Fraudulent and Misleading
Credit Card Offer Scams
You get an ad in the mail which states, among other things,
"You have been APPROVED for a $2,500
unsecured credit line from the Financial Card Division of DDQ based
on the information we have on file regardless of past credit.
Your Approved credit line of $2,500 for credit purchases and
cash advances will be available once you receive your CashPlus
Card just by calling now."
The ads contain small pictures of a VISA, MasterCard
and a CashPlus card on the upper right hand portion.
"YOU ARE APPROVED" FOR
A PREMIER CONSUMER CREDIT CARD
Immediate Line of Credit - Guaranteed!!!
sponsorship for your very own Master Card - Regardless of your
ARE APPROVED - YOU CANNOT BE TURNED DOWN!!
Excited, and eager to shop, you respond to the ads by calling
the telephone number listed. The salespeople there continue to
represent that you have been approved to receive a credit card
and a $2,500 line of credit regardless of your credit history.
You are also informed that you will receive a VISA or
You are asked to pay a $149.95 fee for the credit product, either
by having your checking account debited or by charging it to a
pre-existing credit card account. After providing the information,
your checking account is debited via an unsigned bank draft.
Expecting your new credit card you finally receive a package of
materials from DDQ that disclose, for the
first time, severe limitations on your ability to use the credit
You do not receive a major credit card in the package. Instead,
you receive a mail-order catalog together with a charge card, good
only for ordering items from the catalog. You are informed that
you will only receive an application for a major credit card if
you first purchase $400 worth of merchandise from the catalog.
The $2,500 line of credit, calculated at extremely high rates
of interest, applies only to the use of their "CashPlus" credit
card (which is not a general credit card, but a "single-use
credit card" which can only be used to purchase items from
their catalogues); the cash advance is limited to only $10; and
their CashPlus card can not be used in any ATM machines.
After you've ordered the amount required from the catalogue for
grossly overpriced, low quality merchandise you find that the sponsorship
for a major bank card consists only of a form to request a regular
application for a VISA or MasterCard which
you must send to a bank along with the good credit history they
Old and Poor, You Qualify!
The targeted victims of a similar operation were primarily the
elderly who relied on Social Security or fixed retirement incomes
for support. The telemarketers would call and say that you had
been pre-approved for a low interest debt consolidation loan or
a low interest rate credit card.
"Because of your established credit history, you may now
be eligible to apply for a new card with a rate as low as 7.9%.
Would this be helpful to you, or do you pay your balances in full
The low interest rates were supposedly guaranteed for five years
and you simply needed to pay the agent a fee of between $199 and
$499 to receive the loan or pre-approved credit card.
"After consulting our "interest savings chart" we
can determine that your annual savings will more than cover the
one time activation fee of only $385."
You are further told that they would process all of the required
paperwork for you and if you were dissatisfied, there was an absolute
money-back guarantee. For your "protection" they pass
you on to a verifier who tape record your acceptance of the terms.
"Do you think we would risk losing our status with credit
card companies for a few hundred dollars?"
In reality, all you would receive was a blue folder which contained
a listing of ten to fifteen institutions that you could apply to
for loans or credit cards on your own. The victims of this one
scam were, collectively, defrauded out of $2.2 million dollars
while the owner of the operation got twelve and a half years worth
of prison credit.
A former employee suggests that there are still over 70 of these
low interest offices operating in Montreal with one organizer running
at least 12 offices, shifting between various locations every few
"The leads are recycled on a regular basis, often stamped
with the names of other offices, some of which have been promoting
Card Protection offers."
These operations find that people having credit problems can be
convinced to send their last dollar for loans or credit cards that
they will never receive. Don't pay up front unless it's a secured
card which requires a deposit to cover any charges made.
Teasers, Not Pleasers
Some companies with low-rate teasers, promising relief from excessive
rates, offer to transfer your balance at rates such as 6.9% for
six months. Quite often this special rate may be for future "new" charges
only, not the transfer. Or the reverse may apply with a high rate
on all new purchases, but either way you could be worse off than
before if the total new rate is greater, or you increase your credit
spending due to a temporary reduction in monthly payments.
Some identity theft scammers will call with a fantastic offer
which involves switching credit card companies but is actually
a ruse to obtain your credit card info or other personal data for
their own unauthorized use.
Don't Just Spend, But Earn As Well
"$5,000 unsecured credit card, 6.95%
rate, GUARANTEED APPROVAL
regardless of your credit history
(bankruptcies and foreclosures okay)."
When you receive an e-mail that offers you a "major" credit
card regardless of your credit history it can be hard to resist.
The offer may claim that the card will be issued by an "offshore" bank,
and that nobody is turned down. It also may offer a "business
opportunity" that promises astounding earnings.
