In 2008 the FTC went after EDebitPay, Dale Cleveland and William Wilson charging that they made unauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts and deceptively marketed prepaid debit cards and short-term loans. The settlement order permanently barred them from making future misrepresentations or unauthorized debits.
But flash forward to more recent days when the crew was marketing a “$10,000″ credit line” that turned out to be nothing more than the old catalog scam. In that scam people believe they are getting a line of credit for use in the real world but in fact it can only be used for good in a catalog the marketers are involved with.
The FTC also charged the defendants with marketing a “no cost” prepaid debt card that carried a variety of fees they failed to disclose.
The players, EDebitPay, Dale Cleveland and William Wilson, were held in contempt of their 2008 order with the FTC.
With respect to the Century Platinum shopping club, the FTC contends that Defendants’ marketing of this product on nine versions of www.startercreditdirect.com (“Starter Credit website” or “Starter Credit marketing”) and eight versions of www.supereliteoffer.com (“Super Elite Offer website”), violates the Final Order. Specifically, the FTC claims that Defendants violate the Final Order by: (1) misrepresenting that they were offering a general line of credit in violation of subsection I.B; (2) failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose that they were actually offering a shopping club membership and that the line of credit could be used only to purchase items from the shopping club in violation of subsection I.E.5; and (3) failing to obtain consumers’ express informed consent to be charged for the shopping club membership in violation of subsections I.A. and I.F. (Pl.’s Trial Brief, Dkt. # 90 at 3.) The FTC also asserts that even the inadequately disclosed offer of a credit line for the shopping club violates subsection I.B of the Final Order because the shopping club’s high down payment obligations rendered the “credit line” illusory. – Source
The funny thing about this catalog scam is I was just having lunch yesterday with some AG friends and we were laughing about the old days when people would try to play this catalog game. I guess what is old is new again.