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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Consumer protection

Idahoans targeted for bogus club memberships get refunds under settlement

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says a Connecticut company has agreed to pay more than 7,000 Idahoans restitution as part of a settlement over bogus club memberships. The settlement announced Thursday comes in a case brought by Idaho and 46 other states against Affinion and its subsidiary companies. The refunds are part of a $32 million settlement with the company, which was accused of tricking consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships. Wasden estimates there are 7,600 members of such clubs in Idaho. Wasden estimates that Idahoans affiliated with the clubs and memberships will be eligible to receive an estimated $500,000. Affinion and its subsidiaries operated multiple discount clubs and membership programs, with names such as Buyer Assurance, Complete Savings, HealthSaver and PrivacyGuard. The clubs offered services like credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel. Consumers eligible for a refund will be notified by Affinion, Trilegiant and Webloyalty. Those who believe they are eligible but receive no notice from those companies can file a complaint with the Attorney General.

Consumer protection chief targeted in fraud

Of all the people to be targeted by identify theft: The head of Idaho's consumer protection division? Deputy Attorney General Brett DeLange tells the Idaho Statesman today that fraudulent charges were made to his credit card, and the first he knew of it came when the credit card company called him to verify that he'd ordered five video cameras - he hadn't. DeLange immediately checked his credit card online and found several other fraudulent charges; he notified the credit card company, which canceled the account and took care of the charges, reports Idaho Statesman reporter Sandra Forester. DeLange is suggesting that all credit card users monitor their statements regularly for unusual activity. You can read Forester's full story here.

Scammers target Idaho grandparents

Scammers from Canada have been targeting Idaho seniors, posing as grandchildren who have run into trouble while abroad and need money wired right away; three Idaho families have fallen for the scam in the past two weeks, the Idaho Attorney General's office reports, and lost thousands of dollars. “You may think that you wouldn’t fall for these scams, but they’re designed to catch you off guard,” said Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. “Con artists play on your fears to make you do things you wouldn’t normally do.” Click below to read the full “Consumer Alert” Wasden issued today.

Mortgage practices top consumer protection complaints in 2010

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Complaints about mortgage practices kept lawyers in Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office busy last year. Wasden released his annual consumer protection report for 2010 on Tuesday. He says his attorneys handled 261 complaints about loans, compared to just 109 in 2009. In response, Wasden says his office pursued several enforcement actions against deceptive loan modification companies. It also hired a housing counselor to assist Idaho homeowners and spearheaded a public education program related to foreclosures, mortgage modifications and purchasing a home. Other significant consumer protection activity included lawsuits and settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers over their marketing and pricing of drugs. Wasden says lawyers in the consumer protection division recovered nearly $6 million in restitution, the second largest amount ever recovered by the attorney general's office.

Deceptive extended auto warranty sellers barred from doing business in Idaho

The owners of a bankrupt firm that once was the largest seller of extended auto warranties in the nation have been barred from doing business in Idaho, under a settlement announced today by Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. “These individuals got rich by blanketing the country with deceptive mailings, unwanted telephone calls, and high pressure sales tactics, often aimed at senior citizens,” Wasden said.  “They made millions selling nearly worthless service contracts, in many cases to people who were covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. This settlement prohibits them from repeating those practices in Idaho.”

Wasden and ten other state attorneys general sued the defunct company and its owners earlier this year, alleging the illegal actions stemming from deceptive junk mail, telemarketing robocalls and misleading TV ads. Click below to read Wasden’s full news release.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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