On December 14, operators who promised Spanish-speaking consumers “designer” merchandise but delivered knock-offs and outdated electronics will give up approximately $235,000 to settle FTC charges that their scam violated federal laws including the Do Not Call Rule. The telemarketers called Spanish-speaking customers, telling them they had been selected to get a valuable “prize,” such as a laptop or digital video camera.
They told consumers that to get the prize, they would have to purchase “designer” merchandise, such as watches and fragrances. The FTC alleged that all consumers received for their payment of $213 to $250 were cheap knock-offs and outdated electronics. The FTC also charged that the operation called phone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.
The settlement with Del Sol, LLC and its principal, Fernando Gonzalez Lopez, prohibits them from making misrepresentations in the advertising or sale of any product or service and prohibits them from violating any provision of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, including the Commission’s Do Not Call Rule. A $1.6 million judgment against the defendants is suspended based on their inability to pay. They will give up approximately $235,000. If it is found that the defendants misrepresented their financial status, then they will be liable for the full amount. The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the stipulated final order was 5-0.