Adrianson, Alex, Consumers' Research Magazine
Credit card scams have been a keeping state and federal regulatory officials busy of late.
For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged that, in Minnesota and Texas, three credit card marketers promised credit cards in exchange for a processing fee, but instead provided merely a packet of information containing a list of banks to which consumers could apply for credit cards. The marketers--Victor Stanley Wilcox, Belinda Sweeney, and Lee Sumner Churchill--have all reached settlements with the FTC, which investigated the allegations with the help of the states of Minnesota and Texas, according to the National Association of Attorheys General (NAAG).
The settlement permanently bans Wilcox and Sweeney from promoting or selling any credit-card related good or service and from engaging in or assisting others in telemarketing activities. And it permanently bans Churchill from marketing and selling or assisting others engaged in marketing or selling any credit-related good or service. The settlement also requires the payment of restitution.
In another case, a Quebec based telemarketing company told consumers that their credit card numbers were available on the Internet, in order to lure them into a credit card protection service, alleges Rhode Island Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse. The same company, R&R Consultants, also marketed a phony international no-call list, according to Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Rhode Island has settled the allegations against the company, while Missouri has filed suit, reports NAAG.
In order to obtain the credit card service, consumers had to pay $385 and give out their credit card number, according to the allegations. Rhode Island's settlement with the company prohibits R&R Consultants from soliciting in Rhode Island.
Missouri's suit alleges that the company charged consumers $289 in order to have their names removed from an international telephone and mail solicitation database. The law suit is seeking a permanent injunction against the company's activities, and payment of restitution, penalties and costs.
And finally, Liberty Direct, Inc., marketed credit card protection services by falsely telling consumers that they could be held liable for unauthorized credit card purchases of more than $50, the FTC alleges. The agency also says that the company misrepresented its affiliation with the consumers' credit card issuers. …