The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that it filed eight lawsuits against affiliate marketers who allegedly spammed consumers by sending text messages offering "free" gift cards to Best Buy, Walmart and Target. People who clicked on links within the messages were then asked to provide personal information, apply for credit or pay for subscription services in order to receive the gift cards.
The FTC alleged that the companies engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by failing to tell people that the "free" gift came with conditions.
The companies sued by the FTC include Superior Affiliate Management, Rentbro, Inc., Verma Holdings, AdvertMarketing and Seaside Building Marketing. The FTC also targeted individuals allegedly connected to those companies.