Just this morning USOBA sent out a press release proclaiming how the two debt settlement trade associations “recently partnered to permanently shut down an unethical and misleading website advertising debt settlement services.”
The now-defunct website, www.federalreliefprogram.com, had several deceptive claims alluding to a government-backed debt settlement program, in addition to its URL. Representatives from both USOBA and TASC worked diligently to uncover the website source and to ensure it was removed quickly, in order to protect consumers from potentially unethical practices. – Source
I did some checking on this site when i learned about it and what I learned surprised me.
The site, FederalReliefProgram.com, has no web history or cache in Google.
Historical domain registry information shows the domain has never been registered.
And as of the time I was writing this article this morning the domain was still available for sale.
Now it just does not add up. The facts all point to the logical conclusion that the web site never existed at all. If it had been active on the web the domain would have been registered, which there is no history of. If it had been registered but shut down the domain would still be owned most likely by the last registrant, it’s not owned by anybody. And there is no record the web site ever existed in available web caches.
“USOBA and TASC are dedicated to consumer protection, and this is exactly the type of unethical activity we work so hard to combat, “said Jenna Keehnen, executive director, USOBA. “The USOBA Zero Tolerance Policy spells out guidelines for unethical marketing like what was demonstrated on federalreliefprogram.com and strictly prohibits its use by USOBA member companies. Without the self-policing and regulation instituted by USOBA, this website could have done a great deal of harm to consumers and to the debt settlement industry. I am glad USOBA and TASC could work together to shut the site down before consumers were harmed.” – Source
It appears that TASC and USOBA worked amazingly fast to claim success for shutting down a site that never existed as FederalReliefProgram.com. Now how is that for proactive policing.
Next time they either need to check their press releases better before sending them out or shut down a real site.
And is it just me or does the quote above from USOBA seem to say that the alleged, fictional site, was run by a USOBA member since they were self-policing?
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