The Federal Trade Commission has worked to close down a multi-million dollar telemarketing fraud that targeted U.S. seniors across the nation, scamming tens of thousands of consumers. Following an FTC complaint, the U.S. Federal Court issued a temporary order to halt the scheme in question and freeze the defendants’ assets. This fraud scheme is now awaiting trial.
Ari Tietolman, the alleged leader of this telemarketing scam, and several associates used a telemarketing boiler room in Canada to cold-call seniors living in the United States, claiming to sell fraud protection, legal protection and pharmaceutical benefit services. The costs of these services ranged from $187 to $397, according to an FTC March press release.
In some instances, the defendants who carried out the scam allegedly impersonated government and bank officials, and enticed consumers to disclose their confidential bank account information. With this information the defendants created checks drawn on the consumers’ bank accounts, which they then deposited into corporate accounts established in the U.S. According to the FTC, the scam is believed to have made over $20 million between May 2011 and December 2013.