Earlier this month word broke when a complaint was issued against four Arizona LLCs and 11 Arizonians that Arizona telemarketers had defrauded almost 5,000 people out of over $6.3 million. These criminals conducted a scam that used victims’ credit-card limits to determine how much to charge them in setting up their very own “web mall” business that they would receive commissions off of. They ran defendants Solid Ad Solutions, Solid Tech Solutions, Freedom Billing, and E-Web Financial.
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The latter two companies, Freedom Billing and E-Web Financial made illegal calls to consumers offering them the work from home business opportunity through setting up their own “web mall” business. Promised to the customers was a business coaching program that would show them how to successfully operate their business and to buy the program back at the end of one year ‘if for some crazy reason you don’t make your investment back.
As soon as a consumer gave the go-ahead their credit cards were immediately processed and their money was gone. The scammers completed an order form with each successful sale stating the names of the opener and closer, the price paid, the package ordered, contact information and notes about the consumer to assist the upsell defendants in making further sales. This information was then sent to Solid Ad Solutions and Solid Tech Solutions.
“These notes included statements like, ‘Has 9K available on this card today,’ ‘BACK END CHA-CHING!! YOU ARE WELCOME!’ ‘Old dude, has no clue’ and ‘living on social security.'”
Employees from Solid Ad Solutions and Solid Tech Solutions would then call the customer back and claim to be the business coach to which they would then offer a website advertising and traffic opportunity. This “service” would cost between $500 to $33,400 depending on the customer’s available balance on their card.
These “coaches” would claim that by partaking in the advertising and traffic boost opportunity that they would soon turn around the money they’d put into the business opportunity. Consumers were lead to believe that this was an extremely lucrative deal. Once they agreed to this offer their “coaches” were unattainable to consumers.
The contract offered by Solid Ad Solutions and Solid Tech Solutions gave consumers only three days to cancel, purposely confusing consumers who believed they were entitled to the 30, 60, or 90 day to a year cancellation policy offered by defendants E-Web Financial and Freedom Billing.
If a customer did actually try to purchase something from one’s “web mall” the victims caught in this scam would not even see commissions coming in. Refunds were “stonewalled” and many were very aggressive sales representatives who talked them out of canceling or convinced them to wait for their “first quarter commission check” or “until after the Christmas shopping season,” knowing full well that the consumer would then be past the allowable cancellation period and well past the dispute deadline with their credit card.
Victims were promised to make between $1,000 to $7,000 a month. Attorney General Tom Horne is seeking an injunction and $10,000 for each violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act – Source.
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