10/17, the manager of Amansco Credit Services was found guilty
of conspiracy to commit wire fraud... that is, of conspiring
to commit a massive telemarketing fraud between two companies
-- Franklin Credit and Amansco Credit, which billed customers
for over $2.7 million in 1997 and 1998. Before the FBI shut
the operations down, over 5,000 customers were defrauded.
The manager's conviction follows earlier guilty pleas to the
scheme by eight sales people from Franklin Credit.
was the scheme? Promised debt consolidation. For a mere $295,
you'd receive a low interest debt consolidation "loan"
from Franklin Credit to pay off your creditors. Except there
was no loan -- you just got turned over to Amansco Credit...
and it only provided a bill-paying service.
lesson here is two fold.
that the FBI will relentlessly pursue fraudulent telemarketers,
who sell bogus products and services over the phone, specially
targeting senior citizens and other vulnerable segments of
that you, the consumer, must be wise to these scams.
prepared to say "no thank you" if you hear these
or the offer won't be good. You've won a free gift/vacation/prize...
but you have to pay for postage and handling/ taxes/other
charges. Just send money, give us your credit card number,
or... we'd be glad to pick up your check by courier. We're
a well known company -- don't delay by checking us out. You
can't afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer!
are a few principles to guide you before you open your wallet.
out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection
agency, the better business bureau, your state Attorney General,
the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups.
for and check out your salesperson's name, business identity,
telephone number, street and mailing addresses, and business
pay for a "free prize" -- if the caller says the
payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
Read more on our section for Frauds
That Target Senior Citizens.
you have info about a fraud? Report it immediately to your
local law enforcement agency. If your complaint has any connection
to the Internet, submit it directly to the FBI's Internet
Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov.