Last week, the FTC filed a complaint against an Internet-based enterprise that allegedly caused hundreds of thousands of consumers to pay millions of dollars in unauthorized credit card charges. According to the complaint, the defendants’ websites advertise the availability of government grants to pay personal expenses and offer “free” information at no risk. The websites ask consumers to provide credit or debit card numbers to pay a small shipping and handling fee, but consumers are charged large one-time fees of up to $129.95 and monthly recurring fees of up to $59.95 for the grant services.
The FTC also has accused the defendants of posting deceptive positive reviews and testimonials. The FTC has asked for the court to order refunds for affected consumers and for disgorgement of all ill-gotten payments, among other relief.