'Green Millionaire Book' Promoter to Pay $2M in Refunds: FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has halted an online scheme that promoted a “free” book and promised to show consumers how to get “free gas for life” and how to power their homes and cars at no cost.
According to the FTC’s complaint against Green Millionaire, Syndero Inc., Scott Waltz and Nigel Williams, the operators marketed a “Green Millionaire Book” in television and Internet ads.
The ads falsely claimed the book would describe “how to get free gas for life,” “how to put solar panels on your roof for free,” and “how to make your electricity meter go backwards paying you.”
The ad contained phony testimonial statements, such as “I don’t pay for electricity” and “I don’t have car payments, and I don’t pay for fuel,” the FTC said.
The Green Millionaire websites asked consumers to provide their credit card or bank account number to pay a small shipping and handling fee, without clearly disclosing that they would be charged $29.95 for a two-month subscription to an e-magazine, or $89.95 for a one-year subscription, the complaint alleges.
The scheme’s operators allegedly violated the FTC Act by failing to disclose the subscription program, that customers would have to cancel it to avoid additional charges, the program’s cost and how to cancel it, and when they must cancel to avoid charges.
They also allegedly debited or charged consumers’ bank or credit card accounts without their consent, misrepresented the book’s contents, and used unsubstantiated endorsements.
The operators behind the scheme have agreed to a settlement of almost $2 million for consumer refunds, and permanently bars them from making misleading product claims, the FTC said.

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