The Federal Trade Commission, through its refund administrator, is mailing 187,664 checks totaling more than $3.2 million to consumers who lost money to an illegal credit card billing scam operated by J.K. Publications and other defendants. The FTC first mailed checks in this matter in June 2009, and this is the fourth distribution of refunds to consumers. In total, the FTC has distributed more than $21 million.
Consumers who previously cashed checks from the FTC will receive a new check for $17.17. The refunds are the result of a lawsuit the FTC filed in 1999, and most of the illegal billing dates back to 1998. The availability of these funds today is made possible by the repatriation of funds from offshore accounts that the defendants created.
J.K. Publications and the other defendants placed charges on consumers’ credit and debit cards for online entertainment services they had not ordered and did not want. The records obtained during litigation contained only credit and debit card numbers. Under instructions from the court, credit reporting agencies and banks provided the FTC with the names and addresses associated with the card numbers as of the date of the charges.
Consumers who receive checks should cash them within 90 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. Consumers who have questions can call the redress administrator, Epiq, Inc., at 877-670-0862.
The FTC’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of FTC refunds. In 2020, FTC actions led $483 million in refunds to consumers across the country.
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