Prescription drugs are so expensive that many go to great lengths to try to save money and it’s no wonder that they become vulnerable to ripoffs. The most recently discovered scam involves an audacious team of Canadian and American scammers that teamed up to allegedly target older Americans and literally lifted money out of bank accounts.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, found the group made calls from a telemarketing boiler room in Montreal to Americans over 65.
They allegedly offered their victims discount prescriptions, and in some cases discount cards that are widely available but useless for people on Medicare or Medicaid. They convinced people to give them bank account numbers and allegedly the American part of the team then used “demand drafts” to take $300 from each account.
A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois says that callers often said, or inferred that they were from Medicare or the Social Security Administration and people were frequently confused and frightened enough to give up their banking information. In return, they received either nothing or the virtually worthless discount card.
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order halting the defendants’ deceptive scheme and freezing their assets.
“This scam, which targeted and deceived our nation’s seniors, is as cynical and wanton as they come,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We look forward to bringing this operation to a halt and working to get relief for the victims.”
The end game here is to put the scammers out of business and to get restitution for the victims.
The U.S.-based defendants in the case include AFD Advisors, LLC, of Wisconsin, which also does business as AFD Medical Advisors; AMG Associates, LLC, of Delaware, which also does business as AMG Medical and AMG Medical Associates; Aaron F. Dupont, individually and as an officer of AFD Advisors and AMG Associates; CAL Consulting, LLC, of Georgia, which also does business as Clinacall; Charles A. Lamborn, III, individually and as an officer of CAL Consulting; and Park 295 Corp, of New York.
The Canadian-based defendants are 9262-2182 Quebec Inc; Stephanie Scebba, individually and as an officer of 9262-2182 Quebec Inc.; 9210-7838 Quebec Inc; and Fawaz Sebal, also known as Frank Sebag, individually and as an officer of 9210-7838 Quebec Inc.
REMEMBER DO NOT GIVE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION TO ANY CALLER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY.