A California company that served as an electronic bank for a Canadian telemarketer has agreed to pay thousands of dollars in a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General. Attorney General Tom Miller says the Canadian telemarketer would call Iowans and get them to give out their bank account numbers on the promise of discount medication or some other scheme. Miller says the Electracash company would then make an electronic withdrawl using the account number — but the customer ended up with nothing. Harry Russell of Des Moines says his wife gave out their account number on the promise of discount medication. He says he found out about the electronic debit when he got his bank statement. He says he was checking over the statement to balance his checking account and he noticed the debit for 299 dollars. He says he called to find out about it, “and they began to give me this line of malarkey.” He says he told them they wanted their money back. Russell says after months of getting the run-around, he went to the Attorney General. Attorney General Miller says an investigation found 44-percent of the people billed by Electracash had called to complain and that should’ve served as a warning. He says since Electracash didn’t stop making the withdrawls after all the complaints, and he says the company then became responsible for the fraud. Miller says Electracash has agreed to a settlement.that will pay 56 Iowans, including Russell, nearly 16-thousand dollars to cover the fraudulent billings. He says they also promise to do some “due dilligence” when a return rate for a company builds up, so they don’t have more problems. Miller gave Russell a check for their 299 dollars.Russell says he’s thankful to have it taken care of. He says he knew when he called that “there was a story being told and we were getting ripped off.” Miller says hitting the electronic transfer companies will help stop telemarketers that’re based in Canada, but he says the public has to help out too.The consumer advice is to not give out your credit card or bank account number. And he says always check your credit card bills and bank statements for any unauthorized charges. Miller says you should also be wary of any high-pressure pitches and be careful of “free trial offers” that charge you automatically when the offer is up.
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