How Can I Get Scammers and Student Loan Forgiveness Companies to Stop Calling Me?

Question: Dear Steve, Years ago, I put my number into some sort of website to inquire about student loan forgiveness and to see if I was eligible. It was shortly after Obama announced this plan. I think all I had to pay was $30 a month for 30 years and whatever was left on my … Read more

A Fraudster’s Weapon of Choice: Your Phone

Phones are one of the few things people keep close by at nearly all times, and there are millions of people and companies using that to their advantage, including criminals. Phone calls are increasingly the most common way fraudsters contact potential victims — more than email or other online scams combined — according to a … Read more

MCDANIEL SUES FIVE TELEMARKETING COMPANIES

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today filed lawsuits against five Florida-based companies accused of engaging in telemarketing tactics that violated multiple federal and state laws. The five lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, claim the defendants made automated, prerecorded calls to Arkansas consumers for the purpose of offering to reduce interest rates on … Read more

Attorney General DeWine Announces Final Arrest in Telemarketing Land Scam Case

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that the last suspect in a multi-state telemarketing ring is now in custody. Deputies with the Howell County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Office arrested Michael Sweigart last night. Several anonymous tips to the Attorney General’s Office led officers to a home in West Plains, Missouri, where Sweigart went into custody … Read more

Worthless Auto Warranty and Credit Card Interest Reduction Telemarkters Put Out of Business

The Federal Trade Commission put a robocall operation out of the telemarketing business under a settlement resolving FTC charges that it bombarded consumers with more than two billion calls pitching a variety of products and services, including worthless extended auto warranties and credit card interest rate-reduction programs. The final settlement order against SBN Peripherals, based … Read more

Telelmarketers Charged With Illegal Robocalling By FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against a telemarketing operation that allegedly made illegal robocalls, called phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and masked Caller ID information, in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The FTC’s complaint seeks to make the defendants pay civil penalties and stop the illegal calls. … Read more

Americall Will Pay $500,000 To Settle FTC Charges

Americall, an Illinois-based telemarketing firm will pay $500,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it interfered with consumers’ requests to be placed on company-specific do not call lists and transmitted deceptive Caller ID names. The FTC alleged that Americall Group, Inc violated the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) in it’s efforts … Read more

FTC Continues TSR Crack Down

As part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal pre-recorded robocalls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking action against an operation that allegedly helped clients make illegal robocalls, call phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and mask Caller ID information, in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. This … Read more

Missouri Cracks Down on Selling Financial Services Over the Telephone

Here are two recent releases out of Missouri that show they are concentrating on financial and debt relief calls to Missouri residents. November 16, 2011 Attorney General Koster obtains restraining order against Florida telemarketer Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office has obtained a temporary restraining order against an Orlando, … Read more

Hope Now Schemers Officially Out Of The Mortgage Business

It’s official! The last remaining defendants in an allegedly fraudulent mortgage modification scheme called “Hope Now” have settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that will permanently ban them from the mortgage assistance and relief business. They will also be forced to return any fraudulent-earned gains to consumers. The settlement with Michael Kwasnik and his … Read more

Scam Recovery Kits Business Continues To Scam Buy Selling Scam Recovery Kits

(Try saying that title ten times fast) In March of this year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped up it’s efforts against scams that targeted financially strapped consumers with more than 90 actions brought by the commission and its law enforcement partners in a investigation called “Operation Empty Promises.” Within this investigation the FTC looked … Read more

Transcontinental Warranty Fake Auto-Service Warranties Lands Execs In Prison

After pitching $40 million in fake auto-service warranties two former telemarketing executives are sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $15,000 each. Christopher Cowart and Cris Sagnelli of Florida pleaded guilty last December to federal fraud charges arising out of the telemarketing sales practices of Transcontinental Warranty, a Florida company selling so … Read more

Meggie Chapman Grant Writer Scam Leads to Big Fines After Trial

In response to charges by the Federal Trade Commission and four state attorneys general, a U.S. district court has ordered a defendant who assisted in a wide-ranging government grant scheme to pay $1.68 million, and has banned her from marketing money-making opportunities to consumers. Under the federal court order, Meggie Chapman is ordered to pay … Read more

It’s Been A Year Since The TSR – What’s Changed With Debt Settlement?

A year ago this month the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) barred debt settlement companies that used telemarketing from accepting up-front fees. Although it’s been an entire year since this change we are still see companies trying sneak in those up-front fees with businesses trying to exploit loopholes. The whole purpose of the Telemarketing Sales Ruling … Read more