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FTC shuts down interest rate robocalling scheme

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has put an end to a “robocalling” operation that sold fake debt relief services, often promising relief from high interest rates in return for a $995 fee.

According to the FTC complaint, F&F Payment Processing, Inc., Bajada Management Group, Inc., Baird B. Fisher, Jacqueline M. Fisher and other individuals promised refunds to consumers if they did not see savings of $2,500 from lower credit card interest rates but failed to deliver the refunds, eCreditDaily reports.

“At most, the defendants sometimes telephoned credit card issuers to attempt to conduct three-way calls among the credit card company, the consumer, and one of the defendants’ so-called financial representatives,” the FTC said, according to eCreditDaily. “Often, the defendants did not make these calls at all.”

The FTC maintains that the scheme, based in Canada and New York, duped more than 13,000 consumers, costing them $13 million.

“Instead of a reduction in interest rates, consumers, who were already in dire financial straits, found themselves saddled with an additional $995 credit card charge,” the FTC said, eCreditDaily reports.

The operation used telemarketing spots in Orlando, Fla. Operators of the scheme used multiple names and claimed to be working for “AFL Financial Services” or a variation of “AFL.”

According to the settlement, the defendants are prohibited from delivering prerecorded messages and selling debt relief services, in addition to misrepresenting deal terms and violating FTC Telemarketing Sales rules.

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