Story brought to my attention via post on WOT forum
http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/12146-ftc ... l-scammers
According to the FTC, Willms and his companies obtained consumers’ credit or debit card account numbers, by enticing them with bogus “free” or “risk-free” trial offers that supposedly required only small shipping and handling fees, and also promised phony “bonus” offers just for signing up. Consumers had no reason to believe they would be charged for the trial product or the extra bonus products, but they were often charged for the “free” trial plus a monthly recurring fee, typically $79.95. Consumers were also charged monthly recurring fees for the so-called bonus offers. Although the defendants offered a money-back guarantee, consumers were often unsuccessful in canceling the charges or obtaining refunds, and the process involved time-consuming phone calls and other steps that made the deals far from risk-free, the FTC complaint alleged.
The defendants allegedly contracted with affiliate marketers whose banner ads, pop-ups, sponsored search terms, and unsolicited e-mail led consumers to the defendants’ websites, and the defendants paid the affiliates for each consumer whose credit or debit card was charged. The defendants allegedly made false claims about the total cost of products, recurring charges, and the availability of refunds. They also buried important terms and conditions in fine print, the FTC alleged.