Refund programme by US consumer protection agency
Bern, 25.07.2022 - In July 2022, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notified SECO of a refund programme it will be carrying out in the coming months. People in Switzerland who lost money to a prize scam operated by US company Next-Gen will be refunded some of their money.
Since 2013, US company Next-Gen has deceived millions of people all over the world with its sweepstakes scams. The company contacted its victims with the promise of a large cash prize in exchange for a comparatively small fee, which was to be paid in advance. Many people paid this fee; however, none of them received the prize money they were promised. Swiss citizens are among the victims of this scam.
In 2018, the US consumer protection agency FTC initiated legal proceedings in the USA against Next-Gen. At the beginning of 2019, Next-Gen agreed to pay several million US dollars as part of a settlement. The FTC is now using almost 25 million US dollars from this settlement to provide partial refunds to the victims, some of whom live in Switzerland. These refunds will be made via PayPal.
The FTC will be contacting the persons concerned in Switzerland in the coming months, in order to process these refunds. The deadline to claim the refund is 17 October 2022. More information on the refund programme can be found on the FTC's website: www.ftc.gov (see in particular the press release of 19 July 2022, Next-Gen Refund page and the FAQ section on refunds).
The FTC contacted SECO through the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). The FTC and SECO are two of the 70 members of this network that is geared towards combatting unfair commercial practices across state borders. Its global reach and cooperation between its members facilitates the international enforcement of consumer protection.
Address for enquiries
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Tel. +41 58 462 56 56
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs