Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that Florida will receive $2.9 million from a settlement with an internet-based advertising company. The agreement resolves allegations that ModernAd Media, LLC, a Deerfield Beach internet advertising company, violated the Federal CAN-SPAM Act, which prohibits deceptive and misleading header information in commercial emails.
An investigation initiated by the Attorney General’s CyberFraud Section of the Economic Crimes Division revealed that consumers were solicited through e-mails, internet “pop-up” windows, or paid advertisements linked to Google and other search engines. Many of the advertisements conveyed that consumers were entitled to receive “free” merchandise. The investigation focused on determining whether the promotional merchandise was actually “free,” and whether the terms and conditions for receiving the promotional items were displayed in a way to not mislead consumers.
As a result of the settlement, ModernAd Media, LLC must disclose and prominently display all necessary information on internet-based advertisements necessary so consumers can make informed decisions before they agree to purchase products or participate in trial offers. The agreement also requires ModernAd Media, LLC to pay $2.9 million to the Attorney General’s Office, which will reimburse the state’s fees and costs and will help the office continue establishing high standards of practice for the internet marketing industry.
The CyberFraud Section was created in 2008 to use a team approach to review and investigate complaints against companies or individuals found taking advantage of consumers through internet-related fraud. Consumers who believe they have been victimized by unauthorized billing for internet products should contact the Attorney General’s Citizen Services Division by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or by filing a complaint online at http://myfloridalegal.com.
Source: Attorney General Bill McCollum