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FTC's Telemarketing Fraud Cases

In the spring of 2002, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a telemarketing fraud sweep, "Dialing for Deception," and roped in a lot of violators. One of the cases settled by the FTC is with two brothers, Harvey and Tye Sloniker, who allegedly used unfair and deceptive practices to bilk consumers out of millions of dollars. The Slonikers employed and trained a large number of telemarketers to deceive consumers. They telemarketed non-existent, advance-fee, low interest credit cards. To make matters worse, they also sold bogus identity theft and telemarketing fraud protection services. The Slonikers will have to pay a $525,000 judgement and are banned from anything resembling the telemarketing business.

The FTC also settled a case involving an advance fee credit scheme. This case involved advance-fee credit cards. Your customer service staff should be trained to advise customers never to pay in advance for a product - especially if the offer is telemarketed and sounds too good to be true.

Copyright © 2003 Compliance Action. Originally appeared in Compliance Action, Vol. 8, No. 2, 3/03

First published on 03/01/2003

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