FTC Refunds over 138,000 Victims of “Free” Goods Telemarketing Scam
Sure Touch tricked consumers into paying close to $1 million (770,000 EUR)
Good news for the victims of the Sure Touch telemarketing scheme. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started sending out refund checks to 138,737 individuals who fell for the shady company’s “free” goods and services pitch.Most of us were called up at some point by a telemarketing company and promised all sorts of free services and goods. We all know how frustrating it is to be promised something for free and then actually being forced to pay for it.
While it’s unlikely that such scams will disappear completely anytime soon, at least the FTC is trying to disrupt some of them.
In this case, Sure Touch has tricked consumers into handing over close to $1 million (770,000 EUR) after bombarding them with confusing offers.
Sure Touch telemarketers were telling customers that some services or goods – such as resort vacations, gas cards, and gift cards - were free. While they were very clear about the “free” part, they rushed through the second half of the offer, which mentioned having to pay for additional services or items.
Some of the victims noticed right from the start that something was amiss, but when they confronted the telemarketers they were told that there was no way for the company to bill them because it didn’t possess their billing information.
However, in reality, Sure Touch already had the information and charged their credit cards for the goods and services that were allegedly free.
The victims of this particular scheme will receive checks – valid for a period of 60 days - from Epiq Systems Inc. Consumers must cash the checks within the two-month period.
The FTC advises customers to file complaints against firms that rely on deceptive marketing means to sell their products. Complaints can be filed online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).