC Action Results in Ban for Richmond Capital and Owner From Merchant Cash Advance and Debt Collection Industries and Return of More Than $2.7M to Consumers
FTC Shuts Down Credit Repair Pyramid Scheme Financial Education Services, Which Bilked More Than $213 Million from Consumers
Federal Trade Commission Sends out Second Round of Redress Checks in Payday Lending Scheme Operated by AMG Services
FTC Acts to Shut Down ‘The Credit Game’ for Running a Bogus Credit Repair Scheme that Fleeced Consumers
Federal Trade Commission Finalizes Order Against Dun & Bradstreet for Deceiving Businesses and Failing to Update Errors on Business Credit Reports
Payment Processor that Helped Bogus Discount Clubs Bilk Consumers Will Pay $2.3 Million as a Result of FTC Case
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General's Office, a federal court temporarily halted an alleged sham credit card interest rate reduction operation that often targeted financially distressed consumers and older adults in July 2020. In February 2022, the FTC announced that the operators are permanently banned from the debt relief industry as part of court orders resolving charges by the FTC and Florida AG’s Office.
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