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FTC Takes Three Telemarketing Payment Methods Off the Table

June 27th, 2016 · No Comments · Consumer Info

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: November 24, 2017)

ftc takes three telemarketing payment methods off the tableIt just got tougher for crooked telemarketers to scam consumers out of their hard-earned money. That’s thanks to amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule that went into effect this month. Three payment methods that scammers previously used to dupe consumers are now illegal.

No More Cash-to-Cash Wire Transfers

Gone are the days when telemarketers could legally ask you to make a cash-to-cash wire transfer. That means telemarketers can no longer hide behind the anonymity. If it’s cash-to-cash, there’s no trail. They can disappear with your money, without a trace.

No More Cash Reload Mechanisms

In this case, scammers ask consumers to pay with cash reload cards. The telemarketer asks for the consumer’s PIN, accesses the card, and applies the funds to their own prepaid debit card.

No More Remotely Created Payments

All a telemarketer needs is a bank account number for a “remotely created” unsigned check or “payment order.” Basically, this allows them to debit money from the account without the consumer every seeing or signing the check or payment order.

None of this cripples the telemarketing industry. There are still plenty of legal ways for them to ask consumers for money. And the FTC says legit telemarketers don’t use these now-illegal payment methods anyway:

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

About the Telemarketing Sales Rule

The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) went into effect in 1995. Since then, it has seen four amendments, including the one finalized in 2015 and that went into effect June 13, 2016.

In addition to restrictions on payment methods, the TSR also covers:

  • When telemarketers can call you – 8 am to 9 pm
  • The transition from a robocall to a live person – within 2 seconds of your “hello”
  • Caller ID transmission – they must provide your caller ID service with their phone number and, if possible, their name
  • What telemarketers must disclose – their identity, purpose of the call, and terms of the sale
  • The National Do Not Call Registry – telemarketers are required to review it every 31 days and avoid calling any number that’s on it

Learn more about the TSR.

Have Your Rights Been Violated?

If you believe a telemarketer has broken the law, report it to the FTC.

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