What We’re Reading – "FTC Alerts Telemarketers and Consumers of Illegal Payment Methods"

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What We're Reading - "FTC Alerts Telemarketers and Consumers of Illegal Payment Methods" (Source: Pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

Whether you’re a consumer looking to protect yourself from scammers or a legitimate company trying to do honest business, there are some important new telemarketing rules and regulations from the FTC that you’ll want to know.

The new amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) took effect earlier this month, according to Inside the Gate. The new rules bar telemarketers from using three common payment methods often “exploited by con artists and scammers.

“Con artists like payments that are tough to trace and hard for people to reverse,” explained Jessica Rich, the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a press release. “The FTC’s new telemarketing rules ban payment methods that scammers like, but honest telemarketers don’t use.”

So what are those three methods? According to Inside the Gate, they include:

Cash-to-Cash Money Transfers

 

Though largely provided by established companies like MoneyGram, Western Union, and RIA, cash-to-cash transfers allow to scammers to have “a quick, anonymous, and irretrievable method to extract money from consumer victims – once it is picked up by the recipient, the money is gone,” as Inside the Gate explains.

Remotely Created Payment Orders

We’ll let Inside the Gate explain:

“The TSR changes will stop telemarketers from dipping directly into consumer bank accounts by using certain kinds of checks and “payment orders” that have been “remotely created” by the telemarketer or seller. These two payment mechanisms make it easy for unscrupulous telemarketers to debit bank accounts without consumers’ permission, and can make it difficult to reverse the transactions with consumers’ banks.”

PINs for Cash Reload Cards

The changes to TSR will also bar telemarketers from using “cash reload” mechanisms, including MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit packs, which are all used to “add funds to existing prepaid cards.” As Inside the Gate puts it:

“Scammers use the cash reload mechanism to apply the funds to their own prepaid debit cards and disappear with the money. In 2015, major cash reload providers replaced cash reload mechanisms with a swipe reload process, a safer alternative not affected by the TSR amendments.”

For more on the new amendments, which include “provisions related to the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry,” we encourage you to read the full piece over at Inside the Gate. Looking for more vacation industry news and chatter? Check out their blog and “timeshare watering hole,” The GateHouse.

Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.

 

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