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article imageFeds stop telemarketing scheme that pitched money-making schemes

By Owen Weldon     Oct 31, 2016 in Business
Phoenix - Federal regulators in the United States say telemarketers tricked people out of their money with get-rich-quick schemes.
On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission said it had charged a number of individuals and five companies with operating a telemarketing scheme. The scheme involved selling worthless money-making opportunities and phony grants. Scammers targeted seniors, veterans and consumers who were already in debt.
The FTC's complaint identified the companies as Paramount Business Services LLC, Marketing, Blue Saguaro, Oro Canyon Marketing II and Max Results Marketing. The companies are accused of misleading potential victims by promising them they could make easy money.
The three people charged with violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule are Carl E. Morris, Jr., Stacy Vela and Stephanie A. Bateluna. Their telemarketers allegedly called people to also tell them they could get government and corporate grants that can go towards home repairs, paying down debt and medical costs. They asked for money and promised that within 90 days, the victims would receive their grants worth thousands.
The Amazon scheme offered victims big profits, but they had to pay thousands of dollars to get a website that would earn money via affiliate commissions. The way it would work is when customers bought items from Amazon via the victims' websites, then the victims would get a commission. Consumers who fell for the scam were also told they would receive search optimization services and advertising services, which the FTC claims were worthless.
For now, the operation has been temporarily halted by a federal court. The FTC wants to end the alleged illegal practices and obtain money that will be given back to the victims.
A tactic known as reloading was also employed by the defendants, and they tried to get even more money from many of the same consumers using "reloading," offering to sell additional fake grants and promising they can qualify for larger ones by forming an LLC.
The FTC said nobody received money from the scams and the defendants didn't offer refunds to those who complained. Those who did complained were often ignored.
Both the office of the Arizona Attorney General and the Phoenix Police Department were thanked by the FTC. The FTC said they played an important role in shutting down the blatant scam.
More about Feds, telemarketing scam, Scam, money making schemes
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