Comparison Shopping Website Scams
We all probably had a suspicious feeling about these types of websites, but recently the FTC has started to crack down on these types of websites that claim they “objectively” review the products, when in reality the websites sell the top review spots to the highest bidders regardless of product quality.
The operators of a website that compares student loans and other financial products have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they misled consumers to believe their website provided objective product information, when in fact they offered higher rankings and ratings to companies that paid for placement.
In an administrative complaint against Delaware-based LendEDU and its operators Nathaniel Matherson, Matthew Lenhard, and Alexander Coleman, the FTC also alleged the company touted fake positive reviews of its LendEDU.com website.
“LendEDU told consumers that its financial product rankings were based on objective and unbiased information about the quality of the product being offered, but in fact LendEDU sold its rankings to the highest bidder,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These misrepresentations undermine consumer trust, and we will hold lead generators like LendEDU accountable for their false promises of objectivity.”
According to the FTC’s complaint, the operators of LendEDU.com falsely claimed that the website provided “objective,” “accurate,” and “unbiased” information about consumer financial products, such as student loans, personal loans, and credit cards. Specifically, LendEDU misrepresented that the information on its website was not affected by compensation from advertisers.