Judge Issues $11.8M Penalty in Credit Card Scheme

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A federal judge in New York ordered a group of companies to pay $11.8 million on charges that they used telemarketing to defraud consumers via an advanced-fee credit card scheme, the Federal Trade Commission said Friday.

The operation involved six companies in New York and New Jersey under the control of a single principal, Frederick J. Dick, the FTC said. Consumers paid $219.99 to $289 for Visa and MasterCard credit cards and typically received nothing.

According to the FTC, the six companies are Credit Enhancement Services, Liberty Benefits, Broadway Management, Check Fee (also known as Titanium Blue), Port of Call Centers and Port of Call Center NY.

Consumers found that money they agreed to pay to get the credit cards was debited from their accounts almost immediately and that it was impossible to take advantage of an offered refund guarantee, the FTC said. The money paid by Dick's operation will be used to repay those consumers.

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