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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

WordSmart Accused of Brazen Trickery

SAN DIEGO (CN) - WordSmart Corp. took "millions of dollars" from families by impersonating school officials and calling parents, referring to their children by name, and telling them, falsely, that the kids wanted a WordSmart product, the FTC claims in Federal Court.

The Federal Trade Commission sued WordSmart aka WS Learning Center and its CEO David A. Kay on Oct. 3 in Federal Court.

WordSmart is based in San Diego. Kay founded it in 1993.

The FTC accuses them of brazen deceptions.

"Defendants have targeted parents of school-age children, and have used deceptive practices to take millions of dollars from such families at least as far back as January 2010," the complaint states.

"Defendants have often called consumers with school-age children, referred to their children by name, and misrepresented that the child in question had expressed interest in a WordSmart good or service. In some instances, defendants have claimed an affiliation with the child's school or the administrators of a standardize test such as the SAT."

The FTC calls WordSmart's tactics "illegal," and claims in its "infomercials" "false" and "unsubstantiated." The company also repeatedly calls people on the National Do Not Call Registry, and "have falsely claimed that consumers who use [WordSmart products] will learn 10 to 100 times faster, that WordSmart goods and services will improve letter grades by at least one GPA point, and that WordSmart offers a risk-free 30-day trial period," the FTC says.

It seeks disgorgement, an injunction, restitution, rescission of contracts, and damages for misrepresentation, consumer law violations, telemarketing violations, Do Not Call violations, and costs of suit.

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