|January 26, 2012
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi has sued Scammer Guard, LLC, and its principal, Frank Esposito, for falsely advertising scam protection services. The lawsuit alleges that Scammer Guard told consumers they were affiliated with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and other government agencies to obtain consumer refunds, and claimed to have access to “special” information regarding obtaining these funds. The company also allegedly claimed to be conducting the investigations on behalf of these government agencies.
According to the complaint, Scammer Guard charged consumers up-front fees of $250 to $750 for these services, which is illegal for foreclosure-related rescue and certain recovery services. Attorney General Bondi requested a temporary injunction to stop these deceptive practices, and the Broward County Circuit Court granted the request on Wednesday.
“This fraudulent scheme preyed on consumers who had already suffered financial harm,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Consumers should never fall for any representation that the Attorney General’s Office partners with private companies to obtain consumer refunds or that our office charges consumers any fees.”
The Court’s injunction requires Scammer Guard and its principal to cease all such misrepresentations and precludes the company from transferring any assets other than in the normal course of business. The lawsuit was filed in Broward County Circuit Court. In connection with a modified injunction entered by the Broward County court on March 8, the company agreed to cease collecting any fees up-front for services relating to recovering lost money for consumers and refund any up-front fees paid by dissatisfied consumers. Going forward, Scammer Guard will be paid for recovery services after the consumer receives the recovered funds. Any other services sold by the company must be separately agreed to in writing and must clearly and conspicuously disclose that no recovery services are included.