(CN) – Telemarketers are still making illegal robocalls to push bogus credit-card interest rate reductions and auto warranty scams, and refuse to pay refunds when customers call them on it, the FTC says in Federal Court. The FTC prohibited such robocalls as of Sept. 1 after a congressman got a pitch for one.
The Federal Trade Commission sued Economic Relief Technologies, Saferide Warranty and VP Marketing, as part of a series of lawsuits filed around the country this month. It claims they used a “telemarketing service that delivers prerecorded voice messages, known as ‘voice broadcasting’ or ‘robocalling'” and called under multiple alternate names.
The sales pitches claimed the defendants could reduce consumers’ credit card rates and help them pay off their debts “three to five times faster” without higher monthly payments. They claimed, falsely, that if their suckers did not save $4,000 in interest payments, the defendants would refund the price of their services, which ranged from $990 to $1,495, according to the complaint.
The pitches for the bogus automobile warranties falsely “warned consumers” that their warranties were about to expire. The victims were asked for the make and model of their vehicle and their telephone number, and the pitchmen falsely claimed to work directly for the vehicle manufacturer, the FTC says. It says the telemarketers were instructed not to reveal the defendants’ “real telephone number or address … and to hang up the telephone if consumers ask too many questions.”
They also called numbers on the Do Not Call Registry and used phony caller-ID numbers “so that call recipients do not know the source of the calls.”
The FTC seeks restitution, disgorgement and fines.
Individual defendants in this case include James J. Eyer, Kara Singleton Adams and James A. Shoenholz.