Security & Fraud

FTC Awards $9.7M To Credit Card Billing Scam Victims

Victims of an illegal credit card billing scam have started receiving checks from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC said it has begun mailing checks, amounting to $9.7 million, to the 321,982 consumers that were victims of the scam by J.K. Publications, as well as other defendants. According to the FTC, the operators of the illegal credit card scheme made unauthorized charges on the credit cards and debit cards of victims for internet services they didn’t get.

According to the FTC, the average check will be about $30 and is the result of a lawsuit the FTC filed against the company in 1999. All of the illegal actions date back to 1998, the FTC noted. “Substantial time has passed between the court’s judgment and the issuance of these checks because the defendants moved millions of dollars of their ill-gotten funds offshore, and it took significant time and effort to locate and repatriate the money,” the government agency said in a press release announcing the mailing of the checks.

J.K. Publications and its cohorts charged unwitting victims’ credit and debit cards for internet entertainment services that they didn’t order or didn’t want. The records the government obtained pertaining to the scheme only had credit and debit card numbers, not names. The FTC was provided the names of the victims by the credit reporting agencies who were ordered by a court. The current mailing is the third round by the FTC in connection with the case. The agency mailed out a first round of checks on June 11, 2009, and the second round on April 9, 2010. While the illegal activities happened years ago, credit card fraud is a huge problem around the globe, costing credit card issuers billions of dollars. In 2014, fraud on credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards reached $16.31 billion.

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