Lead Generator Fined $500,000 for Making False Claims in Advertising
Intermundo Media will pay a $500,000 civil penalty to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint that it made false claims in its advertising.
The Colorado-based company deceived customers by falsely claiming that they could refinance their mortgages for free.
According to the FTC complaint, the internet company designed and distributed deceptive refinancing ads as part of its lead generation service. Ads were placed with Google, Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo.. When customers clicked on the ads they were brought to another page where they could enter their contact information. This information was passed on to mortgage refinancing companies.
In the ads, the company overstated how much customers could reduce their payments, how low their annual percentage rate would be and how easy it would be to qualify. Some ads claimed that the mortgage refinance services were free, which was never the case. Others claimed that fixed rates were available when there were none.
Along with the $500,000 fine, the company is prohibited from misrepresenting the misrepresenting the terms and conditions of any financial product or service, and any term or condition of a mortgage credit product, and disclosing, selling, or transferring the consumer data obtained through the Delta Prime Refinance lead generation service.