The Office of the Florida Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission have charged a number of Orlando defendants with bombarding consumers with illegal robocalls in an attempt to sell them sham debt relief and credit card interest rate reduction services over the phone. According to the complaint, these companies have scammed consumers out of more than $15.6 million since at least the beginning of 2013. This case is the 39th action taken since the beginning of January 2015
The complaint makes the following allegations:
- The companies used generic names such as “Credit Assistance Program” and “Bank Card Services” and falsely claimed to be a “licensed enrollment center” for major credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard. The companies were almost never able to obtain the promised rate of savings for the consumer.
- The defendants allegedly claimed to consumers that they could save them thousands of dollars and allow them to pay off their debts two to three times faster, and required up-front payments of between $500 and $5,000.
- The companies pitched bogus credit card debt-elimination services, promising that they could access government funds in order to pay off the consumer’s debt in 18 months, and charged between $2,500 and nearly $20,000 up front to do so. (In reality, no such fund exists, and consumers who paid these fees wound up deeper in debt and suffered damage to their credit scores.)
- The companies are estimated to have made billions of illegal robocalls to consumers.
Life Management Services of Orange County, LLC has been temporarily stopped by a federal district court in Orlando pending an upcoming hearing. According to the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, this is the latest effort by the FTC and international, state, and federal law enforcement partners to stop illegal robocalling operations. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has declared that this action is to not only help protect Floridians from falling victim to these types of scams, but also to protect consumers across the nation.
Robocalls are illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If you have received harassing robocalls or text messages marketing products and services without your consent, you may be entitled to compensation. To talk about your rights with a Chicago consumer protection attorney, please contact Atlas Consumer Law at (312) 313-1613.