FTC Amends Telemarketing Rule to Ban Payment Methods Used 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. These two payment mechanisms make it easy for unscrupulous telemarketers to debit accounts without consumers’ permission, and can make it difficult to reverse the transactions with consumers’ financial institutions.
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. The TSR changes also will prohibit telemarketers from accepting as payment “cash reload” mechanisms – such as MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit packs used to add funds to existing prepaid cards.
The final rule also will:
- Expand the advance-fee ban on recovery services to include losses both in prior telemarketing and non-telemarketing transactions; and
- Require that a description of the goods or services purchased must be included in the tape recording of a consumer’s express verifiable authorization to be charged.
In addition, the TSR amendments update several provisions related to the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry to, among other things:
- Expressly state that a seller or telemarketer has to demonstrate that it has an existing business relationship with, or has received an express written agreement from, a consumer it calls if the consumer’s number is on the DNC Registry;
- Illustrate the types of burdens that deny or interfere with a consumer’s right to be placed on a seller’s or telemarketer’s entity-specific do-not-call list;
- Specify that if a seller or telemarketer does not get the information needed to place a consumer’s number on its entity-specific do-not-call list, the seller or telemarketer is disqualified from the safe harbor for isolated or accidental violations; and
- Emphasize that sellers are prohibited from sharing the cost of the fees to access the DNC Registry.
This year TRC Interactive is introducing a new course that will provide an overview to the payments landscape to help your staff better understand the various payment methods and systems. Keeping your financial institution up to date on regulatory issues and your employees educated can be a daunting task. TRC can help. To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 222-9909.