If you were the victim of a recent telemarketing scam, you could be getting some of your money back as part of a $7.5 million settlement deal.
The Federal Trade Commission recently busted a group of scammers who were targeting senior citizens and military veterans—many of whom were living on fixed incomes—by selling them fake investment opportunities.
The scammers stole more than $9 million from unsuspecting victims, the government alleges.
Under this telemarketing scheme, scammers cold-called people and urged them to invest in e-commerce websites.
The callers also tried to convince people to invest in websites that linked to popular e-commerce sites such as Amazon, and told people the investments were risk free and that they had a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
“The descriptions of the ‘opportunity’ varied, but typically involved buying or investing in e-commerce related websites, or participating in a profit-sharing program involving credit card companies and e-commerce websites,” according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Some people were swindled out of more than $20,000.
Once the scammers got the authorization to charge a person’s credit card, they responded to their questions for 90 days, which is how long many credit card companies will give you to dispute fraudulent charges. Then, after 90 days, they stopped responding completely.
Of course, victims never got their money back or the investment returns they were promised.
The scammers used company names such as Building Money, Prime Cash, Wyze Money and Titan Income.
If you believe you or someone you know was the victim of this scheme, the Federal Trade Commission will get in touch with you about your share of the settlement.
“Those who lost money can expect to get some portion of it back,” Federal Trade Commission spokesman Frank Dorman told The Penny Hoarder. “As in most cases, it will be several months before it happens, as a redress administrator will be hired to identify them, obtain the money and send out checks.”