3 On Your Side telemarketing investigation takes another turn

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by Meredith Yeomans & Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Updated Thursday, May 24 at 4:41 PM

PHOENIX -- 3 On Your Side usually isn’t met by an armed security guard when we walk up to a business.

But that's the greeting we received when we tried to speak with Luke Rose, owner of Rose Marketing.

We wanted to speak with anyone in Rose Marketing following several 3 On Your Side investigations about another telemarketing company, Economic Freedom Corporation.

The Valley-based business reportedly called people nationwide and persuaded them to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in work-from-home businesses.

Consumers say EFC telemarketers convinced them they could make easy money.

"You're going to be compensated no less than $10,000 per month." That's the pitch an EFC telemarketer gave Gary Cotton after cold-calling him last year at his Texas home.

Cotton recorded the conversation but says he never saw a dime in return for his $10,000 investment. He is far from alone.

Dozens of complaints about EFC were sent to 3 On Your Side, but when we went to talk to owners, no one wanted to talk.

Although EFC appears to have shut down, Kevin Rice, special agent in charge at the Phoenix Secret Service, said that when it comes to telemarketing rings, when one company goes away, another one sets-up shop.

“I think they teach each other," Rice continued. “If we chop off the head he's now trained four or five other people to do this same exact business.”

That seems to be the case here.

Rose Marketing is now operating a telemarketing company out of the same building EFC once occupied. But the similarities don’t end there.

According to public records, a high-rise condo building in downtown Phoenix also has ties to both companies.

So, is this just a coincidence?

While Rose never called us back, we found him on Facebook showing off luxury cars and some heavy artillery.

The Phoenix Secret Service wouldn't comment about any possible link to the businesses, but they have telemarketers on their radar.

In late 2011, the Phoenix Secret Service was one of several law enforcement agencies who took part in an investigation that resulted in the indictments of about 15 people allegedly operating a telemarketing ring. The ring reportedly netted millions of dollars from thousands of people nationwide.

Despite the arrests, Rice still wants to warn consumers to be leery of any telemarketers calling for your credit card information.

“In all honesty, you probably shouldn't be giving your credit card information out to somebody that cold calls you,” Rice said. “You should be calling the company that you want to do business with as opposed to the other way around.”

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