A variety of such schemes have defrauded more than ten thousand
consumers nationwide doing business under a series of assumed names,
promising consumers that in return for the payment of a fee in
advance, they will receive a major credit card with a high credit
limit. Sometimes they are combined with pyramid schemes, which
offer you an opportunity to make phenomenal amounts of easy money
simply by attracting new participants to the scheme.
In a major effort to combat international credit card scams, New
York Attorney-General Eliot Spitzer announced April 20, 2001 a
series of lawsuits against Canadian companies accused of illegally
obtaining $5 million U.S. or more from thousands of financially-strapped
consumers in New York and other states who were lured by false
promises of easy access to a Visa or MasterCard credit card.
"All too often, debt-burdened consumers are targeted with
solicitations for financial products and services, " Spitzer
said. "These companies clearly are not in business to help
consumers. Instead, they are seeking to profit from the financial
problems of others."
The lawsuits accuse three Montreal-based companies of engaging
in deceptive, fraudulent and illegal business practices after consumers
complained that the companies deceived them into paying approximately
$200 in advance for an all-purpose credit card such as a Visa or
Instead of providing the promised credit cards, these companies
sent consumers so-called "financial benefits" packages
which were of little or no interest to the consumers. Some received
a catalogue for purchases and vacations, others received high-fee
credit, and others were snared in financing that could result in
their losing items posted as collateral. Many consumers received
nothing at all for their payment.
Stating that customers who are dissatisfied receive refunds, lawyer
Joel Hirschhorn said Alini allows consumers to improve their credit
ratings by using the company's card, enabling them to apply later
for a Visa or MasterCard and that the lawsuit is a combination
of the attorney-general being overzealous (and) people not being
aware of what they're signing.
A company spokesman stated, "None of the attorney-general's
allegations is true. We're a completely above-board operation.
We have recordings of all our phone calls to prove it."
The lawsuits are as follows:
Alini International Marketing, Inc., and its
officers Nicole Bertrand and Neil Haboush,
are accused of running an advance fee credit card scam since at
least December 1999.
Instead of sending a promised credit card, they sent a package
containing: a catalog from which consumers could purchase overpriced
merchandise in installments; a credit repair manual; and a promise
that the consumers would be approved for a major credit card after
making consistent timely payments to Alini.
Alini International Marketing Inc.
2021 Union Street # 875
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2S9
514-286-1210 (FAX) 514-286-0878
www.alini.net since 11/10/99
Bertrand, Nicole (NBR22) alini@TOTAL.NET
Publicly traded Telehublink Corporation, doing
business as Triple Gold Benefits, and its general
manager Jacques Dion, are accused of tricking
consumers into paying almost $220 for credit cards, but instead
providing cash-strapped consumers with a booklet purporting to
enable them to purchase goods and services at discounted prices.
Customers also received a merchandise catalog, a credit repair
manual, and applications for credit cards from unrelated financial
1000 St. Antoine
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3R7
Telehublink domain name: www.afsecurity.com since May 2000
Admin Contact: Sherry Greenspon, (SGO189) sherry@MAIL.PLATINUM2000.ORG
The chief corporate officer of Telehublink, Off-Track Betting
Corp. chairman David Cornstein, who is expected to announce his
candidacy for state controller in June, said "I'm not on top
of it," regarding the company's telemarketing in Montreal.
He said Telehublink's main business is developing encryption technology,
which maintains the security of electronic data.
Told that Spitzer had outlined instances of consumers being scammed
by Telehublink, Cornstein said he plans to sever his ties with
the company though he apparently holds more than 1.9 million shares
Telehublink's President Bruce Young said: "We don't take
advantage of anyone." adding that the telemarketing arm of
the business is "so far down on the food chain, I don't even
think [Cornstein] would know about it."
Young said the company fielded 21 consumer complaints after sending
out 58,000 packets of discounts and information that he said were
valued at $6,500 each. This is contrary to claims that such financial
benefits packages were of little or no interest to the consumers.
TELEHUBLINK CORPORATION (THLC3-DOM)
24 New England Executive Park
BURLINGTON, MA 01803
978 562 9295 fax: 978 562 9294
Domain Name: www.thlc.org Sept 2000
TELEHUBLINK CORPORATION (R3280-OR) email@example.com
"3557561 Canada" Inc., doing business as Platinum
2000, Continental Benefits Group and the Alliance
for Family Security, and its president Shawn
Jacobs, are accused of running a fraudulent operation
tricking consumers into paying between $150 - $200 for credit
cards between the Fall of 1999 and the Spring of 2000.
Instead, consumers received "free" airline tickets with
the purchase of a vacation package, a list of creditors to which
consumers could apply for credit, credit card applications, and
a credit repair manual.
Telebank (Platinum 2000 Inc.) (PLATINUM18-DOM)
5950 Cotes Des Neiges #365
Montreal, Quebec H3S-1Z5
514-933-7831 (FAX) 514-737-2715
Sherry Greenspon, (SG12603) cardcom@ATTCANADA.NET
Abukhalid, Mohammed (MAN173) admin@CARDCOMUSA.COM
3557561 Canada inc.
5005 JEAN TALON WEST SUITE 320
MONTREAL, QUEBEC H4P 1W7
Director Since Nov 98
3841 PRUD'HOMME MONTREAL Quebec H4A3H8
3673511 CANADA INC.
1000 ST-ANTOINE WEST SUITE 600
MONTREAL, QUEBEC H3C 3R7
2241 WILSON MONTREAL Quebec H4A 2T4 Canada
1000 ST-ANTOINE WEST SUITE 600 MONTREAL
Quebec H3C 3R7
24 NEW ENGLAND, EXECUTIVE PARK BURLINGTON
To give the appearance of legitimacy, each company represented
that its business was located in upstate New York. However, all
three firms merely rented post boxes in either Plattsburgh or Champlain.
The Attorney General is seeking refunds for consumers who were
victimized by the companies’ deceptive and illegal practices.
He is also requesting that the court bar the Canadian companies
from operating in New York State unless they post performance bonds
to secure funds in the event of future consumer problems.
While the lawsuits also seek civil penalties and court costs he
is not pursuing criminal charges, saying it might be difficult
to secure that level of evidence, and a civil judgment would get
These cases are being handled by Assistant Attorney General Mark
Fleischer of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.
Individuals with questions or concerns about advance fee credit
cards are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s consumer
help line at (800) 771-7755.
09/01 - The Toronto
Strategic Partnership arrested three people after concluding
an investigation into a fraudulent telemarketing company VIP
promotions / US Credit Services which
offered "Low Interest Rate Credit Cards" to U.S. citizens.
The victims were told or it was implied that their current, high
interest, major credit card could be exchanged for a low interest
rate Visa or MasterCard credit card upon receipt of the processing
fee of $199 USD. They were told that, by using the low interest
card, they would actually save more than the $199 in interest payments
in one year alone.
The material that was eventually sent consisted of nothing more
than a dropbox application form from any bank which offers low
- interest major credit card accounts so really all the victims
got for their processing fee was a useless blank application form.
Estimated victim losses are in excess of $100,000. Charged with
fraud over $5,000 are Leonora Khan, 48, Marlo
Delucia, 28, and Marc Thibeault, 35.
Defendant Not Given Any Credit
10/03 - A federal jury has found a defendant guilty of conspiracy
to commit wire fraud, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Florida.
The office identified the defendant as Lanette Black,
who was manager of Amansco Credit Services, which
was in Deerfield Beach before the Federal Bureau of Investigation
closed it for telemarketing fraud.
"Black was found guilty of conspiring to commit a vast telemarketing
fraud between two companies, Franklin Credit Services and
Amansco, which billed customers over $1 million in 1998."
The government established at trial that Franklin and Amansco
defrauded more than 5,000 customers around the United States during
the period 1997 and 1998. The government put the total amount of
the fraud at more than $2.7 million.
Before trial, eight Franklin salespeople pleaded guilty, including James
Michael Christensen, who the government said organized
the scheme to defraud. Christensen is currently serving 54 months
in federal prison.
11/26/01 - Although no charges have been laid, dozens of workers
were sent home after federal agents raided the Schaumburg offices
of Rockwell Holdings Inc., at 1002 E. Algonquin Rd., whose telemarketing
operation had generated over 750 consumer complaints with the BBB
in Chicago and Northern Illinois over just a two month period and
1,533 since the start of the year.
Most of the complaints allege that Rockwell or affiliated companies
promised to send a credit or debit card plus coupons for hundreds
of dollars worth of free gasoline, clothing, trips or other items.
Consumers typically said they paid $149 or more for the card and
gift package, plus a monthly fee of about $14.95, but did not receive
the card or the gifts.
Apparently topping the Illinois record for telemarketing fraud,
the companies are now accused, in a joint FTC and AG lawsuit, of
scamming tens of thousands of customers out of tens of millions
of dollars by targeting people who were trying to rebuild their
The company names that the Better Business Bureau considers to
be affiliated with Rockwell Holdings include Card
Services, American Benefits Club, Rockwell Holdings Benefit Club,
First Choice and First Financial Consulting,
Consumers Club of America, Nationwide Membership Club, First Financial
Solutions and Continental Membership.
