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Fraudulent and Misleading Credit Card Offer Scams

Separated? Divorced? Bankrupt? Widowed?

* Make the call NOW and get the credit you deserve!
* Even if you've been turned down before,
you owe it to yourself and your family.
* Your major credit card is waiting.

Some companies deceptively advertise major credit cards through television, newspapers, and postcards which lead you to believe you can get a card simply by calling the number listed. Sometimes the number is a '900' number service, for which you are billed just for making the call.

Ads like this promoting secured credit cards may appeal to you if you have a poor credit history or no credit at all. And while secured credit cards can be an effective way to build or re-establish your credit history, some marketers make deceptive advertising claims to entice you to respond to their ads.

Both secured and unsecured cards can be used to pay for goods and services. However, a secured card requires you to open and maintain a savings account as security for your line of credit; an unsecured, or more standard, card does not. Typically, a secured card requires an annual fee and has a higher interest rate charge than an unsecured card.

Your credit line is then a percentage of your deposit, typically 50-100%, which may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In addition, you also may have to pay application and processing fees —sometimes totaling hundreds of dollars.

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If you're interested in applying for a secured credit card, the BankCard Holders of America (BHA) provides a list of institutions offering secured cards. Send a check or money order for $4.00 to:

"Secured Credit Card List"
BHA Customer Service
524 Branch Drive
Salem, VA 24153

Federal Trade Commission v. 1st Beneficial Credit Services, et al.
The Federal Trade Commission authorized the filing of a second amended complaint, adding another defendant in the matter. The complaint alleges the defendants telemarketed nonexistent credit cards and concerns the debiting of consumers' checking accounts. The Commission initially filed this case as part of "Operation No-Credit," a coordinated crackdown on the telemarketing of nonexistent credit cards.

Federal Trade Commission v. Assail, Inc, et al.
The Federal Trade Commission filed charges against Assail, Inc. et al., alleging that the defendants engaged in deceptive and unfair activities in the marketing of advance-fee credit card packages. The complaint alleges that the defendants operated an advance-fee credit card scam through a network of boiler rooms, Canadian front men, and outsourced fulfillment and customer service centers. A federal court subsequently issued a preliminary injunction.

Federal Trade Commission v. Brent Chivers
The Federal Trade Commission announced the filing of a settlement in this matter. The complaint alleged that the defendant violated the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by offering consumers major credit cards, such as a MasterCard or Visa, for a one-time up-front fee. In addition to paying redress, the settlement prohibits the defendant from misrepresenting any fact material to a consumer's decision to purchase any good or service marketed by the defendant. This case was filed a part of "Operation No-Credit."

Federal Trade Commission v. Corporate Marketing Solutions, Inc. et al.
The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement of this matter. The complaint alleged the defendants telemarketed nonexistent advance-fee, low-interest credit cards, and bogus identity theft and telemarketing fraud protection services, often on behalf of third-party client companies. In addition to a lifetime ban from telemarketing, the settlement requires the payment of a $525,000 judgment.

Federal Trade Commission v. Efficient Telesales Services Inc., et al.
The Federal Trade Commission announced entry of a default judgment in this matter, permanently barring the defendants from selling advance-fee credit cards and requiring them to pay $1.3 million for consumer redress. The complaint in this action alleged that the defendants deceptively marketed advance-fee credit cards to citizens with no credit or bad credit. According to the complaint, the Canadian company promised consumers a major credit card, charged for it in advance, but never delivered the credit card.

Federal Trade Commission v. Thomas Gregg Holloway, First Freedom Financial Corp., et al.
The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement of this matter. The settlement prohibits the defendants from engaging in deception in the future and requires them to pay approximately $1.4 million for consumer redress. The case, brought through the FTC's "Dialing for Deception" law enforcement sweep, targeted defendants who allegedly placed ads in magazines or mailed postcards to consumers in order to pitch advance-fee credit cards deceptively.

Federal Trade Commission and State of Washington v. Westcal Equipment, Inc., et al.
The Federal Trade Commission announced settlement of this matter as to two of the defendants and the entry of a default judgment against another defendant. The settlement bars the two individual defendants from making certain misrepresentations alleged in the complaint. This case was originally filed with the State of Washington as a co-plaintiff as part of "Operation No Credit," a joint law enforcement campaign targeting a wide range of credit-related frauds.

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