FTC gives consumers scammed by green coffee extract their money back

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing more than $9 million in refund checks to 191,748 consumers who purchased Pure Health or Genesis Today green coffee bean extract weight-loss supplements online. The online consumers will receive a full refund for the cost of the supplements—the average refund check will total $47.93. Consumers who purchased the supplements through retail stores (Walmart) will not receive a check through the FTC mailing. Those consumers may be eligible for a partial refund. However, to receive the refund, the retail consumers must fill out a claim form.

Settlement

The refund arises from a January, 2015 settlement resolving allegations that the owner of Pure Health and Genesis Today deceptively marketed the weight loss benefits of the green coffee bean extract. The deceptive claims included assertions that green coffee been extract can cause significant and rapid weight loss. Specifically, the FTC charged the owner with stating that “the supplement could cause consumers to lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in just 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was backed up by a clinical study.” Under the settlement, the owner was prohibited from making deceptive claims about dietary supplements or drug products. Additionally, the owner agreed to pay $9 million for consumer redress (see Green Coffee supplement marketer loses more than weight in $9M settlement, Health Law Daily, January 27, 2015).

Refunds

The refund checks were mailed on June 14, 2016. Consumers have 60 days to cash the checks or they will become void. To avoid fraud, the FTC warned consumers that the FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before a refund check can be cashed.