Over $1.8 Million in Refunds Mailed to Victims of Bogus Skin Care Product Risk-Free Trial
victims of this scheme were promised risk-free trials for skin care products but were assessed unauthorized monthly charges
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing over $1.8 million in refunds to victims of a deceptive 'risk-free' trial skin care product scheme who were instead sent and billed for products they didn't order. According to the FTC, the defendants sold products through deceptive trials and collected credit card information for a shipping charge that was instead used for unauthorized monthly charges.
The agency's complaint, filed in June 2015, charged seven individuals and 15 companies with selling Auravie, Dellure, LéOR Skincare, and Miracle Face Kit branded skincare products through deceptive "risk-free trials." According to the FTC, the defendants convinced consumers to provide their credit card information, purportedly to pay nominal shipping fees, but instead used it to impose unauthorized monthly charges for unordered products. The agency also charged defendants with misrepresenting themselves as accredited by the Better Business Bureau, in violation of the FTC Act.
FTC Settlement orders
The FTC approved separate settlement orders with two sets of related defendants. First, in October 2016, 10 individual and corporate defendants settled the FTC's charges. These orders barred the defendants from the conduct alleged in the complaint and required them to pay money to provide refunds to affected consumers. The second settlement, approved in June 2018, resolved the FTC's charges against the remaining defendants. In addition, the court entered default judgments against 19 other corporate defendants and one individual defendant.
Rust Consulting, Inc., the refund administrator for this matter, has begun mailing refund checks to victims of this scheme. The average check amount is $22.95. Refund checks must be cashed within 60 days, which is indicated on the check.
The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks. If you have questions about the mailing or if you believe you lost money to this scheme but have not received a check, contact the refund administrator at call 866-801-0473.
REPORT ALL SUSPECTED SCAMS
If you are or suspect that you are the victim of a scam or some other illegal practice, you should file a complaint. Doing so can help protect your rights and protect others from becoming victims. If you suspect you are dealing with a scamming, you should first stop all contact to minimize that chances of further losses. Don't respond to scammers via phone, text message, email or postal mail.
In North Carolina, you can report scams and other illegal practices to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. If you live outside North Carolina, report it to your state Attorney General. You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).