CFPB Bans Brightspeed Solutions and Its Former CEO For Supporting Telemarketing Scammers Targeting Older Americans

On January 18, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed a proposed final judgment and order with a federal district court that, if entered by the court, would resolve a March 2021 lawsuit it brought against BrightSpeed Solutions and its founder Kevin Howard. 

The CFPB alleges that between 2016 and 2018, BrightSpeed and Howard knowingly assisted companies profiting from fraudulent services and products. BrightSpeed and Howard processed payments for companies that claimed to offer technical-support services and products to consumers over the internet, but in reality, the companies tricked consumers into purchasing expensive and unnecessary antivirus software or services.

Many of the targeted consumers were older adults unaware of clickbait scams and that the software and services they purchased were actually available for free. If entered by the court, the order would require BrightSpeed and Howard to pay a civil penalty of $500,000 and permanently bar them from multiple consumer financial products and services industries.

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