On the heels of a $22 million settlement in an enforcement action brought by the Federal Trade Commission, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently announced his office’s resolution of an enforcement action against the same group of Dallas-based technology firms that falsely claimed to offer individuals “free” credit scores.  The firms named as defendants were: (1) One Technologies, LP d/b/a ScoreSense, One Technologies, Inc., and MyCreditHealth; (2) One Technologies Management, LLC; and (3) One Technologies Capital, LLP.  According to Abbott, the companies violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by operating an online scheme that represented offers for free credit scores, but actually billed the individuals a recurring $29.95 monthly fee for a credit monitoring program that they never ordered.

Among its terms, the agreement requires the defendants to:

  • Make clear, conspicuous disclosures to customers about the recurring monthly fee and the negative option trial, in which the defendants interpret customers’ silence or inaction as permission to charge them;
  • Cease misrepresenting that credit scores and other proffered goods and services are free; and
  • Monitor their advertising affiliates to ensure those entities comply with the agreement.

The defendants, as part of the settlement, will pay $400,000 into a settlement fund, $250,000 of which will be disbursed to the General Revenue or Texas Supreme Court Judicial Fund.  The remaining funds will reimburse the Texas Attorney General’s legal fees.