- The Federal Trade Commission claimed LendEDU, a supposedly unbiased source of information, accepted money from firms in return for higher rankings of student loans, credit cards and insurance, and posted fake customer reviews.
- One regulator blasted the online marketplace for ratings that were “corrupted” by “pay-to-play greed and deception.”
- LendEDU and three company officers â Nathaniel Matherson, Matthew Lenhard and Alexander Coleman â are settling the allegations for $350,000.
LendEDU, a website that compares loans, credit cards and insurance for consumers, engaged in a pay-to-play scheme that saw the online marketplace accept money from financial firms in exchange for higher ratings and post fake customer reviews, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
LendEDU and three company officers deceived the public by promoting the website as an unbiased and objective resource when, in reality, the best product ratings went to the highest bidder, according to a complaint filed Feb. 4 by the regulator.
The complaint “underscores how pay-to-play greed and deception have corrupted the ratings and rankings on which consumers increasingly rely to make informed purchasing choices online,” said Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, a commissioner at the FTC.