AG Cooper takes aim at payment processor that helped scammers debit $200 million from consumers’ accounts
Release date: 12/11/2007
Company helped phony merchants and telemarketers deduct money from bank accounts
Raleigh: North Carolina, the Federal Trade Commission and six other states are taking action against Your Money Access, a payment processor that helped phony telemarketers and Internet merchants debit or try to debit more than $200 million from consumers’ bank accounts, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
Cooper is asking the court to stop Your Money Access from breaking the law and harming consumers and to order the company to pay refunds and give up any illegal profits.
“Scammers used this company to take millions of dollars from people’s bank accounts,” said Cooper. “Businesses can’t look the other way when they should know consumers are being ripped off.”
Cooper, the FTC and the other states filed suit against Your Money Access, LLC of Lake Mary, Florida last week for violating federal and state laws by helping fraudulent merchants use deceptive telemarketing and Internet schemes to trick consumers into sharing their bank account information.
The complaint alleges that fake merchants called consumers to pretend to sell a product or service. After consumers gave their bank account information to complete the purchase, the scammers then sent it to Your Money Access, which used the information to take money from consumers’ accounts.
Cooper and the others allege that by providing these scammers with access to banking systems and a way to take money from consumers’ accounts, Your Money Access actually played a critical role in the schemes. According to the complaint, between June 2004 and March 2006 Your Money Access processed more than $200 million in debits or attempted debits from consumers’ bank accounts. More than $69 million in debits were returned or rejected by either consumers or banks, often because consumers hadn’t agreed to the debit. In many cases, once the money was taken from a consumer’s account, the sellers failed to deliver the products or services or sent worthless goods the consumer hadn’t even ordered.
Cooper contends that Your Money Access was aware that it was dealing with merchants that were out to deceive consumers. The payment processor expected that many of these companies would generate high rates of returned or reversed transactions, a sign of money being debited from consumers’ accounts without their permission. In fact, 20 percent to more than 80 percent of debits processed by Your Money Access were returned, a return rate far higher than industry standards. Your Money Access closely monitored its clients’ return rates and knew about these problems.
Also named as defendants in the case are Your Money Access, LLC d/b/a Netchex Corp., Universal Payment Solutions, Check Recovery Systems, Nterglobal Payment Solutions, Subscription Services, Ltd.; YMA Company, LLC, and officers Derrelle Janey, and Tarzenea Dixon.
Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and Vermont joined North Carolina and the FTC to bring the case.
Contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413