Records indicate that sixteen different companies use the same
post office box in Rolling Meadows -- P.O. Box 8010 -- that Rockwell
has used. The FBI indicate that the firm is run by John
C. Morgan and Michael Cooper. The suit
also named as a defendant John F. Boone, of Algonquin,
who state records list as president of Rockwell Holdings. No criminal
charges have yet been filed.
Despite having obtained refunds for 128 customers it did not appear
that Rockwell had changed its way of doing business but did agree
to stop claiming membership in the BBB.
FTC v. 1st FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS
||1st Financial Solutions,
Inc., American Benefits Club, Inc., Rockwell Holdings Corporation,
John F. Boone
in violation of Section 5 and Telemarketing Sales Rule in
connection with telemarketing of credit cards.
TRO granted 11/19/01, injunction 11/29/01.
FTC V. FIRST CREDIT ALLIANCE, No. 300
CV 1049 (D. Conn.)
||First Credit Alliance.
||Philip D. Pestrichello,
a/k/a Philip Daniel, Allyson Pestrichello, a/k/a Allyson
||Deceptive practices in violation
of Section 5 in connection with the marketing of advance
fee credit cards.
||Complaint 6/00, Preliminary
||Final judgment / permanent injunction
for First Credit Alliance, Inc., Credit Services of America,
Inc. and their principal, Philip D. Pestrichello entered 12/5/01/
Allyson Pestrichello 12/5/01
|| Bay Area Beach Council -(BABC)
| American Capital
American Credit Services
American Credit Solutions
| Capital Choice Consumer Credit
| Consumer Credit USA
Consumer Credit Services
| Akron Credit
|| Beneficial Credit Care
|| E-Credit Solutions
| Chase Credit Corp
| First Capital
First Capital Consumers
First Liberty Solutions
First Liberty Financial
First National Credit
Credit Report Helper
| Freedom First
| Liberty Benefit LLC
|| Peoples Credit First
|| Rockwell Holdings
| Southern Telmark
|| Titanium Blue
Credit to Party
Thanks for a great site. There are two companies I'd like to ask
you about, Party Lite and Credit Solutions Association. My sister-in-law
is a Party Lite consultant, anything good or bad about them?
I'm currently working very part time with Credit Solutions in
Sacramento, CA (their corporate headquarters are in Walnut Creek,
CA). We put boxes out at retail locations that say Credit Problems?
Get a Visa Card.
Applicants phone or mail in. Then they are set up for an appointment
and asked to bring a $47 application check or money order, proof
that you earn $1000 a month, proof of residency and a void check.
The Visa is from CorTrust, Mitchell S.D. (I called them today and
they have processed 1500 apps from the company and only 8% have
been turned down).
The Visa is an unsecured card with a $300 limit and the small
print says it'll increase by $100 every 4 months if regular payments
are made. After approval, you're charged $59 thru an electronic
transfer, then you pay $49 a month (for the first year, 2nd year
is $24 per month. 3rd year is $9) to be a member of the CSA and
you get to buy groceries, electronics, travel etc at discounted
prices and enjoy double manufacturers warranties.
You get a set of manuals re: your credit and how to restore it
and a book for the shopping for the aforementioned items. You can
call the office for help with the manuals. It sounds a tad fishy
to me but it doesn't really match your credit report scam on your
Any help you can give me on these two companies would be greatly
Jeff Viducich 09/01
While I can neither endorse or criticize currents operations that
have yet to run afoul of the law I will say this.
Party Lite appears to focus on product sales in its method of
home party sales rather than straight recruitment. This is a good
thing. Fraudulent concerns force you to stockpile products and
stress that your opportunity to make money is based primarily on
the supposed sales of new recruits who must pay to join the structure.
As for credit card issuers, paying commission to you is probably
cheaper for them than the contracted telemarketing call centers
they likely also use. I can understand the aspect of minimizing
risk by escalating credit limits and reducing annual fees but the
introduction of application fees, buying clubs and manuals leaves
me guessing as well.
The ops I have covered never provide a real credit card and focus
on the fraud of advance fees taken under false pretenses. I will
leave the decision up to you.
Can you help me find a list of current fraudulent credit card
companies? The company I want to check out is:
502 N. DAVISON ST.
CARSON CITY, NV. 89701
I was offered a credit card, VISA I think, with a $2,500.00
credit limit for a $150.00 processing fee. I was given a customer
service number 1-866-416-0668 (tried it but could never speak to
After reading your website I am convinced I have been scammed. The company
was not mentioned in your website but the circumstances were very similar.
The company, Elite Gold, promises a $4,000 credit card, MasterCard or
Visa, as well as credit to order things from their catalogue.
