An offer for free Justin Bieber concert tickets did nothing more than sign up consumers for a monthly charge.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Lin Miao and Andre Bachman of California pitched “love tips,“fun facts” and celebrity gossip alerts sent through text messages to consumers. But the texts unknowingly cost customers $9.99 a month.
In one instance, the FTC said, a website told visitors that they had won free Justin Bieber tickets and needed only to fill out an online quiz to claim them. The tickets never arrived, and consumer phone numbers were signed up for the paid services.
The FTC sued Miao and Bachman in Central California District Court to stop the operation and recover money lost by consumers.