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AG Tom Horne wins $250,000 settlement against credit card scammers

PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne won a $250,000 settlement against several Arizona companies convicted of credit card fraud, his office announced in a press release.

The companies, National Bankcard Monitor and Financial Interest Strategies and their owner, Gino Niccoli, took money from thousands of customers nationwide between April 2010 and November 2012 and promised them a lower interest rate on credit cards.

"Customers complained that the telemarketers pretended to be affiliated with their credit card companies and made a money-back guarantee that they would lower their interest rates on their credit cards," Horne said. "The companies' real product was merely an accelerated payoff plan, recommending that customers pay off their highest interest debts first."

For example, the company said it charged $1,499 to lower interest rates and would save consumers $2,000 to $5,000 in charges. Rather than actually dropping interest rates, the company used a program that would pay off the highest interest debts first.

Anyone who paid for service from the companies should contact Horne's office by calling (602) 542-5763 in the Phoenix area, (520) 628-6504 in Tucson or (800) 352-8431 nationwide.

To file a claim online or for more information, click here.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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