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Two More Settle with FTC over I Works

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Two key players in the I Works scheme that allegedly took more than $275 million from consumers via deceptive “trial” memberships for bogus government-grant and money-making schemes have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated federal law. Bryce Payne and Kevin Pilon, along with Jeremy Johnson and seven others, were named in a complaint the FTC filed ... Read More »

    Final Defendants Banned from Debt Relief Services in Bogus “Rachel Robocall” Scam

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    The final six of 10 defendants named in an alleged “Rachel from Cardholder Services” scam have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misled consumers with bogus claims that they would lower their credit card interest rates. The FTC settlement bans Emory L. “Jack” Holley IV, Lisa Miller, and the remaining corporate defendants from telemarketing and marketing debt ... Read More »

      Text Spammers Banned by FTC

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      A group of affiliate marketers has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they blasted consumers with more than 30 million deceptive spam text messages and directed recipients of the spam text messages to deceptive websites. Cresta Pillsbury, Jan-Paul Diaz, Joshua Brewer and Daniel Stanitski, and their company Ecommerce Merchants, LLC, which did business as Superior Affiliate Management, were ... Read More »

        Business Recovery Services Banned by Scam

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        An operation that allegedly bilked consumers by falsely claiming it could help them recover money they lost in previous scams will be banned from selling recovery services under a default judgment against Business Recovery Services LLC and a consent judgment against its owner, Brian Hessler. The judgments permanently ban the defendants from selling any services that are represented to recover ... Read More »

          FTC Cracks Down on Yellow Page Scam

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          At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal judge has temporarily halted, and frozen the assets of, a Montreal operation that bilked more than $14 million from small businesses and churches in the United States for unwanted listings in online business directories. The FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and make the defendants return victims’ money – the ... Read More »

            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 »

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