FTC announces refunds for victims of credit card scam, BBB warns of airfare scams

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 4:03 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that checks are in the mail for nearly 11,000 victims of a credit card interest rate reduction scheme.

The FTC says the checks total more than $11 million, and are for victims of a scheme operated by E.M. Systems and Services, who used a variety of fake business names and websites to cold call people with credit card debt.

The scammers promised to reduce their credit card interest rates to save them thousands of dollars, but they then charged an upfront fee, which was anywhere between $700 and $1,500.

Now, those who filed complaints are getting money back, with the average payment being $995.

In Wisconsin alone, authorities say a combined total of $397,000 is going out to 395 people.

Anyone who does receive a check should deposit or cash their checks within 90 days, which is indicated on the check. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information in order to cash a refund check.

CLICK HERE to see if you are eligible for a payment and didn’t receive a payment, or if you have questions about the payments. You can also contact the refund administrator at 800-239-6082.

Meanwhile, scammers are also taking advantage of the increase in those traveling by planes as more and more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says they’re getting reports of fake airline booking sites and customer service numbers.

In one report sent to the BBB Scam Tracker, a person who spent $2,000 wrote they received notification that their flights were cancelled with no explanation. In addition, they didn’t receive a credit or refund. The person thought they were booking with United, but found out they booked with a third party travel agency in Greece. The complainant tried to call, and someone told them the systems were down. The complainant says they never received a call back, and ended up finding several other people experiencing similar things.

In a separate but a similar version of an airfare scam, right after booking a flight and paying online, a person may receive a phone call. The caller states there is an extra charge to finalize your booking, or there’s a sudden increase in the flight. Consumer experts say that is a practice a legitimate company would never do.

The BBB says to be suspicious of third party websites.

In addition, you should double check the website before you enter personal and payment information, and always look for customer service numbers and a physical address.

You should also make online purchases with credit cards, as fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed.

Lastly, make sure you’re cautious, and take time to make sure that deal you found on the internet isn’t a scam.

CLICK HERE to find ways to protect yourself from travel scams. In addition, you can subscribe to the BBB’s weekly Scam Alert emails by CLICKING HERE.

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