According to a recently published article, Jeff Gelles, told the tale of the kind that can cause great consternation to many people.

It told the story of a Mr. Bill Losse, a retired corrections officer from the state of New Jersey, about a telephone call he received from a company that was offering him a solution to his financial problems.

He desperately need to fit new tires to his car but could not afford them so he had recently made an application for a payday loan. Unfortunately he is one of many who have received calls from telemarketers, after applying for a payday loan, who have been offered a Platinum Trust Card, which he was told, was similar to an American Express card.

He was told that in return for a fee to be paid upfront, and a $19 monthly cost, he may get a credit limit of as much as $10,000; he was further informed that the card could help to boost his credit score. Thinking this offer was too good to turn down, Bill signed up there and then.

Unfortunately for Bill, when the card arrived it appeared to be completely different to the ones operated by American Express or any of the main credit card issuers. An FTC (Federal Trade Commission) press release for 3rd February states that:

…the defendants do not report to credit bureaus, and their ‘credit cards‘ only access an online store the defendants operate, which offers a variety of off-brand, outrageously overpriced products, most of which can be purchased only in bulk quantities. Examples of items for sale in the defendants’ store include a case of 3,240 “dolphin shaped craft embellishments” for $356.40, a case of 432 shower caps for $430.56, and a case of 144 “play flutes” for $573.12.

Mr. Losse had to pay a $99 dollar upfront fee only to find that the card could only be used on the company’s own website, it is no surprise that in the words of the FTC press release that:

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal judge has temporarily halted a telemarketing operation that allegedly sold bogus credit cards and took money from consumers’ bank accounts without their consent.

Bill should have considered the three rules that apply to credit card offers, and these are:

  • If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Make sure you thoroughly read through the small print.
  • If you have not heard of the credit card company before, then do your research.