Jan. 6, 2012 -- Over 10 million checks are going out to credit card holders as the result of the Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation settlement that I last wrote about—get this, four years ago. These refund checks are being sent to credit card holders as a result of a class action lawsuit over the setting and disclosure of foreign currency conversion fees.
I just got a check for $18.04 from the settlement and quite honestly, I could have easily mistaken it for junk mail. Like millions of others, I had filed a claim back in 2008 and had pretty much forgotten about it at this point.
[Read other articles on foreign transaction fees]
Here's what the mailer looked like when it arrives in the mail:
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these checks get tossed either inadvertently or because the recipient thinks it's some kind of scam.
Some people who filed claim forms and documentation showing how much they paid in foreign transaction fees will get larger checks. If you have moved since you submitted a claim, you'll need to write to:
Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation
P.O. Box 290
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0290
I expected to get $25 under the "easy refund option" I had filed under. But the amount I received was smaller, because the amount of claims filed exceeded the settlement funds available. But, hey, it was a little bit of extra cash before the holidays.
With anything like this, you can expect scammers to seize the opportunity and try to use it to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. I haven't heard of any scams coming out of this settlement yet, but if you receive an email or phone call from someone offering to help you process a refund, ignore it. You will not receive phone calls or emails from the settlement administrators. Either you'll get a check or you won't.
For more information, visit ccfsettlement.com.
Here's what the actual check looks like:
Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com's Personal Finance Expert, focuses on financial legislation, budgeting, debt recovery and consumer savings information. She is also the co-author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, and Reduce Stress: Real-Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis.