FTC Stops Bogus Credit Card Telemarketing Scheme

A federal judge has temporarily halted a telemarketing scheme the peddled bogus credit cards for an advance fee of up to $99 – and then took money from consumers’ bank accounts without their consent, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The judge ordered the defendants’ assets frozen and appointed a receiver to control the business, pending resolution of the case.
The FTC’s complaint claims the operation took in at least $4.82 million in less than three years, including more than 10,000 sales in a recent two-month period. Doing business as Platinum Trust Card and Express Platinum Card, they operated primarily in the Philadelphia area.
The scheme operators targeted those who recently applied online for a payday loan and offered them a general-purpose credit card with a credit limit of up to $9,500, in exchange for an advance fee of up to $99 and a monthly $19 fee, the FTC said.
They falsely claim their cards could be used anywhere that accepts Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, the FTC said. They also said that the cards would help rebuild consumers’ credit ratings, another false claim, the FTC complaint alleges.
“The defendants do not report to credit bureaus, and their ‘credit cards’ only access an online store the defendants operate, which offers a variety of off-brand, outrageously overpriced products, most of which can be purchased only in bulk quantities,” the FTC said.
The telemarketing operation already had personal and bank account information about the targeted consumers, obtained from online payday loan applications. Using this information, they often withdrew fees from the accounts of consumers who rejected the “credit card” offer, the FTC said.
According to the FTC, the defendants are Blake Rubin, also doing business as Platinum Trust Card, Express Platinum Card, CR Ventures LLC, and Maxim Management Group LLC; Chase Rubin, also doing business under those names and as Oakmont Management Services; Apogee One Enterprises LLC, also doing business as Apogee Enterprises LLC, Platinum Trust Card and Express Platinum Card; Marquee Marketing LLC, also doing business as Express Platinum Card; Jules Shore; and Justin Diaczuk.
Read the FTC’s complaint.
To learn more about telemarketing scams, read the FTC’s Who’s Calling? Recognize and Report Phone Fraud.

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