FTC Stops Telemarketing Scam That Defrauded Seniors

“The Federal Trade Commission has moved to close down a multi-million dollar telemarketing fraud that targeted U.S. seniors across the nation, scamming tens of thousands of consumers,” according to an FTC press release.

The defendants used a telemarketing boiler room in Canada … to cold-call seniors claiming to sell fraud protection, legal protection, and pharmaceutical benefit services. The cost for the defendants’ alleged services ranged from $187 and $397.

In some instances, the telemarketers who carried out the fraud impersonated government and bank officials, and enticed consumers to disclose their confidential bank account information to facilitate the fraud. The defendants used that account information to create checks drawn on the consumers’ bank accounts. They then deposited these “remotely created checks” into corporate accounts they established in the United States. The U.S.-based defendants then transferred the money to accounts controlled by the Canadian defendants, according to an analysis of bank records.

After a hearing on March 27, three defendants agreed to court-issued preliminary injunctions, and the court imposed a preliminary injunction against a fourth defendant. The court found that funds “should be preserved so they can potentially be returned to the victims of the telemarketing fraud scheme.”

The scheme drew in more than $20 million between May 2011 and December 2013.