The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 1,177 checks totaling more than $380,000 to people who paid for purported business coaching services that were marketed as a way to help them earn thousands of dollars a month.
The refunds stem from an FTC settlement in which the Commission alleged that the defendants bought contact information for people who were interested in starting an online business and marketed aggressively to them. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants promised consumers that they could make thousands of dollars a month online if they bought business coaching and related services, which often cost over $10,000. Most people who bought the defendants’ services did not develop a functioning business, earned little or no money, and often ended up in debt, according to the complaint.
According to the FTC, the defendants also falsely claimed they had special access to lenders who could provide corporate credit for which the consumers would not be personally liable. Instead, the FTC’s complaint alleges consumers who bought these programs were targeted with more sales calls encouraging them to pay for assistance in applying for numerous personal credit cards.
Consumers who have questions about the refunds should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., at 1-877-456-1189. 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 who did not receive a check and think they should have been included in the distribution can call the refund administrator.
The FTC’s complaint in FTC v. Vision Solution Marketing LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-356-TC (D. Utah) was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Utah in May 2018. The FTC acknowledges the significant assistance provided by the Utah Department of Commerce’s Division of Consumer Protection in connection with this case.
FTC law enforcement actions led to more than $2.3 billion in refunds for consumers in a one-year period between July 2017 and June 2018. To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.