The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  in conjunction with the Attorney General of Ohio has brought legal action against Educare Centre Services, Inc. and Tripletel, Inc alleging that these companies worked together to sell bogus credit card interest rate reduction services through telemarketing.  A temporary restraining order has been issued in federal court stopping the operations of these companies and freezing their assets while the case against them continues.  The defendants falsely promised their victims that they could significantly reduce the interest rate on their  victims’ credit cards and offered a 100% money back guarantee.  Not only did the victims of this scam not receive the promised rate reductions, but they also did not receive their money back when they requested refunds.  In fact, in most instances, complaining customers were threatened with lawsuits.  The FTC alleges that these companies swindled unwary victims out of more than 11.5 million dollars.  I will keep you informed as to progress of this lawsuit and if any refunds will be issued in the future.

TIPS

It is important to remember that the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rules specifically prohibit charging advance fees before providing any debt relief services.  Any company that requires an advance fee before they have completed their successful debt reduction services is breaking the law.  You also may want to consider avoiding scams like this by enrolling in the federal Do Not Call List so that if you are contacted by a telemarketer, you already know it would be someone who is knowingly breaking the law and cannot be trusted.  Registering for the Do Not Call List is easy and free.  Merely go to www.donotcall.gov to register your phone number.

If you need real credit counseling you can go to this section of the Department of Justice’s website where it lists agencies approved to assist consumers with debt problems. https://www.justice.gov/ust/list-credit-counseling-agencies-approved-pursuant-11-usc-111    You also may consider contacting companies that are affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at this link https://www.nfcc.org/

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