Florida Credit Card Interest Rate Reduction Scam

by Donald Petersen on December 30, 2010

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Several Orlando, Florida area debt relief companies which offered to reduce consumer’s credit card interest rates are banned from providing debt relief services.

The Orlando Division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered judgment in the amount of $ 5.9 million against JPM Accelerated Services, Inc. of Melbourne, Florida, and
$ 3.2 million against IXE Accelerated Services, Inc. of Altamonte Springs, Florida (Orlando, FL) and six individuals on November 9, 2010. The Federal Trade Commission settlement also bans the two related operations from making robocalls and selling debt relief services.

The FTC’s complaint alleged that defendants made thousands of illegal pre-recorded robocalls to consumers, identifying themselves only as “card services” and offering lower credit card interest rates. Consumers who responded to the call were transferred to telemarketers who falsely promised the consumer that they could dramatically reduce their credit card interest rates.

Consumers paid defendants up front fees ranging from $ 495 to $ 995. Consumers received very little in return. According to the FTC’s complaint :

“In some instances, after consumers complete and return defendant’s forms, defendants initiate three-way telephone calls with the consumers and the customer service departments of the relevant credit card companies that consumers listed on the forms. These three-way telephone calls merely consist of defendants verbally requesting (or prompting consumers to verbally request) that the credit card companies reduce the consumer’s credit card interest rates. … The credit card companies typically decline the request, and the call ends. These three-way telephone calls are often the total extent of defendants’ credit card interest rate reduction services.”

In other words, consumers paid at least $ 495 for services that were highly unlikely to work and which the consumer could have performed themselves. “Interest rate reduction” programs scams are more common than I would have believed, the predators who operate them charge vulnerable credit card borrowers a lot of money.

The FTC’s complaint provides some insight into why desperate consumers would part with their hard earned money :

“During telemarketing calls, defendants claim to have the ability to substantially reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates. In many instances, defendants claim that they can obtain very low interest rates, such as 4 to 7 percent, for consumers. Defendants also often claim that their interest rate reduction services will provide substantial savings to consumers, typically $ 2500 or more, in a short period of time, and will enable consumers to pay off their debt much faster, typically three to five times faster, without increasing their monthly payments”

Defendants claims to have a 98% success rate. Defendants often also offered a money back guarantee but rarely refunded the fee charged to consumers for purchasing the defendants’ ineffective services.

The FTC’s complaint also alleged that defendants also violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by calling consumers on the Do Not Call Registry, blocking or “spoofing” caller ID, and making unlawful robocalls.

The judgments against the credit card interest rate programs totaled
$ 9.1 million. This indicates that somewhere between 9,100 and 18,200 consumers paid the defendants between $ 495 to $ 995 to negotiate lower credit card interest rates with their credit card banks. The borrowers’ response to the robocalls indicates how desperate many consumers are to continue to pay their credit card accounts.

(C) 2010 Donald E. Petersen
All rights reserved.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

salvatore d'amico June 28, 2011 at 4:50 PM

They attempted to scam.but I keep asking for their 800 number and they hesitated to give it to me. They finally hung up on me when I told that I was sceptical about their offer. When I asked how much would it cost me they hung up. It was an out of area call.

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L. Allis August 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM

They (or another similar company or same people different name) are still operating under the name “Client Services” .
I got suspicious when they wanted my credit card number “to verify it”. Are there really people out there what would give some stranger calling them on the phone their credit card information? They claim to represent the Visa, MC, Discover and Am Ex. Shouldn’t they have it already then? They did give me an 800 number but when I called it back it said it was Visa card. They also tried to talk me into giving them my information first so that they could give me “all of the direct line numbers”. They couldn’t give me numbers before that, supposedly, as they were secure lines. (that doesn’t even make sense!) Boy am I glad that I am a confirmed skeptic.

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Don Petersen August 17, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Hi. Regardless of whether the same companies or people are involved, the scam you described sounds similar. Thanks for the information and warning other consumers.

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Daniel Zoll August 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I have been getting calls almost daily from Cardhold Services offering to reduce my credit card interest, part of the same scam.
The phone numbers are 407-480-9999 and 727-674-9999. The calls come in on our line that is listed as DO NOT CALL. I wish some one would put those bastxxxs out of business.

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Don Petersen September 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Daniel, thanks for the information. I am glad that you didn’t fall for their scheme and appreciate your providing the phone numbers. Often, busting up one scheme leaves the former employees to improvise or opens the field to imitators.

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drew August 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

These people call me relentlessly. I play along and ask them where they are located. The lady today said Orlando. called the company Credit Card Services. Called from 916 219 9223. Caller id says customer svc. I asked if they have a website and they always hang up.
I have received over 100 calls from them in one year. I would very much like to know who they are and to sue them for harassment and calling when I am on the do not call list. If they have been stopped why do they continue to operate with impunity??? Email me any information you have please.

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