Were you duped into paying for paperwork that is free? The Federal Trade Commission says it happened to thousands of drivers just trying to renew their driver's license or car registration, and you may now be owed money.
This involves what the Federal Trade Commission calls 'fake' DMV and government websites. The FTC sued On Point Global and recently won its trial against the company, which means $102 million is available in refunds to consumers impacted.
ABC11 has warned you about these sites over the years after ABC11 viewers lost money.
When doing a quick Google search to renew your driver's license or car registration you may have clicked a third-party website that may appear to be the actual DMV or government website. Instead, it's a privately-owned third-party website.
The FTC calls one website--DMV.com--a "fake," and the agency claims that despite DMV.com promises to take care of your driving needs, it charges you for worthless information in the form of paperwork detailing how to apply for your registration or driver's license. In the lawsuit, the FTC accused On Point Global of running "hundreds of deceptive sites" including those promising to show eligibility for government assistance.
The $102 million settlement is available for consumer refunds and there is a refund process to help consumers who used On Point Global and its network of websites. Consumers must submit claims in order to receive payments, and payment is available both for consumers who paid money to the sites and those who submitted personal information.
According to the FTC, if a consumer either: paid money to an On Point Global fake DMV site between January 2017 and December 2019 and didn't already get their money back, or submitted their personal information to an On Point Global government benefits site in 2019, they are eligible for a payment, and should receive an email by mid-April with instructions from the company handling the claims process. Legitimate emails related to this settlement will come from firstname.lastname@example.org, or from a ftc.gov email address.
If you believe you are eligible for a payment and did not receive an email you should visit this website and enter your name and email address. You should get an email immediately with a personalized claim link, and The FTC says you should follow the instructions in that link. You can also find more information here. You do have to file a claim by July 5th, 2022.
To protect your money, the actual DMV and other government websites end in .gov, don't just click on the first site that pops up in your google search as it could be privately owned and cost you.