An operation marketing prepaid debit cards to consumers with poor credit has agreed to pay more than $2.2 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it “made unauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts and engaged in deceptive marketing practices,” according to an FTC press release.
The FTC named as defendants EdebitPay, LLC, EDP Reporting, LLC, EDP Technologies Corporation, Secure Deposit Card, Inc., Dale Paul Cleveland and William Richard Wilson. Their business used the Internet to market Visa- and MasterCard-branded prepaid debit cards under various names, including Acclaim Visa, Impact Visa, Sterling Visa, Elite Plus MasterCard, Impact MasterCard and Secure Deposit MasterCard. The cards were marketed via pop-up and e-mail advertisements that linked to sites for the specific cards.
Based on an FTC complaint filed in July 2007 “the defendants debited, without authorization, a $159.95 ‘application and processing’ fee from consumers’ bank accounts, including from consumers who did not submit an online application for the prepaid cards or who had applied for an unrelated short-term loan.”
Apparently, the FTC wants more than just EDP’s money — it wants the value of the defendants’ car, too, with the settlement also requiring “the proceeds from the sale of an automobile.” Furthermore, Cleveland owes the tax man an additional $667,288.
The FTC had previously put a temporary block on EDP Technologies Corp. and related companies from making unauthorized debits from consumers’ accounts.
If you’ve had money taken by defendants EdebitPay or EDP, please share your experience in the “comments” section below.