Debt Collector Dorsey Thornton & Associates Enters into $15.5 Million Settlement with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

Dorsey Thornton & Associates, LLC, a Georgia debt collections company, and its principal officers Wyteria Dorsey and Michael Thornton, have entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), resolving charges that the company committed multiple violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

Vacation Station, LLC Settles with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

John Sours, Administrator of The Governor's Office of Consumer Protection ("OCP"), has announced that the agency has entered into a settlement with Vacation Station, LLC d/b/a C.T.A. Vacations (“Vacation Station”) and its principals, Randy Gardner and Joseph Shirley. Vacation Station sells travel club memberships at an average cost of between $3,000-$8,000 each.  The company has been selling these memberships in Georgia since December 2010, from locations in Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah. An OCP investigation revealed that the company sent promotional mailers to consumers promising free roundtrip airline tickets in exchange for attending a sales presentation about travel club membership. After attending the presentation, consumers discovered that they had to pay money in order to receive the “free” airline tickets. OCP’s investigation also revealed that Vacation Station was operating as an unlicensed buying club.  Furthermore, the company allegedly refused to honor consumers’ requests to cancel their memberships and receive refunds.

Watch Brokers settles with Governor's Office of Consumer Protection; Consumers to receive over $651,000 in restitution

John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (“OCP”), today announced that Georgia has entered into a settlement with International Estate Brokers, LLC d/b/a Watch Brokers and d/b/a www.webuywatches.com, and its individual proprietor, resolving allegations by the State that the Atlanta-based wrist-watch brokering company engaged in deceptive advertising, sold watches on behalf of consumers without paying consumers their share of the proceeds as agreed to prior to the sales, and failed to return watches that had gone unsold to the consignors upon their request.

Debt Collector Nelson, Hirsch & Associates Enters into $4.3 Million Settlement with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

Nelson, Hirsch & Associates, Inc., a Georgia debt collections company, and its owner, Tanya Santiago, have entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP), resolving charges that the company committed multiple violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

Sweepstakes Scammers Threaten Elderly Consumers

Sweepstakes scams aimed at the elderly have taken a scary turn, according to The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.  Under the typical sweepstakes scam, consumers are informed (by mail, phone or email) that they have won a huge sum of money in a sweepstakes; but in order to receive the prize money, the consumer must first wire a couple of thousand dollars for processing fees, insurance or taxes.  Sometimes the scammers send a check to cover that amount, which invariably turns out to be counterfeit. Needless to say, the big check for the million dollar prize never materializes and the consumers are swindled out of the money that they wired.

Wavee.com Settles with the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

John Sours, Administrator of The Governor's Office of Consumer Protection ("OCP"), today announced that the agency has entered into a settlement with Wavee US, LLC D/B/A Wavee.com ("Wavee"), a company that conducted "penny auctions" via its website. 

Red Oak Sanitation to Issue Refunds to Residents of Unincorporated Gwinnett County

Former customers of Red Oak Sanitation, Inc. who live in unincorporated Gwinnett County may be due a refund from the company. The refunds will be paid as part of an agreement reached by the company with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP).

American Direct Sweepstakes Scam

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection is warning consumers about a scam being perpetrated by a company calling itself American Direct Sweepstakes and Promotion Company. Consumers are receiving notification letters purportedly sent by Lincoln Financial Group, an alleged agent of the company, informing them they have won $20,000 in a sweepstakes. The letter also falsely represents that the sweepstakes is affiliated with Publisher’s Clearing House. Enclosed with the letter is a check for approximately $1500, purportedly to cover non-resident taxes due on the winnings. Consumers are instructed to call a number for instructions on how to claim their prize. When the consumer calls the number, he is instructed to deposit the check and then wire most of the $1500 “back to the business” so that the taxes can be paid on his behalf. The consumer is told that he will receive a certified check for $20,000 after the payment has been received. 

Gift Card Tips

Giving gift cards for the holidays can be the perfect answer to finding a present for that hard-to-shop-for relative or friend.  However, the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection wants consumers to be well informed so that the gift cards they give and receive are worth what the buyer intended.

States Announce $13.25 Million Settlement with DIRECTV

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, along with the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia announced today that DIRECTV will pay $13.25 Million to settle consumer protection allegations.

Avoiding Home Repair Fraud

The storms that recently struck some Georgia communities have put a number of residents in the position of having to repair and rebuild homes that were damaged. 

Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs changes name to Governor's Office of Consumer Protection

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs has changed its name to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection. 

New Anti-Fraud Program Launched in Georgia

Today, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the Georgia Bankers Association, and Georgia Credit Union Affiliates are announcing the start of a new and innovative program to protect consumers and financial institutions from fake check scams.

Consumer Agency Survey Reveals Top Consumer Complaints

A new survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA), and North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI) identified the top ten consumer complaints in the nation for 2009.  

Get the Facts on "Dollars and Sense" during National Consumer Protection Week- March 7-13, 2010

As part of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 7 – 13, 2010, the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) encourages all Georgians to become savvy consumers. This year’s theme - Dollars & Sense: Rated “A” for All Ages - highlights the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life, from grade school to retirement.