Friday, March 18, 2016

False Online Prayer Website Closed Down

This week Washington state's attorney general Bob Ferguson announced that his office had reached an agreement with Christian Prayer Center, a website that offered online viewers prayers in English or Spanish for amounts ranging from $9 to $35.  According to the AG office's release, the website featured non-existent clergy and false consumer testimonials:
The websites contained fictitious testimonials from consumers using stock photos that claimed they successfully prayed to avoid home foreclosure, deliver a healthy baby, win the lottery, obtain negative results on an HIV test and put cancer into remission....
Between 2011 and 2015, CPC collected more than $7 million from 125,000 consumers nationwide. Some of these consumers were charged repeatedly, resulting in a total of over 400,000 transactions.
The settlement requires the website operators, among other things, to end unfair and deceptive business practices, return funds to consumers and pay attorneys' fees of $500,000.