Advance-Fee Credit Card Marketers Settle Complaint

Two Florida-based businesses agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a complaint that they violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule while engaged in an advance-fee credit card operation, the Federal Trade Commission said.

E-Credit Solutions, its sole officer and director Scott A. Burley and Zentel Enterprises, operating from Miami, charged consumers $199.95 for an unsecured credit card with a $4,000 credit limit, the FTC said. But consumers received a plastic “catalog card” good only for the purchase of items from their catalogs, according to the FTC.

In addition, the FTC alleged that the companies charged consumers for upsell items, including auto club memberships and long-distance telephone cards, without their consent and without providing required disclosures.

Burley and the two companies were among several companies named in Operation Dialing for Deception, an FTC sweep announced in April 2002.

Money paid as part of the settlement will be used to compensate consumers. In addition, Burley and the two companies agreed to a ban from advance-fee credit card marketing and future TSR violations.

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