FTC Returns Full Refunds to Consumers Who Paid to Lower Their Credit Card Interest Rates

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 1,244 checks to consumers who bought deceptively marketed credit card interest rate reduction services after being contacted via illegal robocalls. Affected consumers will receive full refunds, with most receiving $1,100 or more, within the next week.

In May 2015, a Florida district court ordered several defendants in the FTC’s case against the Treasure Your Success (TYS) robocall scheme to pay more than $1.7 million to the Commission. The court orders concluded the FTC’s district court action against a web of defendants that operated the TYS scheme, including many defendants who had previously agreed to final orders settling the agency’s charges against them.

Using illegal robocalls to bait consumers, the defendants promised to lower people’s credit card interest rates and to save them thousands of dollars, in exchange for an upfront fee. After collecting the fee, they failed to provide the promised interest rate reductions or the savings. They also unlawfully called numbers listed on the national Do Not Call Registry and failed to identify who was responsible for placing the calls.

The court found the payment processor, Universal Processing Services of Wisconsin, LLC (UPS), liable for assisting and facilitating violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by providing the merchant accounts used to process consumers’credit card payments, while it knew (or avoided knowing) about the underlying TSR violations of the other defendants.

The court also found UPS jointly and severally liable for the entire harm caused by the scheme, and it ordered UPS to pay for the entire consumer loss in the case. UPS appealed the order to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where the FTC prevailed. The United States Supreme Court denied UPS’s final request for review in June 2018.

Refund checks will be mailed to consumers starting today. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

Consumers with questions about these refunds should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., at 877-389-4476. More information about the FTC’s refund program is available at ftc.gov/refunds.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.