The Federal Trade Commission said today it has sued to stop three companies that allegedly promised interest rate reductions on credit cards to consumers for upfront fees as high as $1,495 – but the companies delivered no such service.
The three FTC complaints against Economic Relief Technologies; Dynamic Financial Group; and JPM Accelerated Services allege that “illegal pre-recorded robocalls” were made to consumers, using names such as “card services,” “credit card services” or “account services,” the FTC said.
The robocalls allegedly claimed its services could lower the interest rate on consumers’ credit cards.
“In each case, consumers who pressed 1 after hearing the automated call were transferred to live telemarketers who allegedly misrepresented that consumers could dramatically lower the rates on their credit card,” the FTC said.
The telemarketers also claimed consumers would save thousands of dollars in a short period of time by lowering their interest rates, and could pay off their debts faster – for an up-front fee ranging from $495 to $1,495, the FTC said.
After taking the fee, the companies allegedly did not negotiate lower rates on behalf of consumers and provided few refunds to those who were dissatisfied with the service.
“The FTC has heard the public outcry against robocalls and has taken swift action to stop them. During these difficult economic times, the last thing anyone needs is to be bombarded by robocalls pitching worthless interest-rate reduction programs,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “The lawsuits announced today are not the first, nor will they be the last, that the agency brings to protect consumers from intrusive, illegal, and deceptive telemarketing robocalls.”
To help consumers and businesses understand their rights and responsibilities regarding pre-recorded telemarketing calls, the FTC has issued these two new alerts.