FTC mailing refunds to people charged for "Free Trial" offers

FTC Court Exhibit

Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission started mailing refund checks to people across the country who lost money to free trail offers for weight loss supplements, facial creams and other products.

Investigators say the offers were fake and that the people who responded were tricked.

Court documents highlight what investigators alleged were misleading advertisements that convinced people to try youth enhancing skin creams, fat-burning pills and extracts, and extreme weight loss supplements.

They were promoted with enticing special offers and a chance to try the products for free.

Multiple court filings show the say the free trial promoters used dozens of business names and settled the charges last year.

Among the violations investigators say they found- failing to fully and clearly disclose terms of the offers, debiting customer accounts without concent, unclear cancellation policies, confusing return procedures and a deceptively short return period that started the moment orders were placed.

As part of its court action, the FTC seized the assets of the owners of Health Formulas LLC, along with assets of the 41 other corporations conotrolled by the defendants - including Simple Pure Nutrition.

A company called Epiq Systems, Inc has been appointed as the refund administrator and started mailing refund checks to 227,000 consumers across the country Tuesday.

The FTC says the average refund is $43 and the checks must be cashed within 60 days or they'll be voided.

Because scammers attempt to capitalize on news events like this, the FTC warns it never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refunds checks.

If you have questions about the refunds you can call 1-800-690-2366.

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