The Federal Trade Commission announced this week that thousands of consumers will get some of their money back after being scammed by Plano, Texas-based Landmark Clearing Inc. The announcement follows a lawsuit and settlement secured by the FTC. The agency reported that 9,566 refund checks have been mailed to consumers whose accounts were allegedly debited without their consent.
Landmark Clearing Inc. allegedly used a payment method called “remotely created payment orders” (RCPOs) to give merchants access to consumer bank accounts. According to a December 2011 FTC complaint, many consumers were debited who had never heard of Landmark or its client merchants, which included online discount shopping clubs and payday loan sites.
The settlement banned Landmark from offering RCPOs and required the company to pay a monetary judgment.
More than $577,000 is being returned, with an average amount of $60 being sent per customer. The amount will be based on how much each person lost. Scam victims who receive checks from the FTC should cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires an up front payment or additional information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, Epiq Systems Inc., at 1-866-486-1727, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for more general information.
The FTC’s case is part of efforts by the Consumer Protection Working Group of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.