The Florida Attorney General’s Office recently announced that it
had obtained a federal court order to shut down a Central Florida-based
robocalling scam. The Attorney General worked with the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) to stop an operation that they believe caused over $15 million in
harm to consumers.
The defendants in the case, known jointly under the generic names of Bank
Card Services and The Credit Assistance Program, are alleged to have robocalled
consumers promising to lower credit card interest rates and pay off debts.
The companies demanded upfront payments between $500 and $1500 in upfront
fees, which violates the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. After paying
the fees, the companies may have made small efforts to reduce interest
rates, like calling the credit card companies and asking for lower interest.
However, the Attorney General’s office states that few customers
received any long-lasting or significant relief.
In addition to just providing few or no services, the scam also left struggling
consumers farther in debt. Victims claim that they were promised that
their credit card balances would be paid off over 18 months using mysterious
“government funds” for an additional fee. However, no such
government fund for paying off credit card debt exists. The companies
charged victims between $5,000 and $20,000 for access to these supposed services.
Finally, the companies are also alleged to have targeted consumers already
listed on the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry.
The defendants were charged with violating the Florida Unfair and Deceptive
Trade Practices Act, the FTC Act, and the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The federal district court judge in the case issued a restraining order
which will prevent the companies (and their associated entities) from
engaging in business in the state again.
If you were the victim of a telemarketing or robocall scam, you’re
not alone. You may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages for the money
that you lost. To learn more about your legal rights and options, schedule
a free consultation at Loan Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).