Scam Alert: Don’t pay upfront for credit card debt relief

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Scam Alert
Scam Alert

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – In a new scam alert issued by Attorney General Andy Beshear Friday, Kentuckians are being warned of telemarketing calls offering instant credit card debt relief for a fee.

The Attorney General’s office obtained a recording of a call from an agent with “Financial Planning Card Services.” The caller claims to be affiliated with all major banks and can provide credit card debt relief by negotiating a lower interest rate, as low as zero percent.

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Beshear said these type of calls often end with a victim providing their personal information and an upfront fee to the scammer who never delivers on the deal to lower the interest rate.

“Charging Kentuckians, then failing to help them lower their debts is no service at all – it is a scam,” said Beshear. “Kentuckians concerned about their credit card interest rates should work directly with the credit card company to determine if they will negotiate your rates.”

The Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibits for-profit companies that sell debt relief services over the phone from charging a fee before they actually settle or reduce a consumer’s debt. Kentucky state law also places prohibitions on legitimate debt adjusters. 

The Office of the Attorney General refers Kentuckians with high credit card debt and in need of legitimate debt adjuster assistance to the nonprofit National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

 

Beshear said his office works to stay ahead of scammers by alerting Kentuckians when new and trending scams are reported in Kentucky. Kentuckians can sign up to receive Scam Alerts by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams.

To report a scam to the Office of the Attorney General, dial 888-432-9257 or file a consumer complaint online.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.