Credit card debt which often carries an interest rate that is so high it could cause a nose bleed is a concern for many people and, as always, anything that concerns many people is something that scammers are interested in. Last November the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint and obtained a preliminary injunction shutting down ACRO Services and its related companies that the FTC claimed was operating a deceptive credit card debt relief scam in which ACRO claimed it could clean up your credit card debt in return for an enrollment fee of thousand of dollars plus additional monthly fees. Now the case has been settled and ACRO as well as other affiliated companies of their four principals have been permanently shut down.
ACRO and its affiliated companies offered nothing of value. Making matters worse, they advised their customers to stop making monthly payments to their credit card companies and to stop all communications with their credit card companies which merely led to higher credit card balances, additional credit card interest, lower credit scores and even lawsuits by the credit card companies for failure to pay in some instances.
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. Never pay an upfront fee for a company providing debt relief. 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/
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