Hilarious article by The Onion on how VISA posed as a reputable lender, working through banks to peddle a variety of convincing-looking credit cards, when in reality it was a carefully designed scam to dupe consumers into spending far more money than they had.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Visa often employed perverse twists on its standard ruse, luring victims with promises of free gifts, enticing but inscrutable "rewards" programs, or deceptively low interest rates that later ballooned out of control and siphoned away every last penny a person had.
"These crooks manipulated interest rates and charged arbitrary, exorbitant fees on literally anything they could -- too much credit card activity, too little activity -- it was utterly shameless," said Barbara Pendleton of the FTC, suggesting Visa used deliberately confusing financial language as well as fraudulent threats of litigation to squeeze money from its victims. "Then they sat back and did nothing while the money flowed in from people who actually work for a living."
Added Pendleton: "What's more -- and this is truly sickening-- they became so confident they could get away with this stuff that they openly conducted national ad campaigns and sponsored charity events. These people are the scum of the earth."
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