FTC Sending Refund Checks to Consumers Who Were Charged for 'Free Trials' of Health Products
The defendants tricked people into disclosing credit and debit card information, then enrolled them in a costly membership program
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing 227,000 refund checks totaling more than $9.8 million to people who bought "fat burning" and "weight loss" products and other dietary supplements, DVDs, or skin creams, including Pure Green Coffee Bean Plus and RKG Extreme, from Health Formulas LLC and related companies. The average refund amount is $43.
According to the FTC's October 2014 complaint, Health Formulas LLC, its owners, and its related companies, including Simple Pure Nutrition, advertised their products using fake "free trials," tricked people into disclosing credit and debit card information, and then enrolled them without their permission in a costly negative-option membership program that charged them monthly for new shipments.
The defendants also allegedly made misleading claims about their weight loss products.
The July 2016 court order settling the FTC's charges permanently banned Health Formulas, its owners Jason and Danelle Miller, and the other 41 corporations they controlled from advertising or selling weight-loss supplements and negative option sales plans, and prohibited them from making unsupported health claims for other products, debiting people's bank accounts without their consent, and calling consumers who asked not to be called again. It also required them to turn over approximately $10 million in assets.
In 2015, two other individual defendants and a corporation they controlled agreed to an order settling the charges against them. The order, entered in February 2016, required them to turn over more than $664,000 in assets.
Epiq Systems, Inc., the FTC's refund administrator for this matter, has already begun mailing the refund checks. The checks must be cashed within 60 days or they will become void.
Beware of Scams
The FTC reminds individuals receiving checks that it NEVER requires consumers to pay money or provide sensitive personal information to cash refund checks. If anyone says otherwise or requests such information, it is more than likely a scam and should be reported to the FTC immediately.
If you have questions or believe you are entitled to a refund check but did not receive one, call (800) 690-2366.