southtownstar
CALM 
Weather Updates

FTC shuts down bogus credit cardholder services

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:42AM



Five “robocall” operations that telephoned millions of consumers nationwide to pitch bogus plans to lower their credit card interest rates have been temporarily shut down by the Federal Trade Commission, authorities announced Thursday.

The operations were based in Arizona and Florida, but the cases are being handled by the Midwest region of the FTC.

The lawsuits announced Thursday are against Treasure Your Success, Ambrosia Web Design, A+ Financial Center LLC, The Green Savers LLC and Key One Solutions LLC. Temporary federal court injunctions have been issued halting their operations, freezing their assets and appointing receivers while the cases move forward.

Consumers were fooled into picking up the phone by fake caller ID tags such as “card services,” said Charles Harwood, FTC deputy consumer protection director. In one pitch, consumers got a robocall from “Rachel” of “cardholder services” saying she had an urgent matter having to do with their credit cards.

Consumers who pressed “1” to continue were solicited for up-front fees for services that were never performed. Victims each lost several hundred dollars up to $3,000 in the schemes, Harwood said.

“We think these five companies took in about $30 million during their operation” over two or three years, Harwood said. Early estimates are of 30,000 victims.

The FTC has already gone after 12 other similar robocall schemes. The agency gets more than 200,000 complaints each month about robocalls, making it the No. 1 source of consumer complaints.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.