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As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of an alleged credit card debt relief scheme based in Tennessee have agreed to court orders that would permanently ban them from telemarketing and selling debt relief products or services.
Sean Austin, John Steven Huffman, John Preston Thompson, and their affiliated companies were charged by the FTC in November 2022 with taking tens of millions of dollars from people by falsely promising to eliminate or substantially reduce their credit card debt. At the time, a federal court agreed to the FTC’s request to temporarily freeze the defendants’ assets and appoint a receiver over the businesses while the case took place.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, entered the final orders on April 28, 2023.
FTC, Law Enforcers Nationwide Announce Enforcement Sweep to Stem the Tide of Illegal Telemarketing Calls to U.S. Consumers
In November 2022, the FTC announced it stopped internet phone service provider Vonage from taking consumers’ money without their consent and creating obstacles to those who try to cancel their service. Under a proposed court order agreed to by Vonage, the company will be required to pay $100 million to refund consumers harmed by its actions, make its cancellation process simple and transparent, and stop charging consumers without their consent.
FTC Action Against Vonage Results in $100 Million to Customers Trapped by Illegal Dark Patterns and Junk Fees When Trying to Cancel Service
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (Telemarketing Sales Rule)
FTC Takes Action Against Frontier for Lying about Internet Speeds and Ripping Off Customers Who Paid High-Speed Prices for Slow Service
The FTC along with law enforcement agencies from six states, sued Frontier Communications alleging that the company did not provide many consumers with Internet service at the speeds it promised them, and charged many of them for more expensive and higher-speed service than Frontier actually provided.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (Pay-Per-Call Rule)
Remarks of Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Regarding the FTC Staff Report - A Look at What ISPs Know About You: Examining the Privacy Practices of Six Major Internet Service Providers
FTC Staff Report Finds Many Internet Service Providers Collect Troves of Personal Data, Users Have Few Options to Restrict Use
FTC Stops Deceptive Prison Calling Scheme, Requires Operator to Notify Consumers About Unlawful Conduct as Part of Settlement
A federal court issued a temporary restraining order against Marc and Courtney Grisham and two companies they operate, Disruption Theory LLC and Emergent Technologies LLC, which do business as inmatecall.com and inmatecallsolutions.com, related to FTC allegations they offered fake calling plans for unlimited minutes and falsely claiming to be affiliated with companies authorized to provide calling services to people who are incarcerated.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension (Pay-Per-Call Rule)
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