AGO offers multiple ways to help consumers
It is almost impossible not to be a consumer. Whether a purchase is
made online or in a store down the street, whenever you engage in some
kind of business transaction you are a consumer.
Consumers encouraged to file claims to receive share of $310M settlement
Estimated $500,000 returned to Washington state agencies
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that consumers may now file claims to recover money from the manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips. These consumer payments will settle multi-state antitrust allegations that the manufacturers conspired to fix prices.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau are partnering up for National Consumer Protection Week
, March 2-8. Both agencies are committed to providing Washingtonians with tools to protect themselves against growing scams and helping people make better purchasing decisions.
A new email phishing scam making the rounds nationwide has hit Washington state, and this one is disguised as a utility bill.
Personal stories of NW families struggling to make ends meet and
avoid foreclosure highlight need for community involvement to help
Thurston County families stay in their homes
Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Washington State
Department of Financial Institutions are pleased to announce the
screening of the foreclosure documentary American Winter in Olympia,
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO)
has recovered $20,000 from Rudy O. Corella, Jr., owner of Ultra Mega
Corp to resolve allegations that Ultra Mega Corp engaged in a number of
deceptive business practices in violation of the Washington state
Consumer Protection Act.
AGO, BBB and AARP partner to combat romance scams
more people go cyber to find love, the Washington State Attorney
General’s Office (AGO), the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AARP warn
of an uptick in reports of romance scams. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center,
romance scam victims lost more than $55 million in 2012. To combat this
growing epidemic, consumer protection groups are spending Valentine’s
Day warning singles about the dangers of “catfishing.”
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a lawsuit
against California company Labor Standards Compliance Office (LSCO) and
its principal, Fangliang Cui, for alleged violations of the Washington
State Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
Press release courtesy of the Department of Labor & Industries
An asphalt paver who went door to door in Snohomish County offering customers “a really good deal” now faces upset homeowners and criminal charges of failing to register as a contractor.
Consumers, keep an eye out for a post-holiday email scams carrying malicious malware disguised as a link to a helpful “change of address” form. Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.
Attorney General warns to be wary of scams to follow
Neiman Marcus, a luxury specialty department store, has announced a payment card data breach. The store announced some of its customers’ payment cards were fraudulently used after making purchases at its stores.
Target announced today that in addition to the payment card data breach
which affected approximately 40 million shoppers, 70 million shoppers
had other information taken--such as names, mailing addresses, phone
numbers and email addresses. The data breach occurred during the period
of November to December 2013.
Washington serves on settlement team, secures $98K for state Medicaid program
OLYMPIA — Washington state will receive a total of roughly $98,000 as part of a $15 million state-federal settlement with BioScrip, Inc., a pharmacy that provided prescription drugs to Medicaid patients.
$49M in principal mortgage reductions for struggling homeowners
and $1,000+ cash payments to eligible foreclosed borrowers in Washington
Tougher mortgage servicing standards hold Ocwen accountable for past practices, ensure fundamental servicing reforms
SEATTLE — Ocwen
Financial Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia, and its subsidiary, Ocwen
Loan Servicing, have agreed to a joint state-federal settlement with
Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 48 additional states and the District of
Columbia, and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Attorneys general order U.S. Fidelis pay back 19,000 consumers nationwide
Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined three other state attorneys
general today in announcing that approximately 19,000 consumers
nationwide will share more than $9.3 million to compensate them for
their problems with U.S. Fidelis, a now-defunct dealer of vehicle
service contracts. Checks are going in the mail today for those who
filed a claim.
Many businesses have contacted the state Attorney
General’s Office and the Department of Labor & Industries about a
misleading letter sent from a company called ‘Labor Standards Compliance
Office’ listed at a Tacoma, Wash. address.
Less than 5 percent of donations go to charities, 50 percent to Gannons
The Washington state Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a Consumer Protection Act complaint and will seek a temporary restraining order against Knowledge 4 Kids, otherwise known as Kures 4 Kids, and its operators, Michael and Amy Gannon.
