FTC bans telemarketers from selling debt relief services

150px-US-FederalTradeCommission-Seal.svgThe FTC recently banned Jeremy R. Nelson, a telemarketer who allegedly defrauded consumers with false promises of debt relief and charged them without their consent, is banned under a settlement from providing debt relief services and telemarketing.

Last year, the FTC filed a complaint against Nelson and four companies he controlled, alleging that they violated federal law by making false claims, charging unauthorized debits to consumers’ bank accounts and illegally collecting advance fees.

The FTC also alleged that the defendants called numbers on the Do Not Call Registry, failed to transmit caller ID to consumers’ caller ID service, delivered pre-recorded messages without prior written consent and repeatedly harassed consumers who instructed the companies not to contact them again.

The proposed settlement permanently prohibits Nelson and his firms from misrepresenting facts about any product or service, making unsubstantiated claims and from charging consumers’ accounts without their informed consent.

Additionally, the order imposes a $4.6 million judgment against Nelson and his firms, though the judgment will be suspended based on his inability to pay after he surrenders his investment assets and accounts to the court.

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