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FTC shuts down alleged credit card telemarketing scam

In July, the Federal Trade Commission announced they had reached a settlement with the owners of National Card Monitor LLC, forcing the company to shut down. The company was accused of fraud, misrepresenting the services it provided and violating laws regarding the national Do Not Call list. In addition, the funds of the company would be frozen and the company owners were banned from again engaging in telemarketing or business related to credit.

During telemarketing calls, National Card Monitor allegedly claimed that it could reduce consumer credit card interest rates by obtaining low-rate cards onto which the consumers could transfer their credit card balances. The LLC collected a fee ranging from $499 to $599, typically charging the consumers' credit cards the same day as the telemarketing calls and assuring them of a money-back guarantee of a full refund if they did not receive the low-rate cards that National promised.

The FCC complaint charged National with two violations of the FTC Act and five violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The complaint requested a preliminary order freezing all National assets, immediate government access to the assets, and appointment of a receiver to shut National down. The district court hearing the complaint granted these requests. The court's final order also imposed on National a judgment of $2,329,409.

The goal of the FTC is to protect consumers from fraud and harmful business practices, such as monopolies. Being accused of fraudulent businesses practices can have serious consequences, such as funds seized and future business endeavors banned. A lawyer experience in so-called white collar crimes may understand these consequences and help an accused person formulate a defense.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Operators of Credit Card Interest Rate Reduction Scheme Barred from Telemarketing, Will Turn Over Funds Frozen by Court", July 16, 2013

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