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Watch Out for Utility Scam Warns FTC

ftc

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 »

    What the California Debt Collector Doesn’t Want You to Know

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    When consumers are first approached by debt collectors, the consumers have limited options: avoid the letters and calls; try to negotiate a settlement or payment plan; or go on the offensive and attack the collections agencies. Each has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the type of debt, who the creditor is, who the collections agency is and the financial ... Read More »

      FTC Halts Elusive Business Opportunity

      ftc

      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

          ftc

          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

            ftc

            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 »

              Debt Settlement Mailer From Frisco, Texas Raises Alarms

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              Well here is yet another version of a debt settlement mailer being sent out to consumers. This one comes from Wichita, KS postal permit 1148. The address of the sender is 2611 Internet Blvd, #021, Frisco, Texas 75034. According to the BBB that is the address for United Debt Services. They list David Melrose as the owner. Melrose is also ... 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 »

                  Consumers Still Prime Targets for Debt Settlement Bogus Mailings

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                  I just received a submission from my I Buy Junk Mail program that serves as an example of the continued marketing that is going on to consumers with money troubles. In just a week or so, one consumer received the three irritatingly deceptive mailers you see below. I’ve reported before on mailers sent bearing the same postal permit numbers, (Santa ... Read More »

                    Lloyd Ward and His BFF Lloyd Regner Found Guilty

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                    The only part of this story which make it even more bizarre is the fact Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Regner, ex-business partners, are now involved in suing each other and allegedly trying to win back their mutual former clients from each other. Whatever was going on between them, can be read here. But in a press release issued a couple ... 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

                          ftc

                          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

                            ftc

                            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 »

                              Consumer Assistance Project Agreement for Student Loan Services – Review

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                              Yesterday I had a consumer complaint and a story about Consumer Assistance Project, a company claiming to offer student loan elimination services. After writing my story I received a copy of a consumer agreement that was sent to them by Consumer Assistance Project. What follows is a plain language review of what the agreement says. And this one is a ... Read More »

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