FTC Action contributes to $4.8 Million Judgment Against Deceptive advertiser; Company Tricked Payday Loan Applicants into Buying Prepa

FTC Action contributes to $4.8 Million Judgment Against Deceptive advertiser; Company Tricked Payday Loan Applicants into Buying Prepa

A federal court has ordered Swish Marketing, Inc. to pay more than $4.8 million for tricking hundreds of thousands of payday loan applicants into paying for an unrelated debit card at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is closely monitoring payday financing and other economic solutions to safeguard financially distressed customers.

Based on the FTC’s grievance, Swish Marketing, Matthew Patterson, Mark Benning, and Jason Strober operated web sites marketing short-term, or “payday,” loan matching services that purportedly matched loan applicants with loan providers.

Those sites included an on-line application for the loan kind that tricked online loan candidates into unwittingly purchasing a debit card.

Each with tiny “Yes” and “No” buttons on many sites, clicking the button for submitting loan applications led to four product offers unrelated to the loan. “No” ended up being pre-clicked for three of those; “Yes” ended up being pre-clicked for a debit card, with fine-print disclosures asserting customers’ consent to own their banking account debited. Customers whom clicked a prominent “Finish matching me with an online payday loan provider!” key were charged for the debit card. Other internet sites touted the card being a “bonus” and disclosed the charge just in small print below the submit key. As outcome, customers had been improperly charged as much as $54.95 each.

The seller of the debit card, and their principals with deceptive business practices in August 2009, the FTC charged Swish Marketing and VirtualWorks LLC. Continue reading “FTC Action contributes to $4.8 Million Judgment Against Deceptive advertiser; Company Tricked Payday Loan Applicants into Buying Prepa”