They promise you a bonus of a no cost cell phone ( which does cost)
and a satellite dish ( you get a note saying "Since this item is
in such high demand we are experiencing a lack of inventory ...we will
send you a certificate within two weeks) I still have no credit card
even though they instantly debited my checking account for $199.00. I
am now convinced that I will receive a regular application and be turned
down. So I paid $199 for absolutely nothing.
There are two addresses for this company . The card you get in the mail
816 Elm St #395
Manchester NH 03101
and the catalogue order form has
Your Premium Benefits
300 Leo Pariseau, Suite 1700 C.P. 988
Montreal, QC Canada H2W 2N1
Do you have any info on this company? I am going to call and demand
my money back. Any chance I will get it?
Patricia Jenkins 10/02/01
They Kept Sweetening The Offer
I find your site great. It has all of the right types of scam notifications.
I encountered one just fourteen days ago when I received a phone call
from a "sales person" named "Paul" from United Financial
Corp. who started the call off by saying that he was responding to a
credit card application that I had filled out.
When I asked him, "What application?" he responded with "The
one from 6 months ago". I asked him with what company and he responded, "We
do not have that information." My curiosity was peaked, so
I bit, even knowing that I had not applied for any cards in over a year.
He offered me an unsecured Visa with a $3000 limit with a 7.0% interest
rate. He further stated that along with the card which I was guaranteed
to get in the mail in "exactly 7 days", I would get a 700Mhz
CPU and a pre-paid Sprint mobile phone as "gifts". The offer
then got even better.
He also stated that "10 days after you get the Visa, you will get
a secured MasterCard where all you have to do is make a deposit to receive
200% of the deposit as a credit limit." I asked if I could
get the Visa and decline the MasterCard and he replied "Of course,
just send it back."
I asked him what the fee was and he responded "$299.00 debited
from your checking account". Still curious I went ahead and bit
harder. He asked for my account info (routing number and account number).
Then he said, and I quote, "Now it is important that when you get
your Visa card, that you call our customer service center and activate
the card. The operator will give you a PIN and then all you have to do
is go withdraw the $299.00 from the card and deposit it into your checking
account to cover our ACH." He gave me the debit date of February
12th so I was to receive the card on February 7th if the seven day rule
applied. He then transferred me to another operator to "record my
Prior to him transferring me I asked him what the customer service phone
number was. He gave me 1-866-480-1239 and transferred me to a sweet sounding
female who "recorded" my authorization and re-affirmed the
same sales pitch he gave but went further to say that I would be subject
to penalties if my ACH did not clear. She gave me a tracking number and
quickly said if I had any questions call 1-866-484-1239 and speak to
customer service, then hung up.
Note: An ACH is an electronic debit from an account commonly known as
a "check debit" where an individual gives authorization to
a company to debit their account using the accounts ABA (routing) number
and account number.
Now there I am at home thinking.
1. The male was too evasive in giving me what company I had applied
to 6 months prior.
2. A free CPU and phone? I'd never heard of a deal like that before.
3. Guaranteed 7 day delivery, in today's mail system since 9-11?
The big tip off was the customer service phone numbers which did not
match. I call the first phone number and guess what? Not a working
number. I call the second number and get a recording which started out
in Canadian French then repeated in English. "You have reached the
Canadian Sprint Phone Service answering service, if you know the extension
of your party please press it now".
Hmmm... yep I've got a problem to fix now. I go online searching for "cross
border credit card scams" and find a task force of Canadian authorities
to call at Phonebusters.
There, the advisor states "So they offered you a Visa and a MasterCard,
eh?... Tell me something, have you ever gone to a Ford car lot? And while
you were there did you see any Chevy's for sale, also? Didn't think
so. Those are two separate and competing companies which never sell back
to back. The same thing applies here."
Well, I really feel bad now but still go through the process of optimistically
thinking the card may yet come.
The seven days came and went, so I tried the second number again and
actually got a customer service rep. I explain that the card has not
arrived and she explains that they do not issue cards. but simply sell
a list of banks that will approve people with bad credit. I tell her
that their sales pitch misrepresents the facts and she rudely says "Then
go stop the payment".
I was lucky that I finally managed to stop the payment, without charge,
on the day it appeared in my account by filling out a fraud statement
with the bank. Their bank routing number is 12224287. I also filed a
formal complaint with the Canadian and US authorities and hope others
can avoid this scam by visiting your site.
Randall Bland 02/14/02
We declared bankruptcy about 7 months ago and were looking into rebuilding
our credit through either a secured or unsecured credit card; if we could
find one that would accept us.
