Centro Natural, LLC was accused of violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Do Not Call Registry, the FTC Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by targeting Spanish speaking consumers to pay fraudulent debts. The FTC alleges that Centro Natural received more than $2 million from Spanish speaking consumers for these non-existent debts.
How Centro Natural, LLC Scared People Into Paying on Fake Accounts
While debt collectors are certainly allowed to use the telephone in an effort to collect on legitimate debts, Centro Natural, LLC targeted Spanish speaking consumers. The company’s telemarketing representatives lied and said they were members of the court, government officials, or lawyers and said they would “settle” a non-existent debt of around $9,000 if the Spanish speaking consumer would agree to purchase a box of products that cost between $350 and $500.
If the Spanish speaking consumer declined the settlement agreement, they would be threatened with arrest and a visit from ICE. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides many protections for consumers (even if they legitimately owe a debt). Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten consumers in this way.
When a consumer would tell the Centro rep to stop calling or hung up on them, the consumer would be subjected to intense profanity and repeated phone calls. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the Do Not Call Registry are designed to protect people from abuse, including curse words and constant harassment.
Refunds Total $279,134.90
Refunds to those victimized by Centro Natural, LLC total $279,134.90. The first set of checks were mailed in November 2016. Recently, the FTC mailed out an additional 2,158 checks. If you or someone you love received a refund check, make sure that it is cashed within 60 days.
If you have questions related to Centro Natural, LLC refunds, you are asked to call the refund administrator: 1-888-449-3585.
Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Debt Collection Scams
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a debt collector, you can ask the debt collector to send you verification of the debt to your address. You also have the right to request that the debt collector only communicates with you in writing. Never agree to settle any debt unless you receive something in writing and truly believe that you owe the debt.