The FTC works to fulfill its mission in many ways, including bringing cases against companies who are being unfair or deceptive. And it’s happy news when those cases result in refunds. Last year, FTC cases returned $483 million to people who lost money to companies the FTC sued. The FTC’s latest refund announcement involves checks totaling over $11 million going out to more than 11,000 people who paid E.M. Systems & Services, a company that falsely promised consumers with credit card debt that they would reduce their interest rates and save them thousands of dollars. After settling with First Data Merchant Services — the payment processor that made it possible for this company to collect credit card payments — the FTC is sending customers of E.M. Systems & Services 100% of their lost money back.
Earlier this month, the FTC sent over 10,000 checks totaling over $4 million to fully refund people for the amount they paid to Stark Law, a company that the FTC says collected payments for fake debt by threatening to sue or arrest people who didn’t pay. And in the FTC settlement with ABCmouse, over $9.7 million went back to more than 200,000 people, mostly through PayPal. According to the FTC, ABCmouse failed to make it clear to their customers that their memberships would automatically renew and made it difficult to cancel.
To find out which recent FTC cases led to refunds, and who to contact with questions, check out ftc.gov/refunds. And remember that the FTC will never require you to pay fees in advance, or ask for sensitive information, like your bank account number. If someone contacts you claiming that they’re from the FTC and want you to spend money in order to get a refund, it’s a scam. Report that to us at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.