This week, nearly 5,000 consumers will receive refund checks of $25.13 pursuant to a settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and Arizona-based telemarketing company National Card Monitor, LLC (“NCM”).  According to the Commission, NCM began cold-calling consumers in early 2011 and falsely claiming that it could offer low-rate credit cards to consumers, onto which they could transfer their current balances.  During this process, NCM employees also requested an advance fee of between $499 and $599, with the guarantee that such fees would be refunded if the consumers never received the new card.

As part of the settlement, NCM is permanently banned from all telemarketing and from marketing or selling “credit related products or services.”  NCM is further prohibited from making any misrepresentations in the marketing or sale of financial products, including debt relief services. The settlement imposes a judgment of just over $2.3 million which represented the amount of consumer harm caused by NCM’s alleged deceptive practices.