Flanked by a bipartisan group of legislators, Attorney General Bob
Ferguson unveiled a 2014 legislative agenda focused on veterans, open
government, safer communities and protections for consumers against
businesses who do not play by the rules.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and AARP are urging Washington residents to make wise choices when giving money to charity and avoid unscrupulous fundraising groups during the holidays and afterward.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a major
breakthrough in the fight against ‘mobile cramming’ — unauthorized
third-party charges that appear on mobile telephone bills. Cramming on
cell phones and landlines is estimated to cost Americans $2 billion per
This special to the Bellingham Herald was published November 20, 2013.
By Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson
You might reasonably assume that the federal government regulates and tests most of the chemicals found in our children’s toys, household products, and other consumer goods to make sure they are safe. They do not. In response, states like Washington stepped up with stronger chemical safety state laws to protect consumers and the environment from the impacts of toxic chemicals.
Washington helped lead $17M multi-state settlement with Google
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that his office, along with 36 states and the District of Columbia, entered into a settlement with Google Inc. for tracking information on Apple’s Safari web browser.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed suit against an Ohio-based Internet business for failing to disclose its service charge and not fully refunding customers.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a lawsuit against an Internet based company in Colville, Wash. for violations of the Consumer Protection Act.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed
a Consumer Protection Act lawsuit against a Bellflower, Calif. company
that preys on unsuspecting new property owners.
AG alleges association skirted disclosure rules in $7.2 million contribution to No on Initiative 522 campaign
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Ferguson alleges the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors. The funds were spent to express opposition to Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial
Institutions (DFI) and the Office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson are
pleased to announce the screening of American Winter at 6:30 p.m. Oct.
24 at the Grand Theatre in Tacoma. The documentary, directed by Emmy
Award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz (Taxicab Confessions, The Defenders),
follows the personal stories of eight families struggling in the wake
of the economic downturn. Shot over the winter of 2011-12 in Portland,
OR, this powerful film reveals the human impact of budget cuts to social
services, rising poverty and economic inequality, and the fracturing of
the American Dream.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 15, 2013 – A Seattle man pled guilty Monday to stealing more than $30,000 in sales tax from August 2010 to October 2011.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined attorneys general from 46 states and the District of Columbia in announcing today a multimillion-dollar settlement with Connecticut-based Affinion, and its subsidiaries Trilegiant and Webloyalty. The companies will pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that consumers were enrolled in and charged for discount clubs and memberships without their consent.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are teaming up to warn consumers about a troubling practice by some individuals who solicit donations near retail stores on behalf of charities.
1,500 Washington state victims will receive full restitution, between $1k-$20k
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today the settlement of a major
timeshare consumer protection case involving Jonathan and Christine
Gibbs of Olympia.
The Attorney General's Office (AGO) is here to help safeguard consumers
from fraud and unfair business practices — including providing
information to help you confidently navigate the car buying process.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today he has selected David
Horn, Assistant Regional Director for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
and former Assistant Attorney General, to serve as his Chief Deputy,
the highest ranking legal position in the Attorney General’s Office
Wyeth Pharmaceutical to pay $491M, Washington state will receive $261K
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $491 million settlement against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2009.
Washington Attorney General Gob Ferguson today filed a complaint against two businessmen and their credit card processing companies for allegedly scamming small business owners.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) today filed suit against an insurance agent and his two business partners who allegedly preyed on elderly consumers and duped them out of thousands of dollars. Many of the 30-plus victims were widows, usually over 80-years-old.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined fellow attorneys general, the
Federal Trade Commission and other partners across America in
recognizing the first annual Military Consumer Protection Day
Progress has been made to protect consumer privacy, but concerns remain
General Bob Ferguson, joined by 22 other state attorneys general,
announced progress in their effort to work with Google to improve how it
protects consumer privacy, and called on the company to offer greater
transparency and more meaningful privacy controls.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson with 39 other state and territorial attorneys general and consumer advocates, sent comments
on June 24 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about stopping
mobile cramming, the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on
mobile phone bills.
