BROOKLYN (CN) - A Brooklyn-based fraudster calling itself Credisure America and MyiPad uses robocalls to get financial information from consumers by offering them bogus "refunds," the FTC claims in Federal Court.
The Federal Trade Commission sued The Cuban Exchange and its operator, Suhaylee Rivera, in Federal Court. They operate under the names itself Credisure America and MyiPad, according to the complaint.
Rivera incorporated his company in July and uses the websites credisure.us, and credisure.net, which is "identical to the ftcrefund.com website," the FTC says.
(FTC) says a fraudulent credit company uses robocalls to convince consumers they are entitled to government refunds to get sensitive credit information.
"Defendants market their purported services by placing illegal robocalls to consumers, playing a prerecorded message alerting consumers to visit the website ftcrefund.com," the complaint states. "During the message, a prerecorded voice states the following: 'Please visit www.ftcrefund.com, www.ftcrefund.com. Your seizure ID number is 123223, again your seizure ID number is 123223. Visit right now www.ftcrefund.com. . Your seizure ID number is 123223. Thank you and have a nice day.' The messages use the same 'seizure ID number' for all consumers.
"The caller ID number transmitted with the calls is 877-382-4357 (often publicized by the FTC as '877-FTC-HELP'), which is the FTC's toll-free consumer response phone number. A reasonable consumer could conclude that the call is from the FTC and is alerting them to refunds or redress due the consumer from the FTC."
But that's not the case. Suckers who visit the defendants' websites are (mis)informed that "CrediSure America specialized in private financial forensic and investigation. Our main targets are large telemarketing and infomercial firms who get shutdown by the FTC for misrepresenting or simply defrauding customers like your self,'" according to the complaint.
Rivera's grammar and spelling do not appear to be as clever as his scam, according to the FTC complaint: "Defendants inform consumers they will receive a refund from the FTC in five to seven days, instructing consumers: 'To get your refund: 1. Enter your Siezure [sic] ID (top left). 2. Enter your depository information. 3. Wait 5 to 7 busienss [sic] days.' The website promises that 'Your refund will be processed within 5 to 7 business days instead of the usual 8 to 10 weeks.' Defendants state that their fee is a percentage of the refund obtained from the FTC: 'For only 5.55% we take care of your refund and process it in less then [sic] 7 business days as opposed to the standard 8 to 10 weeks.' Defendants claim that 'Over 13000 clients have received refunds through CrediSure America.'"
The FTC adds: "Regardless of what 'seizure ID number' is entered on the website, consumers are shown the same refund information.
"The page informs consumers that, to process the supposed refund, consumers must provide their: address, phone number, bank number (including the name listed on the account), account number, ABA/routing number, and a check number."
The ftcrefund.com website does not list a physical address for the company and, according to the complaint, instructs visitors: "Please do not write to ask if you are elijible [sic] for a refund, only those who are contacted are elijible [sic]."
The FTC adds: "All redress from the FTC is provided directly to consumers without charge through one of four prime vendors. The FTC does not work or contract with defendants and defendants are not one of the four prime vendors.
"The FTC does not direct deposit redress; the FTC mails paper checks directly to redress recipients. Moreover, the FTC does not publish the names of consumers due to receive redress from FTC consumer protection litigation. Defendant could not know the names of consumers due refunds or redress from FTC litigation.
"In short, defendants' claims are false. Defendants cannot expedite consumer redress, nor can they receive or process redress on behalf of consumers. Defendants simply place illegal robocalls and attempt to dupe consumers into providing sensitive personal and banking information by lying about defendants' ability to obtain consumer redress from the FTC on behalf of consumers."
The FTC seeks an injunction and penalties for violations of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.