Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission, through its claims administrator, has begun be mailing more than 321,982 checks totaling nearly $9.7 million to consumers identified as victims of an illegal credit card billing scam operated by J.K. Publications and other defendants. The operators of this scam made unauthorized charges on consumers’ credit and debit cards for purported Internet services.
The average amount of each check is $30. They are the result of a lawsuit the FTC filed in 1999, and most of the illegal billing dates back to 1998. 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.
J.K. Publications and the other defendants placed charges on consumers’ credit and debit cards for Internet entertainment services they had not ordered and did not want. The records obtained during litigation contained only credit and debit card numbers. Under instructions from the court, credit reporting agencies and banks provided the FTC with the names and addresses associated with the card numbers as of the date of the charges.
These mailings will be the third round of redress checks issued 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. Consumers who receive checks in this mailing can call 1-844-225-4524 for more information.
These consumer redress checks can be cashed directly by the recipients of the checks. The FTC never requires the payment of money up-front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash redress checks issued to them.