AG Cooper cancels credit card telemarketing scam
Release date: 6/23/2004
Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper took legal action today to stop a Florida-based company from pitching phony credit cards and loans to North Carolina consumers.
“Consumers thought they were paying for a package that would include a credit card or a guaranteed loan,” said Cooper. “But this company gave its customers nothing but worthless paperwork in exchange for their hard-earned money.”
On Wednesday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens granted Cooper’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Network Services, Inc., doing business as Maxi Finance, and its president Theodore E. Bartek of Gainesville, Florida from contacting or taking money from North Carolina consumers while the suit against them goes forward. Cooper is also asking that Maxi Finance pay refunds to consumers and fines to the state for deceptive practices and illegal telemarketing calls. In future hearings he will ask the court to stop Maxi Finance from doing business in North Carolina permanently.
Cooper contends that Maxi Finance deceived consumers across North Carolina with its marketing of credit cards and loans. The company also failed to register with the Secretary of State as telemarketers or loan brokers in violation of state law. The suit was brought by Cooper's Telemarketing Fraud Prevention Project, which is funded by the US Department of Justice - Bureau of Justice Assistance.
As alleged in the complaint, Maxi Finance contacted consumers through mailings and telemarketing calls to offer pre-approved loans, credit cards with $5,000 lines of credit, mortgages, grants and debt consolidation. Consumers who received post cards from Maxi Finance were told to call a toll-free number that played a recorded message offering to send them a package of credit services in exchange for $49.99 to $59.99 paid cash on delivery. Other consumers got unsolicited telemarketing calls from Maxi Finance encouraging them to send money to get the credit package, or informing them that the package was on its way and they would have to pay C.O.D. to receive it.
According to consumers who complained to Cooper’s office, the packages that arrived did not contain credit cards, or forms for getting pre-approved credit card or guaranteed loans or grants. Instead, consumers who paid Maxi Finance opened the packages to find paper credit card replicas and information on companies they could apply to for credit. When consumers requested a refund from the company, Maxi Finance regularly refused.
A total of 6 consumers filed complaints about Maxi Finance, but Cooper’s office expects that there are many more victims across the state. Consumers who wish to file a complaint about the company are encouraged to do so by calling (877)-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.
“Companies that pitch products here in North Carolina should live up to their promises,” said Cooper. “If they don’t, they should expect to hear from my office.”