There’s a little payback on the way for 4,800 people who fell victim to a telemarketing scam that promised to lower their credit card interest rates if they paid an advance fee.
The FTC says telemarketers falsely told consumers they would get them low-rate credit cards and balances from other cards could be transferred to the new ones. They asked for an advance fee of between $499 and $599. The callers assured consumers they’d get a full refund if they did not get a new card.
You know what happened? Nothing. The company agreed to settle with the FTC in July 2013. Its assets were frozen, but the amount of money it will give back doesn’t look like it will match what consumers lost. It’s a penny on the dollar kind of thing.
PENNY ON THE DOLLAR
If you were cheated by this scam you’ll receive $25.13. And it’s important to cash the telemarketing refund check as soon as possible. It must be cashed within 60 days of the day it was mailed. It’s small change, but why not collect it?
The FTC never requires an advance fee, or any kind of payment for these refunds. So if someone asks you for money to process the refund understand that it’s another kind of scam. Don’t fall for it.
Tips To Avoid Getting Ripped Off
- Don’t give out your credit card information. Once a scammer gets it, he or she can run up charges on your account, or sell the information to others.
- Don’t share any personal or financial information like your bank account or Social Security numbers. Scam artists casually ask for this and then use it in identity theft schemes themselves, or they sell the information.
- Question any unsolicited sales calls that are prerecorded, especially if your phone number is on the Do Not Call Registry.
- The FTC says, “If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a telemarketer may call you only if you have agreed to accept calls from the company the salesperson works for, if you have bought something from the company within the last 18 months, or if you have asked the company for information within the last three months.”
You can report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register your phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.