The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revealed that the individuals behind the Platinum Trust Card and Express Platinum Card scam have accepted to pay over $7.5 million (6 million EUR) to settle the charges brought against them. They will also be banned from telemarketing and from selling services or products related to credit cards.
In January 2012, the agency charged the alleged scammers with violating the FTC Act and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The suspects’ assets were frozen and the entire operation was halted.
Blake Rubin, Chase Rubin, and Justin Diaczuk contacted payday loan applicants and offered them general-purpose credit cards with a limit of almost $10,000 (8,000 EUR) in exchange for a $19 (15 EUR) monthly fee and an initial payment of $99 (79 EUR).
They told their victims that the credit cards could be used at any retailer that accepted American Express, Visa and MasterCard cards. They also lured their victims by promising to rebuild their consumer credit ratings with major credit bureaus.
In reality, the payment cards could only be utilized to purchase items from online stores operated by the suspects. Furthermore, all the products were overpriced.
The defendants, Apogee One Enterprises LLC, and Marquee Marketing LLC – the companies owned by them – were not only fined and banned from telemarketing. They were also prohibited from using shady marketing methods to advertise goods or services, collecting payments, and misusing their customers’ personal details.
In other words, they were banned from scamming others in the future.
The FTC advises consumers to check out the organization’s phone scam advisory
which details telemarketing fraud and how it can be recognized and avoided.
The Federal Trade Commission has an ongoing campaign against scammers, but it's not an easy-to-win battle if individuals aren't aware and cautious.