If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who took out a payday loan online, you may stand to get some cash back soon.
It’s not a lot of money, but the Federal Trade Commission is nevertheless mailing more than 110,000 refund checks — each check between $10 and $15 — to consumers who were defrauded by an online payday lender.
The FTC says a band of individuals and two companies tricked payday loan applicants into paying for an unrelated debit card.
The scam worked like this: a consumer in need of fast cash filled out a payday loan application online.
But unbeknownst to the customer, the loan application triggered a charge of $54.95 for a prepaid debit card that had a zero balance.
Who were the alleged swindlers running this deceptive scheme?
The FTC names as culprits Mark Benning, Matthew Patterson, Jason Strober and Swish Marketing, Inc., who worked with debit card marketers Joshua Finer, Jerry Klein and VirtualWorks LLC.
All told, the FTC says that roughly $1.9 million will be refunded to consumers. The average payment will be between $10 and $15.
If you get a check, the FTC says you should cash it within 60 days of the issue date.
And by the way, if some con man comes asking you for money or personal information in order to send your refund check, don’t fall for that. That would be yet another scam.
The FTC never mandates that you fork over money or provide private information before a refund check can be issued or cashed.