The Federal Trade Commission announced they are suing a Phoenix-based telemarketing company that allegedly tricked consumers out of millions of dollars.
According to the FTC, different business names like Federal Government Grant Assistance Center, US Federal Grant Department, Amazon.com Associates Program, and Amazon Affiliate Program were used to trick seniors, veterans, and debt-laden consumers into believing they could gain thousands of dollars by selling them a money-making opportunity supposedly linked to Amazon.com, and luring them with a phony grants program.
In their complaint, the FTC claims the defendants’ telemarketers falsely told people they represent Amazon and offered, for hundreds or thousands of dollars, to create a website for them linked to Amazon.com. They claimed it would earn them thousands of dollars every month in commissions for sales via the website.
They also falsely offered to advertise the consumer’s website and use search engine optimization to drive customers to it.
Additionally, the telemarketers asked for thousands of dollars upfront to people while claiming to represent the government and falsely told them they can get government grants to help pay for home repairs, medical costs, and paying down debt.
For those people who did pay the, the FTC says they never received any grants or commissions and the defendants ignored their requests for refunds.
A federal court has temporarily halted the operation. The federal agency is looking to end the alleged illegal practices and obtain money back to the consumers.