The Federal Trade Commission's crackdown on credit card fraud has reached into Canada. According to FTC officials, a federal district court in Chicago froze the assets of a company using robodialers to pitch consumers on a program to reduce their credit card interest rates. Investigators charge that the company pocketed almost $13 million in fees from customers who thought they were responding to a legitimate offer of a nationwide credit card bailout.

In a statement to reporters, the FTC revealed that the defendants operated "boiler room" call center operations in Orlando, Florida, but that the company's main offices in Toronto and Rochester maintained the automatic dialers. Operating under at least ten assumed company names, the defendants at AFL Financial Services allegedly used robocalls to contact consumers on that National Do Not Call Registry and that its claims violated the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. Although the robocalls claimed that customers could save $2,500 or more in credit card finance charges, FTC officials advised consumers that only lenders could make such changes to their account terms.

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joe

Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.