On November 26th, I wrote about an alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had issued warning consumers about phony “FTC consumer refund” robocalls.

On Monday, the FTC announced that it had obtained a federal district court order shutting down one of these scam robocall operations that pretended to be making official FTC calls to consumers (www.ftc.gov; “FTC Actions Lead to Shutdown of Robocall Operation That Falsely Claimed to Help Consumers Get FTC Consumer Refunds.”).  The company that was shut down, The Cuban Exchange, Inc., was bombarding consumers with robocalls claiming the company could help them get refunds from the FTC.

The Cuban Exchange, Inc. (also doing business as CrediSure America and MyiPad) made countless robocalls.  The calls had a prerecorded message instructor consumers that the call was coming from the FTC. The call told the consumer to go to a website — a fake one —and to enter the phony seizure ID number that was given in the robocall. Once a consumer did that, he was then sent to another page on the fake website that provided the dummied up information about the FTC refund the consumer would be getting.  All the consumer had to do was enter personal information (e.g., address, phone number) and personal financial information (e.g., bank account number, check number).

The only thing unsuspecting consumers “got” was taken — robbed of private information that the scammers could continue to use of illegal purposes.

Take the time to learn how you can protect yourself from these robocall scams; very useful information is on  the FTC’s website at ftc.gov/robocalls.

And remember that the FTC does not call people to tell them about refunds or to ask for personal and financial information.