I went to a couple of sites and gave some brief info to see if we qualified
for anything but never got the instant results I was promised, so I just
gave up and went on with life.
Two weeks ago we got a call, asking for my husband, stating that he
was following up on an application he had filled out. This sounded legit,
since I was looking.
The caller told me all we needed was the information for a bank draft
of $221 which, although I thought was rather high, was supposedly for
an unsecured card and besides, most sites had membership fees as well.
He gave me my tracking and customer care center numbers.
The next day I had second thoughts and attempted to call and ask them
to cancel. No luck.
I got a message saying that they were experiencing a high call volume
due to a huge response to their program, my call was important to them,
call back later. Which I did repeatedly, for days.
Even though they posted it right on schedule I have yet to get through
to actually talk to a person.
I have contacted my bank and asked for any information on who the money
went to since all the transaction states is the phone number of the company
1-678-293-0133. Stupid me didn't write down the name of the company or
guy who called, and I feel like an idiot.
Tucson, AZ 05/15/02
I got the same phone call the lady in Arizona did about the $2500.00
credit card. Freedom Resource gave me my routing number also and the
same customer service number. I finally got thru and told them I wanted
a refund of my money but they stated they had to send me a letter to
sign and then I would get a check back for the $221.95 they took out.
Well, still no letter. Imagine that. How can I go after these people?
The names they're operating under are.
Freedom Credit Resource, Freedom Resource, Freedom Resource Inc, Freedom
Fresh Start, Wise Select Credit
136 Fairground Street, Marietta, GA 30067.
The phone numbers are 678-239-0133, 678-239-0131, 678-239-5682.
Taking your advice, I went to the bank today and they are reversing
the ACH and putting it back in my account. I also notified MasterCard
because they're using their name.
Indignant in Indiana 10/09/02
I too have been scammed by Premier-One.org. I received a phone call
on Saturday April 20th, 2002 telling me that I had been approved for
a MasterCard with $2500 credit limit bla bla bla. My credit is worse
than horrible so I fell for it, hook, line & sinker. I gave them
my checking account information, the next available check # etc.
I finally received my "packet" in the mail on May 23, 2002.
Their written termination policy is 30 days after your "effective
date" but who knows what that means. Do I have ANY recourse?
Duped in Texas - Paula E. 05/24/02
Crappy Credit Cramming Card
I came across your site while searching for a supposed credit card company
called Premier One after a telemarketer called my girlfriend offering
a MasterCard or Visa with credit limit of $2500.
They requested her bank account number in order to withdraw $174.90
on a date of her choice but not until she went over the info packet they
would send. As a bonus she would receive free trial offers from a list
of different companies.
Well she made the mistake of giving them her number and $174.90 was
withdrawn immediately, no info packet was sent and no credit card.
A month later $54.90 was withdrawn from a company called Ephone who
had a recording of the Premier One phone call, and a month after that
$99.00 was withdrawn by a company called HPP Phone Check who also had
our info from Premier One. Of course we have never used any of these
They have just been using our checking account, which we are closing,
as a free cash withdrawal center.
Brad Jones 08/16/02
510 E. 17th St. Suite 167
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404
I'm from Houston and thought I was smarter than that! A credit
card called U.S. Guardian called me 8/23/02 and I took the bait, hook,
line and sinker.
A woman named Evelyn Taitt told me I was pre-approved for a $2500 MasterCard
and I jumped at the chance to get a credit card. After the man from the
security department called to verify the information on the $199 debit
I felt uneasy about the whole thing and found this website.
I cried for awhile then called my bank to stop the transaction from
going through. I hope that's all I have to do. I'm also going to make
a complaint and anything else I can do to get the heartless people that
are doing this!!!!!
Denise Savala, Texas
CREDIT EXPRESS / Platinum Express
1502 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
Guarantee a major credit card for an advance fee of $189 but consumers
do not receive anything from Credit Express and are unable to contact
the company. The firm does not respond to complaints or requests for
information from the BBB such as the types of credit offered, the names
of the financial institutions that issued the credit and the names of
10 people who have received credit through their program
When I paid $221.00 dollars back in August to get a MasterCard
credit card with a limit of $2500, Freedom in Atlanta, Ga., told me that
10-15 days after they took the money out of my checking I would get my
card. It's now Sept 26/02.
I kept calling and this time I was told that they are going to send
me a membership kit first and that I have to sign a form because they
can not issue me a card without my signature. They seemed to have no
trouble taking money out of my bank account without one.
P.O. BOX 851
FAIRFIELD, FL 32634
Same thing happened to me. They debited $230 from my checking account
on April 2nd. Please help me. they are not refunding my amount. It's
already been two months.
I am grad student from India.
