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Homeowners across the state continue to received "bills" of upward of $90 for a copy of their property deeds. On Friday, Attorney General Lori Swanson's warned consumers not to fall for the scam.
The bills typically ask for the payment for a copy of a real estate deed or property profile, but homeowners can receive a copy of their deed when purchasing a home. If homeowners need to obtain another copy, they can get it for $10 from their county offices.
Swanson's warning said the "US Recorder's Office" is one entity sending bills.
A New Hope resident sent Whistleblower a copy of a bill that supposedly came from something called the "Local Records Office" on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, which is likely the address of a UPS store. The letter came with a detachable slip to be sent with the payment and a disclaimer telling homeowners they could obtain a deed from the county recorder.
To see Swanson's full warning, click here.
Nations Lending Corporation, a mortgage originator based in Ohio, was fined $500,000 for sending advertisements that claimed they were coming from a government agency and created a false sense of urgency.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce found some advertisements used prominent images of Mount Rushmore, stating “this loan is guaranteed by the federal government." Some used “prominent” references to the ads as a “Federal Relief Advisory” or fonts similar to "a historic government document."
The majority of the fine, $450,000, was stayed so long as Nations Lending Corporation’s advertisements comply with state statutes.
To see the full enforcement order click here. Attached below is a copy of one of the advertisements, sent to Whistleblower by the Department of Commerce.
A company featured as one of the top websites when typing "change address" in Google is charging up to $40 for a service that is typically free, according to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.
MyPostalAddressChange.com offers "fast, secure address change with the post office (USPS)." The BBB said in a warning last week that the company is charging up to $40, when consumers can change their address at a post office for free.
Consumers were deceived into believing they were dealing with the U.S. Postal Service when filling out the information on the company's website, the BBB said. The website's fine print says they are not affiliated with any government agency.
The company appears to be operating out of Australia, the BBB said.
Consumers can change their address at a post office for free, or they can visit www.usps.com, and pay a $1 identity verification fee.
A California man has been banned from selling work-at-home opportunities after he misled his customers or didn’t give them any information at all, the Federal Trade Commission announced Monday.
Christopher A. Sterling, doing business as sterlingvisa.com, rebatedataprocessor.com and creditcardworker.com is also banned from selling other business opportunities covered by the FTC's Business Opportunity Rule.
Sterling falsely claimed that by paying him at least $50, a customer could make $75,600 per year processing as few as 15 applications daily for rebates or credit cards, according to an FTC complaint.
Whistleblower has been on the trail of Rachel from Cardholder Services for years. Rachel has been the voice behind millions of illegal robocalls made over the years, pitching credit card rate reductions.
Now, the companies and people behind one robocalling scheme that used the voice of "Rachel" from "Cardholder Services" and charged up-front fees for services never provided must surrender their assets and stop scheming, according to an announcement by the Federal Trade Commission Friday.
Several companies and two individuals, all associated with the Florida company A+ Financial Center, made millions of illegal robocalls offering to obtain a reduction in the credit card interest rate consumers were paying.
The companies called phone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry and collected upfront fees of between $495 and $1,595 by promising rates as low as zero percent, the FTC said.
"The defendants did little if anything to help consumers lower their credit card interest rates," the FTC said.
The group is banned from robocalling, trying to sell debt relief services and making misrepresentations related to any sales attempts. The defendants may not try to collect money from past victims.
A $9.2 million judgment was entered against A+ Financial Center, LLC, Christopher L. Miano and Dana M. Miano and a handful of other businesses managed by the Mianos. The judgment will be suspended once they turn over all but $25,000 of their assets, including a 2007 Mercedes Benz Cl and two boats worth a total of about $62,000.
The original complaint was filed by the FTC in October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the district in which the Mianos resided.
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