FTC to Mail Refund Checks to Victims of Company Using Deceptive Advertising & Billing Practices
The FTC will be mailing Refund checks averaging $26.57 and totaling more than $6 million to victims soon
Keep an eye on your mailbox! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing 227,995 checks totaling more than $6 million to those who purchased health products from three individuals and the companies they controlled, collectively known as Tarr, Inc. The defendants used unsupported claims, fake magazine and news sites, bogus celebrity endorsements, and phony consumer testimonials to sell their products.
deceptive marketing practices
According to the FTC’s complaint, filed in November 2017, defendants Richard Fowler, Ryan Fowler, Nathan Martinez and the 19 companies they control (collectively operating as Tarr, Inc.) used fake media websites with domain names that appeared to be legitimate news or magazine sites. These fake sites had mastheads for what appeared to be legitimate news and journal organizations, including Men’s Health, Good Housekeeping, and Everyday with Dr. Oz. The sites featured reporters and celebrities, like Paula Deen, Dr. Oz, Jennifer Aniston, and Jason Statham, who supposedly used the products themselves and experienced dramatic results.
Deceptive Billing Practices
The FTC also alleged that the defendants used deceptive offers of “free” and “risk-free” trials, and automatically enrolled people without their consent in programs that charged them for additional products each month.
about the settlement
The court order settling the FTC’s charges imposes a suspended monetary judgment of $179 million, the amount that the FTC alleges consumers nationwide paid the defendants over a period of more than five years. This amount will be suspended after the defendants pay approximately $6.4 million to the FTC. It also prohibits the defendants from using the deceptive marketing tactics that they had allegedly used to promote their products and bans them in part from future negative option sales.
Getting a refund Check
The FTC will be mailing refunds checks, averaging $26.57, to affected consumers soon. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days as indicated on the check.
Remember that scammers are always looking for a quick payday. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.
Consumers with questions about these refunds should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Epiq, at (877) 861-1501.