A court order has shut down a scheme in which Vector Direct Marketing, LLC, an Arizona-based company, defrauded consumers nationwide by offering a $399 service to safeguard their personal financial information from telemarketers.

The defendants allegedly told consumers that their information including their social security and bank account numbers was for sale on a large number of telemarketing lists. The defendants allegedly told consumers that a $399 call screening device could help them avoid becoming victims of identity theft. Most consumers received little more than a $34.95 call-screening device that they could have bought themselves at many retail locations.

The stipulated court order prohibits the defendants from making similar false representations to consumers about their financial information, and from billing them or debiting their accounts without their prior authorization.

Finally, the order bars the defendants from violating the FTCs Telemarketing Sales Rule, based on their past abusive phone-collection practices, and subjects them to a monetary judgment of nearly $811,000, which has been suspended due to their inability to pay.

The Federal Trade Commission action settles all charges against Vector, which also did business under the names National Solicitation Guard and Anti-Solicitation Guard.