Home > 2011 > Identity Theft > Debit Card Scammers To Pay Big Fine

Debit Card Scammers To Pay Big Fine

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

MoneyBag_Pete_Jelliffe_CCFlickrTwo men who tricked hundreds of people into signing up for debit cards that the consumers didn’t want will pay more than $800,000 in fines, according to a settlement announced Thursday by the Federal Trade Commission.

The scam targeted people who filled out online applications for payday loans. Buried low on the application page were four tiny buttons. Three of them were marked “No.” But one button, automatically marked “yes,” signed customers up for a debit card linked directly to their savings accounts.

Each card charged its own application fee of up to $54.95 each. The scammers seemed to flaunt the underhandedness of their racket, naming their products the “Secret Cash Card” and the “EverPrivate Card,” according to the FTC complaint.

The scammers also sold customers’ names and bank account numbers to a company, VirtualWorks LLC, without customers’ consent.

The two men involved in the scheme, Matthew Patterson and Mark Benning, pleaded guilty to deceptive business practices. They agreed to pay $800,000 in fines, plus the proceeds from selling a house bought with money earned from the scam. They are also barred from participating in similar businesses in the future.

[Article: Aggressive Debt Collection Tactics Lead to $2.8 Million Settlement]

Image: Pete Jelliffe, via Flickr.com

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.