Telemarketing scheme targets St. Louis residents -

Telemarketing scheme targets St. Louis residents

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

The phone rings, and the caller is offering what sounds like a great business opportunity. 

Walter McCaslin of Wood River regrets picking up the phone. 

The caller claimed to represent Smart Business Pros. McCaslin was told, "the credit card industry had recommended me to them because I was such a good customer." 

McCaslin paid nearly $10,000 for what sounded like a business franchise. He was supposed to receive leads for companies needing small business loans and credit card processing terminals. After selling a processing terminal McCaslin would receive a small percentage each time a consumer swiped their credit card.

The deal generated no income. McCaslin signed up with a credit card. After disputing the charges he received a refund, but that did not happen for everyone.

According to United States Attorney Richard Callahan the pitch offered "no business opportunity at all." 

According to court documents 9 individuals have been indicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. Documents reveal the scheme operated under multiple names and generated in excess of 10 million in telemarketing sales. 

Callahan says victims are located in every state except Arizona, where the scheme originated. 

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