The Federal Trade Commission asked a federal court Friday to shut down a scam that targeted financially distressed Americans by pitching a phony debt relief and credit repair program. The program falsely claimed it was provided and funded by the federal government and endorsed by Pres. Barack Obama.
The FTC’s lawsuit targets the operators of two websites that allegedly contained misrepresentations about the fake program, which they called the “Bill Payment Government Assistance Program.”
The sites claimed that the program was governed by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, a government agency formed to oversee projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The defendants claimed affiliations with and/or endorsements from the Recovery Board, the Treasury Department, and other federal agencies, the lawsuit alleges. And, YouTube videos created by the scam’s operators included a fake personal endorsement from the President with an audio recording of him saying, “I approve this message.”