It wasn’t too far fetched. The government has issued a handful of stimulus packages, such as the CARES ACT, to aid our country through this pandemic. Why wouldn’t the government provide financial aid towards hearing aids? And just like that, another coronavirus scam was circulating.
Two companies, Ear to Hear Healthcare LLC in Florida, and an affiliate, Zephyr Hearing Aid Center in Missouri, have been caught sending out fraudulent government aid checks. The companies were mailing out information that promised $1,000 to help pay for hearing aids, known as the “Coronavirus Pandemic Hearing Aid Stimulus Package.”
Included in the mailer was a document “designed to look like a check made out to the recipient for $1,000,” according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The document was called an “Official Authorized Voucher” and featured instructions to endorse the back of the voucher.
“Call Today to Secure Your Stimulus Money,” the mailers urged.
The mailers promised that the $1,000 stimulus check could be used for “advanced digital technology hearing aids,” a claim the FTC called deceptive.
The documents also had false government statistics such as, “over one million individuals over 60 in Missouri have a hearing loss that affects their quality of life. Note: There are not even one million people aged 60 and older in Missouri, according to the Census Bureau estimates.
Owners blame marketing for misinformation
“It is illegal to make misrepresentations or deceive consumers by omitting material facts when selling products or services,” said the FTC.
The companies, Ear to Hear Healthcare and Zephyr Hearing Aid Center, have been warned by the FTC to immediately stop sending out the deceiving hearing aid mailers. According to Ear to Hear Healthcare, the mailers are no longer going out.
Jason Petty and Michael Brown, owners of the companies, claimed to be victims of circumstance, ended their relationship with their marketing companies, and said they had replied “appropriately” to the FTC.
Have you been scammed?
Have you fallen victim of this hearing aid stimulus check scheme? To file a complaint with the FTC, call 1-877-382-4357 or visit this web page.