Recently judgment was passed on two companies that were using deceptive tactics to scam consumers. Treasure Your Success and Ambrosia Web Design were both given orders to shut down permanently.
Both companies were using deceptive marketing practices claiming that they could get the customers lower interest rates on their credit cards. The customers would give their information, and then be charged up-front fees. Often, nothing else would happen. The company would charge the fees, and then the customer would still have their regular credit card bills. In order to get these customers, both companies were using illegal robocalls to lure in their victims.
The defendants were hit with huge fines (into the millions of dollars) and given specific orders that they have to shut down their operations. You can read the whole story on the FTC website.
You may remember that there has been a crackdown on robocalls recently. This is a continuation of that battle against illegal telemarketers. Unfortunately, these calls continue to work, and people continue to fall victim to these scams. With the latest verdict against these two companies, there are two fewer companies bothering us with their scams. Other than giving you more peace during your dinner hour, the verdict does not really affect you personally.
The verdict, however, does give you peace of mind. You know that the FTC is hard at work going against these disreputable companies. You know that the anti-robocall war is working. You have learned, through the misfortune of others, that you should never trust a telemarketer. If nothing else, these people who have been scammed out of their money have provided an important lesson to the rest of us.
Along the lines of getting peace of mind, you have learned another lesson about not giving out your information. If you do listen to the pitch given by a telemarketer, don’t make a decision right away. Through a quick internet search you can find whether or not the company has complaints against it. You can do research on the company first, and then call them back to take them up on their offer. If anything makes you uneasy about the company, the offer, or the sales person, take your business elsewhere. You will most likely be able to find the same offer from another company.
Hopefully everyone knows to simply ignore telemarketers. Through caller ID, and simply saying “no, I’m not interested” telemarketing is going away. Unfortunately phishing scams and other internet based scams are rising up to take their place. If you have been the target of a scam, especially one that has to do with your credit card or another financial product, get in touch with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and enlist their help. You might be entitled to restitution if you have lost money because of a scam.