The Florida Attorney General’s office settled charges it had levied against a South Florida scam protection company, Scammer Guard.
The Attorney General had claimed Scammer Guard had misled consumers by claiming to have ties with government agencies.
Under the settlement, Scammer Guard will no longer represent it has any affiliation with government agencies. But it appears Scammer Guard is still making similar claims. – Source (http://www.scammerguard.com/uploads/Scammer_Guard_Article.pdf)
According to SunSentinal.com:
The lawsuit came after the Attorney General’s Office sent an investigator undercover to listen to a presentation by Scammer Guard’s owner, Frank Esposito, at a Margate retirement community. Esposito said the company investigates cases for law enforcement, according to a sworn affidavit.
The Attorney General’s Office alleged the company’s policy of charging upfront fees to help fraud victims was illegal. In addition, Scammer Guard didn’t have a state license to do telemarketing, the lawsuit alleged. – Source
“One elderly customer was the 73-year-old mother of Akron, Ohio, resident Hank Schueler. Schueler said his mother paid the company at least $7,000 before her family realized she was suffering from the early stages of dementia.
Even though he has been appointed his mother’s legal guardian, Schueler said Scammer Guard and Esposito have refused to detail what services they provided his mother or give back the documents she gave them.
“The thing that really was the biggest red flag to me was (Scammer Guard) contacted her,” said Schueler, who filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. “This wasn’t something she found. (Scammer Guard) found her.” – Source
Others claim to stand behind Scammer Guard and Scammer Guard’s owner Frank Esposito. And Scammer Guard’s own attorney Roberto Stanziale is quoted as saying, “The Attorney General’s Office would not be keeping them in business if they thought there was a scam.”
That’s a statement that I think is hard to support based on the wide range of settlements that are obtained by companies with AG offices around the country who continue to run into trouble. But it’s a point apparently Stanziale believes.
Customers who paid upfront fees to Scammer Guard may be due refunds under the settlement agreement if money recovered on their behalf does not offset the fees they paid.
Otherwise, Scammer Guard will only charge 35 percent of money it recovers for clients instead of the advance fee they allegedly did previously.
One aspect of the Scammer Guard website that I found puzzling was that for a consumer focused enterprise I can’t seem to find any readily available public disclosure of their fees, terms or client agreement. That strikes me as very odd.
The site seems to prominently promote success stories but not program terms or a public way for other consumers to post public comments. Maybe this will happen through their purported blog but at present, the linked blog does not work. – Source
Why isn’t Scammer Guard giving website visitors full transparency and disclosure about the service terms before asking people to call them? While doing that may not be a requirement, it sure seems like exceptionally good consumer supportive thing to do.
Their site does not even list their physical location and only provides a contact form or 866-989-9439 for people to call.
According to State of Florida records, Scammer Guard, LLC was formed on January 20, 2011 (source) and it’s office location is at 5300 West Atlantic Avenue, Suite 503, Delray Beach, FL 33484.
It appears that Scammer Guard, Inc. was formed on October 23, 2009 but was made inactive on September 24, 2010 for not filing an annual report. That leaves an interesting and perplexing hole from the administrative dissolution of Scammer Guard, Inc. to the formation of Scammer Guard, LLC.