MURALI K RAI, BROOKINGS SD, 05/23/03
Credit card scam takes in victims
NZ 11-03 - A global credit card scam is thought to be operating out
of South Auckland as police have discovered fake credit cards are being
distributed from somewhere in the region.
The cards are sent out after people log on to global-goldcard.com and
send away $200. They are delivered cards which do not work.
When the person contacts the administrator, they are told they have
been identified as a criminal, and that the money has been donated to
National E-Crime Manager Maarten Kleintjes believes South Auckland is
just one link in the chain as the website is based in China which probably
means it is part of a global organised crime syndicate.
Pretty Light Sentence for a National Operation
BALTIMORE -- 02/04 - A California man was sentenced to more than four
years in prison for operating a national telemarketing scheme that told
consumers they would receive a credit card and a preapproved line of
credit in exchange for a savings club membership fee.
The scheme defrauded more than 31,000 consumers of more than $3.6 million,
U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio announced Monday.
Mark Cohn, 49, of Woodside, Calif., was sentenced by
U.S. District Judge Andre Davis to 57 months in prison followed by three
years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $150,000 fine, DiBiagio
The California company Four Star Financial Services,
where Cohn was executive vice president and general counsel, was ordered
to pay a $1 million fine. The company filed for involuntary bankruptcy
in the Central District of California in June 2003.
Cohn was convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy last June
for his role in the telemarketing scheme, which was based in Baltimore
and employed telemarketing rooms throughout the country.
Con artists bilked money from 100,000 people
with poor credit, extracting fees in exchange for credit cards.
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A U.S. federal judge sentenced two people Friday
for their roles in a $30 million telemarketing scam that targeted poor
Americans with weak credit histories.
Stephen Clark, a 48-year-old Canadian, was sentenced to a little more
than 11 years in prison, while Raymond Payne, a former HSBC vice president,
was sentenced to 70 months during hearings before U.S. District Judge
Thomas Griesa in Manhattan federal court. Both were given the minimum
sentences under the guidelines provided to the court.
Clark, along with another Canadian, operated First Choice Tele-Services
Corp., which bilked about 100,000 people with poor credit by extracting
$249 to $299 fees in exchange for guaranteed credit cards, according
to the U.S. Sniffing out a possible scam
They also obtained the victims' bank account information and transferred
funds to an account First Choice held in HSBC Bank in Manhattan, according
to the prosecutors.
Although some people received manuals on credit repair, none received
credit cards, prosecutors said. The scheme lasted from February 2002
to October 2003, they said.
Payne, who was the relationship manager on First Choice's HSBC account,
hid the scheme from his superiors and advanced it by selling the credit
manuals to First Choice, according to prosecutors.
"I am extremely remorseful and embarrassed," Clark said during
the hearing as his wife watched. "I am a broken man, who is about
to return to prison."
The judge denied his request for time before he surrendered to start
his sentence. Clark's wife started crying as he was taken away.
In September, Clark admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit wire
fraud and mail fraud and one count of conspiring to launder money.
He faced up to 20 years in prison plus fines on each of the two counts,
but prosecutors and Clark had agreed on a prison sentence of between
11-1/4 to 14 years.
Payne pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
and mail fraud in August. The charge carried a maximum sentence of 20
years in prison, but the court was suggested a term of 70 months to 87
A third defendant, Leslie Pinsky, is in Canada and has not been extradited
Four convicted in $10 million credit card scam
04/06 - KANSAS CITY, Mo. The co-owner and three office managers of a
telemarketing firm have been found guilty in Missouri of defrauding thousands
of people out of more than ten (m) million dollars.
One of the defendants convicted in federal court in Kansas City was
29-year-old Zachery Whitehill of Sahuarita (sow-rah--REE'-tuh). He was
co-owner of the telemarketing firm, called Gecko Communications.
Prosecutors say Gecko contacted people with poor credit, offering a
major credit card in exchange for a payment of 219 dollars.
Many of the customers received only a credit card application, and none
received a card.
Whitehill faces up to 45 years in federal prison without parole, plus
a fine up to one and one-quarter (m) million dollars and restitution.
Five other people pleaded guilty earlier in the scheme, which prosecutors
say defrauded an estimated 50-thousand people nationwide from 1999 until
Gecko was shut down in 2001.
One pleads guilty in telemarketing case
By Scott Wartman
01/06 - NEWPORT - One of two brothers from Fort Thomas charged in an
international telemarketing scheme pleaded guilty Tuesday in Campbell
County Circuit Court to three felony violations of Kentucky telemarketing
Brian Hunt, 35, reached a plea agreement with the Kentucky attorney
general's office and agreed to pay $60,000 restitution and serve six
months home confinement and three years probation. He will be sentenced
The scheme bilked $3 million from thousands of victims across the country
from November 2003 to August 2005, the Kentucky attorney general's office
said. Telemarketing firms from India and Canada would offer victims credit
cards and grants for a fee, usually ranging from $199 to $299, according
to the attorney general's office.
