Florida’s attorney general subpoenaed the prepaid debit card company owned by hip hop mogul Russell Simmons on Thursday, plus four other large prepaid card companies, on allegations that the companies charge deceptive fees.
“Failing to disclose fees is essentially stealing money from consumers,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a press release. “We will aggressively investigate these practices and ensure that Floridians are protected from hidden fees and charges.”
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Bondi’s office has received complaints from consumers that prepaid debit card companies hide various fees. Some cards charge a fee every time a consumer makes a purchase, but that fee is not always disclosed up front, according to Bondi’s office.
Some companies, including Simmons’ UniRush, promote their prepaid cards as a way for consumers to improve their credit scores. Bondi will investigate whether these claims are “possible misrepresentations.”
In addition to UniRush, the subpoenas went out to Green Dot, which recently signed a contract with Rite Aid to offer the drugstore giant’s employees the choice to receive their paychecks via prepaid debit card. Other subpoenas went to First Data Corporation, Account Now, Inc. and Netspend.
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Image: Brett Weinstein, via Wikimedia Commons