The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced yesterday that it had sent out checks totaling $557,000 to consumers. They had paid money to GDP Network, LLC (YF Solution), a Florida-based telemarketing company.
The company promised credit card interest rate reductions and regularly failed to deliver. The FTC and the State of Florida sued GDP Network and its owners, alleging that they charged consumers as much as $3,995 for their debt relief services.
YF Solutions claimed that they were affiliated with major credit card companies and could save consumers thousands of dollars by securing reduced interest rates.
But in the end, consumers rarely, if ever, saw any benefit from the company’s supposed services and were ultimately left with more debt.
The FTC says the Orlando-based company targeted financially distressed consumers and older Americans. The defendants—Gino de Paz, Grace de Paz, and Shabana Khublal—allegedly engaged in deceptive and abusive practices violating the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. They falsely promised to permanently reduce their credit card interest rates.
They lured these consumers into signing up for their debt-relief scheme. Instead of receiving the promised relief, victims racked up more debt while the defendants made millions.
The scam operators agreed to settlements that the court entered in November 2021 that permanently banned them from the debt relief industry and required them to surrender assets.
The FTC is sending checks to 611 consumers. It did not say what the dollar amount was paid to each of the consumers, as it may vary in each case. If you think you should be included, the FTC recommends you call the refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 844-633-0708, or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process.
The FTC maintains interactive dashboards for refund data.
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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at Kipling