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Crime The Almighty Buck

FTC Amends Telemarketing Rule To Ban Payment Methods Used By Scammers 48

An anonymous reader writes: The Federal Trade Commission has approved final amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including a change that will help protect consumers from fraud by prohibiting four discrete types of payment methods favored by scammers. The TSR changes will stop telemarketers from dipping directly into consumer bank accounts by using certain kinds of checks and "payment orders" that have been "remotely created" by the telemarketer or seller. In addition, the amendments will bar telemarketers from receiving payments through traditional "cash-to-cash" money transfers – provided by companies like MoneyGram, Western Union, and RIA.
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FTC Amends Telemarketing Rule To Ban Payment Methods Used By Scammers

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  • What changes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:29AM (#50974843)

    What changes is very little. If a telemarketer is honest he'll probably be playing by the rules already - however these people are scammers. They're not going to suddenly start changing the way they operate because the FTC said "stop, or we'll say stop again!". It's not like most of the marks these people are going after will even be aware of such changes.

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      If it creates more liability on the part of the scammers, it increases their cost of doing business. That means less of it, and better penalties, right?

    • It does give additional recourse to the consumer if they get scammed. They Scum Scammers may have enough legal prescience to cover a lot of the parts of the scam, such as selling a low quality product as high quality, or just offering some sort of lame service for money. But if they are doing the illegal money transfer it gives them one more thing to get them on.
      You go to jail for breaking the law, you don't go to jail because you are a waste on human society.

      • by bjwest ( 14070 )

        It does give additional recourse to the consumer if they get scammed. They Scum Scammers may have enough legal prescience to cover a lot of the parts of the scam, such as selling a low quality product as high quality, or just offering some sort of lame service for money. But if they are doing the illegal money transfer it gives them one more thing to get them on. You go to jail for breaking the law, you don't go to jail because you are a waste on human society.

        You seriously think this will change anything, or cause anyone to go to jail? "Rob", sitting in a call center on some subcontinent somewhere, while not helping you figure out why your Start Menu doesn't pop up when you press the Windows key, is making spoofed-CID calls to you claiming to be a MS representative that has been informed you're computer has a serious problem, and for a quick $20, they can fix it right up for you.

        None of these scammers gives a rats ass about U.S. laws and regulations. They don'

        • "Rob", sitting in a call center on some subcontinent somewhere ... is making spoofed-CID calls to you claiming to be a MS representative that has been informed you're computer has a serious problem, and for a quick $20, they can fix it right up for you.

          You are getting the wrong kind of scammer. My scammers offer to fix my PC for free.

          None of these scammers gives a rats ass about U.S. laws and regulations. They don't apply to them.

          But by asking for payment in one of these illegal-in-the-USA ways, it reveals to anyone who knows that law that they are a crook and hence places another hurdle in their path to a successful scam. No, it won't work 100% of the time, but no law does.

          Personally I would not need to get that far into the phone call to realise it, and nor would you. Especially (like last week) they say my "Windows" has got a virus, when I'm

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What changes is very little. If a telemarketer is honest he'll probably be playing by the rules already - however these people are scammers. They're not going to suddenly start changing the way they operate because the FTC said "stop, or we'll say stop again!". It's not like most of the marks these people are going after will even be aware of such changes.

      I wondered this myself. Thought about it a bit.
      What changes is if someone now uses these methods, they're guilty. No tedious investigation needed. It lets the FTC go after such scammers trivially while spending more resources on harder scams.

    • And I guess it's just fortuitous (for the state) that they can track all the allowed transactions.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      What changes is very little. If a telemarketer is honest he'll probably be playing by the rules already - however these people are scammers. They're not going to suddenly start changing the way they operate because the FTC said "stop, or we'll say stop again!". It's not like most of the marks these people are going after will even be aware of such changes.,

      Well, you can easily run a PSA on "If someone asks you for money via Western Union/etc., it isn't legit, so just hang up".

      And that's likely the point.Bec

  • by Jack Malmostoso ( 899729 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @05:47AM (#50974879)

    Here in Germany credit cards are still seen as an exotic and luxurious item, and most transactions are conducted by giving direct access to your bank account. Sign up for a phone plan? Give them your bank account. Sign up for internet? Bank account. Buy on Amazon? You guessed it, bank account.

    An extremely popular payment method is Sofortüberweisung, where you authorize a bank transfer at checkout. I am not sure what would happen if someone would intercept this payment and add a couple of zeroes to the amount, as technically you have authorized the transaction with your two-way authentication.

    • by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:02AM (#50974907)
      Use two bank accounts, one big, one small, say a few thousand $/Euro. No merchant gets the big account number, only recurring work, retirement transfers into the big account and deposits. 1-2 monthly transfers from big acct to small acct to keep it full.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aix tom ( 902140 )

      The thing with this "direct bank access" in Germany is that I can go to my bank inside six weeks after the transfer and just tell them "reverse that transaction" and they just do it no question asked. So no scammer would ever use that to get money.

      In fact, the "scamming" happens more the other way around. People ordering stuff with that direct debit payment, then reverse the payment after five weeks. Then the merchant has to either sue them to get his money, or he can decide do just live with the loss and j

      • sounds a lot like credit/debit cards, but with slightly more hassle and lower (maybe?) fees.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        The thing with this "direct bank access" in Germany is that I can go to my bank inside six weeks after the transfer and just tell them "reverse that transaction" and they just do it no question asked. So no scammer would ever use that to get money.

        So what happens when the receiving-account is now empty or has been closed?

    • by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
      Disposable/Virtual VISA cards can be bought at any convenience store anywhere (gas stations, 24/7 stores) - at least in Berlin and Munich. You can even top them with a small amount when you buy them. You can then top them via bank transfer, and the limit is defined by the amount of info about yourself you give the broker. In Portugal, you have MBNet, a free service that will generate one-time usage VISA or Mastercard numbers with a limit amount, debiting it right on your bank account, but disposable VISA ca
    • It's worse, the entire new European transfer system works the same way. Anyone with a merchant account can plunder Europe wide now.

      We had the chance to move to an explicit authorization system for bank transfers when we created the European system, instead the banks decided to keep the old systems and spread it around Europe for extra easy fraud. Banking is being run by morons, assholes and sociopaths.

  • One can dream (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 21, 2015 @06:14AM (#50974943)

    Why not ban telemarketers altogether?

    • by mi ( 197448 )

      Why not ban telemarketers altogether?

      The First Amendment. A sales pitch is speech...

  • Given the average adults love for keeping up FTC amendments even more than Kardashians, even senior citizens everywhere will now know this isn't allowed! Upon hearing this amendment, millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and suddenly fell silent. Keep it real FTC!
    • I'd already be very surprised if the average answer to the question whether they heard about the FTC wasn't "Is that the new CSI spinoff?"

  • "TSR changes will stop telemarketers from dipping directly into consumer bank accounts by using certain kinds of checks and "payment orders" that have been "remotely created" by the telemarketer or seller"

    Well, I'm actually very surprised the U.S. as an economy still stands. WIth credit/debit card security features still in the stone age and quite disturbing news like the above (well, the news is actually good, but the fact it tries to fix ridiculous idiocies this late are anything but) what's surpising i
  • Now that it's illegal these crooks will HAVE to stop using it! Crooks don't want to break any laws do they? I feel so much safer making the things these crooks do illegal!

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce

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