A telemarketer called Petry Urbina selling an English speaking course for $300.
He told her she had been chosen because she watches Univision, the Spanish-language TV channel.
"The minute they mentioned they were from Univision and Don Francisco, who is the show host, I felt comfortable, I felt confident this was actually legit. I had no reason to doubt it was not," Urbina said.
Though Urbina was interested at first, she passed on the offer.
"Then that's when they became a little forceful and said, "No, you need to actually need to receive this product," she said.
Feeling pressured, she bought the course but the telemarketers didn't back off.
"These companies would continue to send shipments or packages, to the consumer, that were never ordered by the consumer," said US Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela.
And before those packages arrived, Urbina got a phone call telling her a new shipment was on its way and demanding a money order be ready for the COD payment or else.
"If they didn't accept the package and make payment then they would send the police to their house, they would call immigration authorities on them," Masmela said.
The telemarketers also sold electricity savers, vitamins and even a version of phony medical insurance.
"That was probably the worst of the lies that we saw because these were people who were actually sick and they didn't have any health insurance," Masmela said.
Univision tipped off postal inspectors when it learned the telemarketing firm was using its name without authorization.
"No company has a right to threaten you with deportation or arrest simply for not accepting one of their packages," Masmela said.
The owners of the telemarketing firm were sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million to victims in restitution.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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