The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has forever banned Arizona-based National Card Monitor LLC from marketing or selling any credit related products or services. The company, which is responsible for $2,329,409 in consumer damages, was shut down at the end of last year. They have been ordered to turn over their funds to settle FTC charges.
National Card Monitor cold-called consumers starting in early 2011 offering them low rate credit cards and balance transfers for an up-front fee of $499 to $599. They told customers their money would be fully refunded if they did not receive the card. Refunds were not made.
National Do Not Call Registry violated
They also violated the National Do Not Call Registry, which was set up to prevent telemarketers from contacting people on the list.
The FTC settlement bans National Card Monitor from offering credit related products and debt relief services and from making misrepresentations in the marketing or sale of any financial products.
The company’s funds have been frozen and will be put toward the two-million-plus restitution. If the defendants are later found to have misrepresented their situation at any point, the judgment must be paid in full.
The FTC vote was unanimous at 4-0 and was filed in Arizona U.S. District Court. The order was signed earlier this week.
Protect yourself from fraud
Legitimate offers for low interest credit cards, 0% APR credit cards, and balance transfers never include an advance fee paid over the phone. Customers should always comparison shop and make sure they are applying for credit offers from well-known and established credit issuers. There are many free low-interest credit products available, as well as authentic balance transfer offers.
More information on credit card interest rate reduction scams is available on the FTC’s website. Consumers can register with the National Do Not Call Registry and report violations at DoNotCall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.