FTC sues scammer’s little helper
What do you call a company that helps scammers drain people’s accounts without authorization? At the FTC, we call them “Defendants.” Badum bum.
In fact, the Commission just charged three companies and four individuals with helping a fraudulent internet operation withdraw $26 million without the permission of the account holders.
CardFlex, a payment processor, and its sales agents connected online seller iWorks with merchant accounts that let iWorks charge consumers for “trial“ memberships and other offers. Credit card companies warned CardFlex about iWorks’ troubled history and CardFlex knew that many consumers had disputed iWorks’ unauthorized charges. Despite that, CardFlex worked for almost a year to help iWorks evade credit card companies’ fraud monitoring systems. The companies opened nearly 300 bank accounts using 30 different corporate names to hide iWorks’ connection to the accounts and tried to conceal the high rate of consumer complaints. CardFlex’s help for iWorks came to a halt when one bank stopped doing business with CardFlex.
If you find a charge you didn’t agree to on your credit card bill, dispute it with your credit card company. Write to the credit card company at the address for “billing inquiries” within 60 days after the bill was mailed. Our sample letter gives an idea of what to say. You don’t have to pay the amount you dispute while the charge is being investigated, but you must make at least the required minimum payments, including related finance charges. If you think a creditor isn’t following proper dispute procedures, file a complaint with the FTC.