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Consumer Fraud

BUSINESS
May 24, 2006 | From the Associated Press
More than 2.8 million people in the U.S. paid to obtain credit cards, claim sweepstakes winnings and get in on lucrative investments that turned out to be too good to be true, officials said Tuesday as they announced hundreds of arrests in an international investigation. Authorities in five countries have arrested 565 people in fraud schemes that netted more than $1 billion.
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BUSINESS
May 4, 2006 | From Reuters
U.S. authorities said Wednesday that they had filed a lawsuit against five online companies, including one in California, alleging they had illegally sold confidential phone records. The Federal Trade Commission said it was asking a court to bar the sale of the phone records and force the companies to give up the money they made with their operations. "Trafficking in consumers' confidential telephone records is outrageous," FTC consumer protection chief Lydia Parnes said in a statement.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2006 | From Associated Press
More than a thousand customers didn't receive items they had ordered from a company that does business through Amazon.com Inc., forcing the massive online retailer to offer refunds. Amazon.com spokeswoman Patty Smith said Monday that the outside seller, which is listed as "Mygreatchoice," received outstanding customer ratings when it first began selling on Amazon.com in July. But Amazon.com noticed a big decline in customer satisfaction starting in late November. Seattle-based Amazon.
TRAVEL
October 16, 2005 | James Gilden, Special to The Times
Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive! WHEN Sir Walter Scott wrote those words nearly two centuries ago, he could not have imagined how they could apply to something called the World Wide Web. The Web's complexity, global reach and de facto anonymity open the doors for anyone with imagination looking to make a buck. There are more than 63 million registered domain names, and about 1.
NATIONAL
May 28, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who sent 850 million junk e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities was sentenced in Buffalo to as much as seven years in prison for forgery, identity theft and falsifying business records. Atlanta-based Internet service provider Earthlink Inc. said it hoped the sentence and an earlier $16.4-million civil judgment against Howard Carmack would deter other spammers.
NATIONAL
January 23, 2004 | From Reuters
Americans reported losses of $437 million last year to identity theft and fraud as scam artists made themselves at home on the Internet, according to federal statistics released Thursday. The Federal Trade Commission said it received more than half a million consumer complaints in 2003 as scam artists financed their spending sprees with other people's credit cards and hucksters sold nonexistent products through online sites.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2003 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
An Orange County home builder was charged Wednesday with diverting $340,000 in construction funds for his own use and unlawfully selling homes at a development in Altadena that was left unfinished. Timothy N. Roberts, freed on $175,000 bail after surrendering to authorities, will be arraigned Oct. 2 and could face up to 13 years in prison if convicted on all 16 felony counts, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
BUSINESS
July 21, 2003 | Michael Hiltzik
Proprietors of ethnic restaurants and auto repair shops across the state undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief when California authorities put the Trevor Law Group out of business.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2003 | From Associated Press
Sixteen Florida-based interstate moving companies and 74 employees were indicted Tuesday on federal charges they lured hundreds of customers with low estimates, then inflated prices and didn't deliver property until the higher bills were paid. The firms and individuals were charged in eight indictments accusing them of wire fraud, extortion, false billing, money laundering and conspiracy. Also on Tuesday, legislation was introduced in Congress aimed at stopping such scams.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2003 | Monte Morin, Times Staff Writer
State Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against a Beverly Hills law firm Wednesday alleging that the lawyers used the state's Unfair Competition Law to extort cash settlements from thousands of small businesses under the guise of consumer protection. Lockyer, who described the action as a "delicious irony," filed the suit under the same law that the Trevor Law Group used when suing more than 2,000 auto repair shops and about 1,000 restaurants.
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