Tyme Lock 2000, Inc., doing business as United Family Services and USA Membership Services; Total Resources, Inc.; Ruth R. Adams; and Stella L. Aguilar are banned from advertising, marketing, or selling any credit-related goods or services, to settle Federal Trade Commission charges. The FTC charged the defendants in August 2002, as part of the “Operation No Credit” sweep, with falsely representing that consumers would receive a credit card and various electronic items in exchange for a fee. The Commission alleged that the defendants’ practices violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and FTC Act. The settlement also prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting any fact material to a consumer’s purchasing decision.
According to the FTC, the defendants telemarketed major unsecured credit cards, and other electronic items such as computers, cell phones, and cameras, to consumers in exchange for an advance payment ranging from $122 to $199. The FTC alleged that all the consumers received for their money was a “benefits” package containing applications for the credit cards that the defendants promised to provide. In addition, many of the applications allegedly required additional payments or long-term contract commitments. The FTC alleged that the defendants violated the (TSR) which prohibits receiving payment of a fee in advance of consumers obtaining a credit card.
In addition to the ban from selling credit-related programs, products, and services, the stipulated final judgment prohibits the defendants from making misrepresentations in the sale of any good or service, and from violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The settlement contains various recordkeeping provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants’ compliance.
The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the stipulated final judgment was 5-0. It was approved by the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, on July 11, 2003.
NOTE: This stipulated final judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Stipulated final judgments have the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the stipulated final judgment are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1 877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Office of Public Affairs
FTC Western Region - San Francisco
(FTC File Matter No. X020098)
(Civil Action No. CV-S-02-1078-JCM-RJJ)