Announced in June 2019 as part of a crackdown on illegal robocalls against operations around the country responsible for more than one billion calls, the FTC’s complaint against six corporate and three individual defendants jointly doing business as Second Choice Horizon and CSG Solutions, alleges Raymond Gonzalez, Carlos S. Guerrero, and Joshua Hernandez ran a maze of interrelated operations that used illegal robocalls to contact financially distressed consumers with offers of bogus credit card interest rate reduction services. The FTC contends many of the consumers targeted were seniors. In July 2020, the FTC announced the defendants had settled the Commission’s complaint, and are banned from telemarketing and selling debt relief services.
Every year the FTC brings hundreds of cases against individuals and companies for violating consumer protection and competition laws that the agency enforces. These cases can involve fraud, scams, identity theft, false advertising, privacy violations, anti-competitive behavior and more. The Legal Library has detailed information about cases we have brought in federal court or through our internal administrative process, called an adjudicative proceeding.
In June 2018, the operators of a Los Angeles-based student loan debt relief scam agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Department of Education, charged consumers illegal upfront fees, and collected monthly fees they claimed would be credited toward consumers’ student loans. In February 2021, the FTC sent refunds totaling to people who lost money as a result of the scam.
The Federal Trade Commission took action against payment processing company First American Payment Systems and two of its sales affiliates for targeting small- and medium-sized businesses. The FTC alleges that the defendants made false claims about fees and cost savings to lure merchants, many of whom had limited English proficiency. Once merchants were enrolled, the defendants withdrew funds from their accounts without their consent, and made it difficult and expensive for them to cancel the service. Under a proposed federal court order, the defendants will be required to return $4.9 million to harmed businesses, stop their deception, and make it easier for merchants to cancel their services.