The Federal Trade Commission, through an administrator, is mailing 449,044 claim forms to consumers who may have lost money after buying LeanSpa, a supplement whose marketers allegedly made deceptive weight loss claims. The claim forms are intended to help determine which consumers are eligible for refunds.
The FTC and the state of Connecticut sued the marketers of LeanSpa in December 2011, charging that they used fake websites to promote acai berry and “colon cleanse” weight-loss products, and that they falsely told consumers that they could receive free trials by paying a nominal cost for shipping and handling. In reality, consumers ended up paying $79.95 for the trial, and for recurring monthly shipments of the product that were hard to cancel. The defendants settled the complaint in January 2014, agreeing to stop making the claims and surrender assets valued at approximately $5.7 to $7 million for consumer refunds.
The claim forms will be mailed to consumers by Rust Consulting, Inc., an administrator working for the FTC. Consumers receiving forms will have 60 days to submit their claims online or by mail, following the instructions on the form. Consumers who lost money after buying LeanSpa, but do not receive a claim form, can still submit a complaint with the FTC using the FTC’s Complaint Assistant or toll-free number below.
Consumers with additional questions about the LeanSpa case or the claim form process can call the administrator toll-free number at 1-866-621-4156 or visit the FTC’s LeanSpa case web page. Using this information, the FTC will determine which consumers are eligible for refunds and how much they should receive. No refund checks are being mailed at this time.
The FTC urges consumers to carefully evaluate advertising claims for weight-loss products. For more information on how to avoid weight-loss scams, see the agency’s guidance for consumers of products and services advertised for Weight Loss & Fitness. The FTC also has guidance for media outlets on spotting false weight-loss claims in advertising.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Press Release Reference
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs