Credit Protection Marketers to Pay $131,000

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Two businesses will pay $131,000 to reimburse consumers and settle federal charges of deception involving a telemarketing campaign for credit card protection and debt-consolidation services, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.


Acting through telemarketers, QualyCon of New York Inc., Forum Marketing Services Inc. and their principals, Edward and William John Velasquez, tricked consumers into buying the "worthless" services or billed them without authorization, the FTC said.


They were charged as part of the FTC's "Operation Protection Deception," in October 2000.


Telemarketers for the companies made misleading statements to entice consumers either to buy the services or disclose their credit card information, which was used to issue unauthorized bills, the FTC said. Bills ranged from $199 to $299, according to the FTC.


Money collected from the companies will be used to reimburse consumers who lost money due to the misleading statements, the FTC said. The companies also must post a $50,000 bond before engaging in telemarketing again and are barred from making numerous misrepresentations involving the marketing of credit card protection and debt consolidation.


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