allegedly defrauded by a Montreal, Canada-based telemarketer
and his related businesses will receive more than $111,000 in
consumer redress under the terms of a court settlement with
the Federal Trade Commission announced April 29.
to the FTC, the defendants "cold-called" tens of thousands
of U.S. consumers in an attempt to sell them bogus identity
theft protection services and supposed advance-fee, low-interest
credit cards. The order also bars them for life from all marketing
of credit-related goods or services and protection services.
was reached with Reuben Ross, individually and as an officer
of R&R Consultants Inc. (R&R) and Coast to Coast Benefits
Inc., also doing business as R&R, Peace and Quiet, Consumer
Alert, R&R Financial, Consumer Information Services. This
case was a result of the 2001 "Operation Ditch the Pitch"
through which the federal-state law enforcement sweep targeted
a wide range of out-bound telemarketing fraud.
to the FTC's complaint, the defendants promised to remove consumers'
personal information from the Internet, thus purportedly protecting
them from identity theft. The FTC alleged the defendants told
consumers their personal information, including credit card
numbers, was available on the Internet and they faced unlimited
liability if it was obtained by crooks. To help prevent this
loss, the defendants allegedly promised to remove all consumers'
personal information from the Internet and to delete consumers'
names from all telemarketing lists. In addition, in a separate
scheme, the defendants allegedly told consumers that for an
advanced fee of several hundred dollars they would receive a
low-interest credit card. In fact, the FTC alleged, consumers
only received a list of banks and a booklet of tips on how to
obtain a credit card. Each of these actions, the FTC said, violated
Section 5 of the FTC Act and/or the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
terms of the court order, the defendants are banned for life
from marketing "credit-related goods or services"
and "protection services." The order also requires
the defendants to pay $111,354 in consumer redress.
was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of New York on April 12, and signed by the judge on April 25.