FTC Settlement Bars Medicare Scammers from Healthcare Business
About 10 months after filing a complaint in federal court, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached an agreement with a group of Medicare scammers that will keep them from selling healthcare-related products and services in the future.
The FTC charged that Benjamin Todd Workman and Glenn Erikson, and their associated companies falsely promised consumers new Medicare cards in order to obtain their bank account numbers to withdraw money from their accounts.
Telemarketers working from Workman and Erikson told consumers they needed their bank account numbers in order to verify their identities before sending a new Medicare card. Telemarketers also promised to provide identity theft protection services. The scammers then took several hundred dollars from each consumer's account and provided nothing in return.
Under the settlement orders, the defendants also are banned from selling identity theft protection-related products and creating or depositing remotely created checks or remotely created payment orders, which are used to make bank account debits. They also are prohibited from billing or charging consumers without their consent, misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and selling or otherwise benefitting from customers' personal information.
The orders impose a judgment of more than $1.4 million, which will be suspended upon payment of $35,000 by Workman and the surrender of certain bank accounts. In each case, the full judgment will become due immediately if either defendant is found to have misrepresented his financial condition.