The Federal Trade Commission has finished applying an astringent solution to a group of skincare companies that it accused of using deceptive marketing and billing tactics to skin consumers.
The companies, which sold Auravie, Dellure, LéOR Skincare, and Miracle Face Kit products have agreed to court orders with the FTC or had default orders entered against them.
“These defendants tricked people into paying for skin care products and abused the credit card system to extend their scheme,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The Commission will continue to attack scams that rely on supposed ‘free trial’ offers and unauthorized credit card charges.”
The agency said the defendants sold their skin creams through false advertisements for “risk-free trials.” According to the FTC, the defendants convinced consumers to provide their credit card information, purportedly to pay nominal shipping fees.
However, the defendants allegedly used consumers’ credit card information to impose unauthorized recurring monthly charges of up to $97.88 per month for unordered products. The FTC also charged defendants with misrepresenting themselves as accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The total number of defendants eventually reached 33. Most were charged with violating the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
Each final order bans the defendants from selling products through a “negative option,” in which the consumer’s silence is interpreted as consent to receive and pay for goods and services. The orders also bar them from future deception and credit card laundering.