Consumer Protection & Privacy

FTC and Florida AG File Suit to Halt Robocalls from “Card Member Services”

 by Stephen C. PiepgrassC. Reade Jacob, Jr.Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. and Steve D. Rosenthal

The FTC and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 22, temporarily halting several Orlando-based companies from allegedly making illegal robocalls designed to trick consumers nationwide into paying for “worthless credit card interest rate reduction programs.” 

According to a press release from the FTC, several affiliated companies, doing business as “Payless Solutions,” called thousands of consumers nationwide claiming that their program would save them at least $2,500 in a short period of time and would enable them to pay off their debts more quickly.  After convincing consumers to provide their credit card information, the defendants allegedly then charged between $300 and $4,999 up-front for what the FTC termed a “worthless service.”  The joint complaint also claimed that in some cases, the defendants charged consumers without their consent. 

“These scammers were making illegal robocalls to people nationwide, some of whom were seniors on fixed incomes.  Too often the services promised were never provided, and consumers faced even more credit card debt through charges made without their consent.  My office, in partnership with the FTC, has shut down this illegal credit card interest rate reduction scam and brought those responsible under the control of a federal court receiver,” Bondi remarked. 

“Working with the Florida Attorney General, we’re shutting down a scam that blasted robocalls to older people and offered bogus solutions to relieve credit card debt,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “It’s illegal to sell products or services with out-of the-blue robocalls, and if you get one you can expect that the sales pitch is a lie, too.” 

 Read more at Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor by Troutman Sanders LLP. 

Troutman Sanders LLP is an international law firm with more than 600 lawyers in 16 offices located throughout North America and Asia. Founded in 1897, the firm’s lawyers provide counsel and advice in practically every aspect of civil and commercial law related to the firm’s core practice areas: Corporate, Energy and Industry Regulation, Finance, Litigation and Real Estate. Firm clients range from multinational corporations to individual entrepreneurs, federal and state agencies to foreign governments, and non-profit organizations to businesses representing virtually every sector and industry. See troutmansanders.com for more information.

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