Canadian Telemarketers Pay $25,000

Canadian companies agreed to pay $25,000 to settle charges that they defrauded consumers with a telemarketing offer of credit card protection services, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

Two individuals and the companies, Icon America Inc. and 9066-3451 Quebec Inc., sold the “essentially worthless” services to hundreds of consumers for $369, the FTC said. The FTC filed charges against the companies in October 2001 as part of a sweep of outbound telemarketing schemes dubbed “Ditch the Pitch.”

The credit card protection insurance offered by the companies is considered worthless by the FTC because consumers are responsible only for up to $50 when unauthorized charges are placed against their credit cards. In telemarketing pitches, the two companies frightened consumers into believing their credit card numbers were available on the Internet and that they would be liable for any unauthorized charges.

The companies are no longer in business, the FTC said, and both individuals have few remaining assets.

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