FTC Sends Redress Checks to Victims of Remote Response; Bogus Advance-Fee Credit Card Operation Targeted Hispanic Consumers

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Beginning today, a claims administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission will mail more than 22,000 checks to consumers who were victims of a deceptive telemarketing operation called Remote Response.

The FTC charged that Remote Response ran ads on Telemundo, Telefutura, Galavision, and other Spanish-language television networks deceptively claiming to offer a pre-approved, guaranteed Amerikash Mastercard and a number of incentive items, including free ATM cards, phone cards, and vacation vouchers. The defendants’ telemarketers also offered a free trial membership in the Amerikhealth discount health plan, which consumers had to cancel before the free-trial period expired to avoid monthly charges. The FTC complaint alleged that in numerous instances, consumers never received a MasterCard, received only some or none of the free items defendants offered, and that the items consumers received often did not work. The complaint also alleged that defendants thwarted consumers’ efforts to cancel during the free trial period, and improperly charged consumers without authorization. The company settled the charges.

The settlements banned the defendants from telemarketing and required them to agree to the entry of a financial judgment.

Checks will now be sent to 22,154 consumers who lost money to the scam. The amounts of the checks will vary based on the amount of each consumer’s loss.

These consumer redress checks can be cashed directly by the recipients of the checks. The FTC never requires the payment of money up-front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash redress checks issued to them.

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 1,800 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.

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