|July 16, 2013
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—July 17th is National Military Consumer Protection Day, and Attorney General Pam Bondi encourages military members and their families to be cautious of unfair and deceptive business practices that specifically target them. In an effort to better protect Florida’s military men and women, Attorney General Bondi worked with the Legislature to enact the Military Protection Act. The Act provides that a person who willfully uses an unfair or deceptive practice directed at a military service member, or the spouse or dependent child of a military service member, is liable for a civil penalty of up to $15,000 for each violation.
“Our military members risk their lives for our freedom, and we will do everything in our power to keep them and their families safe from unfair and deceptive practices at home,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Last year, Attorney General Bondi announced a $2.5 million dollar multi-state settlement with QuinStreet, Inc. for running deceptive websites that appeared to be endorsed by the U.S. government or military and were intended to generate leads primarily for the for-profit education industry. The office has also settled eight cases in the past two years involving rent-to-own firms, many of which conducted business in areas located near military communities. Military members can help protect themselves and their families from unfair and deceptive business practices by following these tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission:
- Know who you’re dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. With Internet phone services and other web-based technologies, it’s tough to tell where someone is calling from;
- Know that wiring money is like sending cash. Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money.
- Read your monthly statements. Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name.
Any consumer who believes that he or she has been the victim of unfair and deceptive business practices should call the Attorney General’s hotline, toll-free, at 1-866-966-7226. For more information, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or Consumer.FTC.gov.