This week, an administrator working on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission mailed checks to 19,324 consumers nationwide who were defrauded by marketers accused of running a bogus online pharmacy that sold sham “membership packages” to elderly consumers. Consumers who were victims of this scam will receive a total of $159,000 in redress. These are legitimate checks, and the FTC urges consumers to cash them.
The reimbursement stems from the August 2009 settlement of a case brought as part of “Operation Tele-PHONEY,” an FTC-led law enforcement sweep that included more than 180 actions against fraudulent telemarketers, including 13 brought by the FTC. In this case, known as Med Provisions, the FTC alleged that scammers based in Montreal, Canada, called consumers and told them their online pharmacy could save them 30 to 50 percent on their prescription drug costs. Consumers who paid the up-front fee were misled to believe the program came with a 30-day money-back guarantee if they were not satisfied. According to the FTC, consumers who ordered the “discount package” either received nothing or got a prescription card that turned out to be worthless.
The redress checks must be cashed by July 21, 2010. Consumers should call 1-877-789-9497 with any questions. The FTC never requires the payment of money up front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash redress checks issued to them.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
(Civ. No. 1:06CV2385)