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Scam

Fake Payday Loan Collectors Halted by Court

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At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted an operation based in Atlanta and Cleveland that allegedly used deceptive and threatening tactics to collect phantom payday loan “debts” that consumers either did not owe, or did not owe to the defendants. The court order freezes the defendants’ assets to preserve the possibility of providing ... Read More »

Watch Out for Utility Scam Warns FTC

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Imagine receiving a phone call from your utility company saying they’re about to cut off your electricity. The caller ID looks like it might be a legitimate phone number, but you know you’ve paid your bill. The caller says, “I can stop this, but only if you pay me.” It’s a scam, but there’s a new twist. Instead of asking ... Read More »

FTC Halts Elusive Business Opportunity

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At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has halted an elusive business opportunity scheme that allegedly conned more than $6 million from American and Canadian consumers. The FTC has alleged that the defendants falsely promised consumers that they could make money by referring merchants in their area to the defendants’ non-existent money-lending service. The court froze the defendants’ ... Read More »

California Attorney Sentenced to Prison in Financial Services Action

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

- Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and André Birotte Jr., United States Attorney for the Central District of California, today announced that a Santa Monica, Calif., lawyer who was a partner at the Nixon Peabody law firm when he helped obstruct two separate investigations into an investment scheme that ultimately took $22 million ... Read More »

International Sweepstakes Scam Caught Consumers Unaware – Smacked

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At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has halted a massive sweepstakes scam that has taken more than $11 million from consumers throughout the United States and dozens of other countries throughout the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan. The FTC seeks to permanently end the allegedly illegal practices that have continued for ... Read More »

Best Buy, Target, and Walmart Text Spammers Settle With FTC

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An affiliate marketing company and its two principals have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for allegedly sending out more than 42.5 million unwanted and deceptive text messages to consumers. The case is part of the FTC’s continuing crackdown on spam text messages and the settlement prohibits the defendants from sending unwanted texts to consumers, and from misleading consumers ... Read More »

CFPB Anti-Scamming Regulation to Better Protect Consumers

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A fascinating new paper out by Jean Braucher talks about the historical context of scamming and what history has taught us about why consumers are so easily scammed. “Nineteenth century American literary masters Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain (with co-author Charles Dudley Warner) all examined scamming in their largely pre-regulatory time. These authors made two prescient observations ... Read More »

Kicking Ass, Taking Names Trust Owners Arrested

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Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California; and Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General for the State of California, announced today that Tamara Teresa Tikal, 43, of Brentwood in Contra Costa County, Calif., and Ray Jan Kornfeld, 57, of Las Vegas, Nev., were arrested ... Read More »

Mortgage Rescue Scammers Get 17 Years in Slammer

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, Calif., and Jason S. Sant, 38, of Lecanto, Fla., were sentenced today for their roles in operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various websites, including walkawaytoday.org and sellfastusa.com, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into ... Read More »

Rachel Slapped Down Yet Again

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Deceptive Robocallers Permanently Shut Down In FTC Settlements The Federal Trade Commission has continued its crackdown on illegal robocallers, with two more companies agreeing to settle charges that they used prerecorded calls to trick consumers into deceptive credit card interest rate reduction scams. Under separate proposed settlements, the defendants behind Treasure Your Success and Ambrosia Web Design will be banned ... Read More »

Serial Debt Relief Scammer Busted Once Again by FTC

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Under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, the defendants in two Tampa, Florida-area operations that allegedly bilked consumers of millions of dollars are banned from providing various types of financial services used in their schemes. In the spring of 2012, at the request of the FTC, a court shut down the two operations. According to the FTC, the defendants used ... Read More »

Nicholas Torgerson Sued in Florida After Following Fidelity Land Trust and Others

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According to information sent in by a tipster (send in your tips here) another domino has fallen in the efforts to stop the ridiculous land trust efforts being sold in Florida to protect homes from foreclosure. On July 22, 2013 I wrote this article about how players in the Fidelity Land Trust scam had allegedly sucked in a willing participant, ... Read More »

California Mortgage Modification Scammers Get Jail Time

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) today announced that on July 29, four California men were sentenced for defrauding hundreds of victims in a real estate scam that included fraudulently collecting upfront fees for loan modification services and sending fake letters with mortgage servicer logos offering home loan modification assistance. Victim losses ... Read More »

Russell Dalbey Dashed Doing Deceptive Dialing

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It never ever ends. It seems consumers have always been and will always be the target to scams and bogus efforts to separate them from their money. The Federal Trade Commission has just announced that Russell and Catherine Dalbey – who allegedly defrauded consumers with promises of making big bucks by brokering seller-financed promissory notes – have settled with the ... Read More »

More Nailed by FTC in Bogus Gift Card Text Scheme

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Last year there was a sudden flurry of text messages being sent that directed consumers to visit special sites to claim gift cards. Here are some example of stories I wrote about this here and here. Today the Federal Trade Commission has announced it has moved to shut down an international network of scammers that sent millions of unwanted text ... Read More »

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