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FTC settlement: Email spammer tricked consumers with false information about Affordable Care Act

Computer Finger 2075 jpgAn email spammer and his company will pay $350,000 to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that they sent deceptive emails before the Affordable Care Act became law, falsely claiming that consumers would be violating the law if they didn’t immediately click a link to enroll in health insurance.

In January 2014, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Yair Shalev and Kobeni Inc., alleging that their misrepresentations violated the FTC Act.

It also alleged that their spam emails violated the CAN-SPAM Act by failing to provide consumers the opportunity to decline to receive future emails and to provide a valid physical postal address.

The defendants’ emails led to websites with advertisements for insurance, according to the lawsuit. The websites’ operators paid the defendants when consumers clicked links in the ads.

Insurance companies whose ads appeared on the websites didn’t authorize the email messages, the FTC said.

Copyright 2014, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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