The FTC is taking three companies to task for violations of the new rules regarding automated “robocalls,” which were passed last September.
All three companies used caller ID spoofing (for example, the caller would appear as “Card Services”) to lure victims into paying fees as high as $1,495 for a credit card interest rate renegotiation. Calls would begin with a prerecorded message. Recipients who pressed “1” would be transferred to a telemarketer who would attempt to sell the service.
Those interest rate negotiations never happened, by the way. Victims simply lost several hundred dollars. One company was also selling worthless auto “warranty extensions” on the side.
The FTC has a real laundry list of complaints against all three entities, including:
- Calling consumers whose phone numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry
- Calling consumers who had previously asked not to be called
- Failing to transmit their caller ID information, as required
- Masking their caller ID information
- Failing to promptly identify themselves, the purpose of their call, and/or the nature of the goods or services they were selling
- Improperly abandoning calls
- Failing to make required disclosures in their robocalls.
It’s a real violation gumbo. The three companies named in the suit are:
- Economic Relief Technologies, LLC
- Dynamic Financial Group (U.S.A.) Inc.
- JPM Accelerated Services (JPM)
Punks. I hope the FTC shuts them down completely, and I hope the people behind these operations aren’t able to hide behind their “LLC” and “Inc.” designations. Doesn’t criminal law apply to these swindlers, too?
Once again, though, this all just goes to show something: namely, that you should never pay anyone a fee for help with your credit card debt, and always check out who you’re dealing with beforehand.
Of course, when they’re blatantly lying about who they are, it might be more difficult. I guess the first question to ask yourself is, “Did I contact them, or did they contact me first?”
If you contacted them, and did your homework, you’re probably OK.
If they contaced you, you’re looking at a scam.