Defendants Used Robocalls to Fraudulently Pitch Help in Collecting FTC Refunds
A federal district court in New York has barred the operators of an illegal robocall scheme from falsely telling consumers they could obtain refunds from the Federal Trade Commission on their behalf.
In its original complaint, the FTC charged that the operators of The Cuban Exchange, Inc., “spoofed” the FTC’s own toll-free number on consumers’ caller ID and misled more than 13,000 people into believing the operation had a connection with the FTC and could help get refunds from the Commission.
According to the FTC, the claims were a ruse, known as “imposter fraud,” that was designed to trick consumers into providing their personal information and bank account numbers. The operation also did business as CrediSure America and MyiPad.us.
The default order and final judgment entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York permanently bars The Cuban Exchange and its principal, Suhaylee Riviera, from making misrepresentations in connection with the marketing or sale of any goods or services. Among other things, the order prohibits defendants from claiming an affiliation with, or endorsement by, the FTC, or claiming that they can obtain refunds from the Commission on behalf of consumers.
The judgment also bars the defendants from making illegal robocalls and calling consumers whose phone numbers are on the Do Not Call Registry. Finally, the judgment permanently shuts down the websites that were used in the scheme – including ftcrefund.com – and prohibits defendants from starting any new website that advertises an ability to provide government refund services.
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.
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection