In 2019 I first told you that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  in conjunction with the Attorney General of Ohio had 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.  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.  Now the defendants have settled the lawsuit and are refunding 2.3 million dollars to victims of the fraud.  While the settlement is a positive development, the FTC had previously alleged that the victims of the scam were swindled out of more than 11 million dollars.

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 http://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/

For more information about this refund program go to the tab in the middle of the Scamicide home page entitled “FTC Scam Refunds.”  It is important to note that there is never a charge for obtaining a refund through the FTC or any of its refund administrators.  Anyone who asks for such a payment is just another scammer.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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