A judge in the United States has agreed to investigate a website accused of spreading false and misleading information about a $5.6 billion settlement between retailers and Visa and Mastercard regarding credit and debit card fees.
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case requested the probe, which could result in the closure of the unauthorized site and the nullification of any client contracts formed through it. The judge has set a deadline for the website to respond to his inquiry, but as of yet, there has been no immediate response from the website’s representative.
It is common for major class action settlements to have websites providing information to class members. This particular website in question bears a striking resemblance to the official U.S. court-authorized page established as part of the 2019 settlement in the related litigation in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
In recent months, there have been fraud claims arising from at least two other class action cases. The judge overseeing 3M’s $6 billion settlement for lawsuits related to hearing damage caused by its earplugs has cautioned about an identity theft scam.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers in the multimillion-dollar litigation in North Carolina concerning contaminated water at Camp Lejeune have reported attempts to deceive victims into paying unnecessary fees.