The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 188 refund checks to small businesses and non-profits that were defrauded by two telemarketing operations that allegedly tricked them into paying for business directory listings they did not order. The FTC alleged that Stephane LaChapelle and Integration Media Inc., doing business as GoAm Media; and Karl Garon, Claude Berthiaume, and 6253547 Canada Inc., doing business as The Official Yellow Pages and other entities, violated the FTC Act. According to the complaints in the two cases, the defendants led the businesses and non-profits to believe they had a pre-existing relationship with the defendants, and falsely claimed that the organizations had agreed to buy, and owed money for, directory listing services.
Nearly $19,000 is being returned to small businesses and non-profits; the amount of payment will vary from $1.55 to $154.99, depending upon how much was paid. Those who receive the checks from the FTC's redress administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the redress administrator, Analytics Inc., 1-877-318-7591, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds.
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 and follow us on Twitter.