Experian Pays $650,000 to Settle Spam Claims

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Experian Consumer Services has agreed to a permanent injunction and to pay a civil penalty of $650,000 to settle allegations relating to the CAN-SPAM Act.

The firm, whose parent company is credit agency giant Experian, provides online credit reports, scores and monitoring products to customers.

A case filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California revolved around emails sent by the company to consumers who had created free Experian accounts in order to freeze their credit reports for anti-fraud purposes.

“The complaint asserts that Experian sent its account holders millions of commercial emails promoting additional Experian services. These emails asked the consumer to confirm whether a car that Experian had associated with the user’s account was theirs, offered a service aimed at boosting the user’s credit score, and advertised a free scan of the dark web,” according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).

“The emails did not give the recipients notice that they could opt out of future such emails or provide any opt-out mechanism, violating the CAN-SPAM Act and the CAN-SPAM Rule. The complaint alleges that these emails implied that they contained important information about the recipient’s account, even though they were commercial in nature. The government received many consumer complaints that these emails contained no opt-out mechanism.”

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The injunction orders Experian to stop sending marketing emails that do not either inform the recipient they can opt out in the future or provide a mechanism to do so. The firm is also prohibited from further violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

“Signing up for a membership doesn’t mean you’re signing up for unwanted email, especially when all you’re trying to do is freeze your credit to protect your identity,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“You always have the right to unsubscribe from marketing messages, and the FTC takes enforcing that right seriously.”

Editorial image credit: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

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