Brian Hunt and his brother, Matthew Gordon Hunt, 29, helped form a front
company, Mountain Peak Financial, in a Fort Thomas condominium to launder
the money outside the United States, the attorney general's office said.
Matthew Hunt pleaded not guilty to four felony violations of Kentucky's
telemarketing statute and two counts of receiving stolen property. He
will have a pretrial hearing Jan. 20.
The telemarketing fraud targeted people with bad credit and victimized
many elderly people, said Todd Leatherman, executive director of the
office of consumer protection for the attorney general.
Many of the victims received restitution from their banks if they disputed
the charges, Leatherman said. Recovering much more than the $60,000 paid
in restitution is unlikely, Leatherman said. Working with agencies in
Canada and India to recover defrauded funds is difficult.
"You find that law enforcement are overwhelmed with requests like
this and don't have the resources to respond," Leatherman said. "The
telemarketers go to Canada, but they don't call Canadians. Because Canadians
aren't being ripped off, they aren't devoting the resources to it."
Leatherman said people should practice caution when using their credit
card or bank account numbers.
People should also check their bank-account statements carefully, he
said. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the attorney general
at (888) 432-9257.
Real or Rip-off?
To put into perspective how easily it is for scammers to emulate real
credit card offerings take note of just how many legitimate call center
operations are reaching out daily to consumers on behalf of the major
card companies. As these numbers do not even include all operations,
it becomes evident that consumers would not be surprised or particularly
wary of such a solicitation.
Call Center Company
|APAC Customer Services, Deerfield, Ill.
|TeleSpectrum, King of Prussia, Pa.
|SITEL Corp., Omaha, Neb.
|DialAmerica Marketing Inc., Mahwah, N.J.
|FutureCall Telemarketing West Inc., Colorado Springs,
|Americall Telemarketing, Naperville, Ill.
|Market USA, Des Plaines, Ill.
|ICT Group, Langhorne, Pa.
|Interactive Teleservices Corp., Columbus, Ohio
|West TeleServices, Omaha, Neb.
|RMH Teleservices Inc., Bryn Mawr, Pa.
|Results Company, Dania, Fla.
|ORC ProTel Inc., Lansing, Ill.
|Live Bridge Inc., Portland, Ore.
|Dakotah Direct II, LLC, Spokane, Wash.
|GLS Teleservices, Philadelphia
|Access Direct Telemarketing Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
|Harte-Hanks Teleservices, Cherry Hill, N.J.
|Gannett TeleMarketing Inc., Springfield, Va.
|Telatron Marketing Group Inc., Erie, Pa.
|ACI Telecentrics Inc., Minneapolis
|Creative Marketing Strategies, Woodbury, N.J.
|Contact America, La Jolla, Calif.
|Aegis Communications Group Inc.,
|Telemarketing Concepts, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
|Aon Innovative Solutions, Golden, Colo.
|Relizon, Earth City, Mo.
|InterMedi@ Marketing Solutions, West Chester, Pa.
|Interactive Response Technology/IRT, Fort Lauderdale,
|TSYS Total Solutions Inc., Columbus, Ga.
|Transcom Inc., Carmel, Ind.
More info on Credit Card options and scams available at EyeOnCredit
Opting Out of Credit Reviews
Consumers need to monitor their credit score since insurance companies
use it to accept or deny auto and home coverage and as a factor in calculating
People don't realize that those numerous credit card offers they receive
in the mail actually erode their credit score even when the consumer
doesn't accept the card.
The system doesn't distinguish between companies reviewing reports as
a way to search for reliable new customers and a person in financial
trouble who is repeatedly applying for credit from those same companies.
A phone number (1-888-567-8688) allows people to opt out of allowing
review of their credit history without permission.
About 70 percent of credit reports contain mistakes. About 30 percent
contain errors negatively affecting the credit score and, as a result,
To check a credit report, consumers should call the three main providers:
•Equifax, 800-525-6285 or www.credit.equifax.com.
•Experian, 888-397-3742 or www.experian.com.
•Trans Union, 800-888-4213 or www.transunion.com
Two firms provide credit score information:
•Choice Point at 800-342-5339 or www.choicetrust.com.
•Fair Issacs at www.myfico.com.
People should scrutinize their reports for unknown credit listings as
well other bills and statements for suspicious transactions
Credit Card Offer Scam Articles