FTC Imposes Fines TruthFinder and Instant Checkmate for Deceptive Practices

Background report providers to pay $5.8 million for misleading consumers and violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined the background report companies TruthFinder and Instant Checkmate a combined total of $5.8 million due to deceptive practices and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FTC found that the entities misled consumers regarding criminal records and operated as consumer reporting agencies without ensuring report accuracy.

“Companies that compile personal information and sell background reports are on notice: Don’t make false claims about the contents of your reports,” said Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine. “And, if you market your reports to be used to screen tenants or employees, you are a consumer reporting agency and you must follow the requirements of the FCRA.”

The companies billed themselves as accurate reporting entities while getting all provided information through third-party data. They used subscriptions to push notifications and marketing emails that earned substantial revenue. The companies also falsely indicated the existence of criminal or arrest records and made the “remove” and “flag as inaccurate” functions practically inoperable. User reviews were manipulated as well.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for Chair Lina Khan as she heads the Federal Trade Commission.
  • For Director Levine as he oversees the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
  • For members of the Senate as they consider the two recent nominees to the FTC.

Sources: Federal Trade Commission


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