FTC Sends More Than $16 Million in Refunds to Victims of Bogus Debt Relief Operation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission is sending more than $16 million to individuals who lost money to a debt relief scam that targeted tens of thousands of consumers facing financial difficulty.

The FTC and the Florida Office of the Attorney General alleged that a group of defendants known as Helping America Group got people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to pay, settle, or obtain dismissal of their debts and improve their credit scores.

Over time, victims found their debts unpaid, their accounts in default, and their credit scores severely damaged—some were sued by their creditors, and some were forced into bankruptcy.

The FTC is providing 27,083 refund checks to victims of the scam. The FTC expects to collect additional money in this case, and plans to send a second round of checks at that time.

READ:  FTC Sues California Marketer of $23,000 COVID-19 “Treatment” Plan

Recipients should deposit or cash their checks within 90 days. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. If recipients have questions about the refunds, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 833-928-2567.

The FTC’s new interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of FTC refunds. In 2019, FTC actions led to more than $232 million in refunds to consumers across the country.

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