FTC Settles Bogus-Credit Charge

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A group of Toronto-based financial services firms agreed to pay $190,000 to settle a complaint that they made misrepresentations in their offers of credit cards in exchange for a fee, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

The companies, including First Beneficial Credit Services, Platinum Express Benefits and American Capitol Benefits, offered U.S. consumers Visa and MasterCard credit cards for fees from $199 to $249, the FTC said.

Those who paid the fee received nothing except information about improving credit or a "virtually worthless" catalog card, according to the FTC.

Also under the settlement, the companies were banned from telemarketing credit services and from marketing advanced-fee credit cards. The companies had been charged in the FTC's August 1992 "Operation No Credit" sweep of financial scams.

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