FTC: Over $1 million consumer funds returned in debt collection scheme

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:03 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -The Federal Trade Commission is sending over $1 million in payments back to consumers who were harmed by a debt collection scheme that conned consumers into paying debts they did not owe.

The defendants used several names including GAFS Group, Global Mediation Group, and Mediation Services.

In 2019, the FTC sued GAFS Group or falsely claiming to be attorneys or affiliated with attorneys, pressuring consumers into making payments on debts they did not owe. The defendants threatened to take legal action against consumers if they did not pay these phantom debts.

Now, consumers will be recovering all the money they lost to the scammers, which should average about $516 for each payment.

Consumers will receive either a PayPal payment or a check in the mail. They should also redeem those PayPal payments within 30 days or cash checks within 90 days.

Approximately 200 additional consumers will receive claim forms.

But to get a payment, you must complete and return the form within 45 days to confirm the amount you paid the defendants.

If you have questions about a refund or claim form, you can call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 866-948-2713.

The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases.

In Georgia alone, more than 330,000 consumers have already received payments back from the FTC, totaling more than $48 million. In South Carolina, over $26 million has been given back to over 160,00 consumers.

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