OLYMPIA—Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today
urged the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to strengthen federal
Military Lending Act (MLA) regulations to better protect servicemembers
from abusive lending practices.
SEATTLE — The Public Counsel Division of the Washington State
Attorney General’s Office (AGO) today challenged the electric rate
increases proposed by PacifiCorp, which operates in Washington as
Pacific Power and Light Company.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the latest report by the national monitor
on the progress of five servicers subject to the National Mortgage Settlement shows success, but much work remains.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today the filing of a major timeshare consumer protection case as part of the joint multi-state, multi-national law enforcement initiative coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has learned Washington residents are
receiving calls from scammers posing as Medicare officials seeking
personal information, claiming to need the information to issue new
In the wake of the massive tornados that touched down in Oklahoma this week, Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Secretary of State (SOS) are warning of opportunistic fraudsters. Cons follow the headlines and can easily create bogus charities under the guise of helping victims.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau are
warning Washington residents to read the fine print before responding to
letters from businesses offering to sell them copies of records easily
accessible from local government offices for a much lower price.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s High-Tech Unit has secured a $97,000
settlement with ZookaWare, an Arizona-based software company, and its
owner for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices against consumers
over the last several years.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the Better Business
Bureau are teaming up to remind consumers that scammers never take a
vacation. Both the AGO and the BBB have seen a recent spike in
“Timeshare Reseller” scams. Together both agencies have received more
than 20 complaints since the start of the year.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has ordered T-Mobile to
correct deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual
contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone
plans. Today, the Attorney General's Office filed a court order
signed by T-Mobile and effective nationwide that will ensure the company
clearly communicates the limitations of its new “no-contract” wireless
service plans and allows customers duped by the deceptive ads to exit
their contracts with no penalty.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman
today expressed their condolences to the victims of the horrific
violence at the 2013 Boston Marathon—and warned people not to fall
victim to fake fundraisers using the tragedy to scam people into making
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced his office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit
against Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Wash. On
March 1, 2013, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, refused
to provide wedding flowers to long-time customer, Robert Ingersoll,
based on her opposition to same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today shared news that Microsoft recently used a new Washington unfair competition law
to resolve a dispute over software licensing issues with the world’s fourth largest aircraft manufacturer, Embraer.
Attorney General Ferguson was infuriated to learn unauthorized financial planning companies
were targeting senior veterans with schemes promising new untapped
veterans benefits—if the veterans were willing to let these “planners”
help manage their financial assets.
Americans celebrate National Medal of Honor Day today, Attorney General
Bob Ferguson unveiled one of the first major pieces of his veterans’
initiative: new Web-based resources
for Washington’s veterans,
active-duty military service members and their families.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Division of the Washington State Attorney
General’s Office will recommend Friday that the Washington Utilities and
Transportation Commission (WUTC) continue investigating the so-called
“hedging” strategies used by utility companies in their natural gas
purchasing strategies. Public Counsel will also further recommend that
the WUTC order that certain hedging costs not be passed to customers.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined 37 other states and the District of Columbia in a $7 million settlement
with search engine giant Google for collecting data from unsecured
wireless networks nationwide while taking photographs for its Street
The Attorney General’s Office has learned people are receiving
appear to be from the AGO Webmaster or other “@atg.wa.gov” e-mail
addresses with subject lines offering stock tips and other news. These
are spoofs to trick people into parting with their personal information
or lure them into clicking on a document or link that will infect their
computer with viruses or malware.
OLYMPIA...Call them scammers, swindlers, fraudsters or grifters. But whatever you do, don’t believe a word they say.
OLYMPIA—The Walla Walla County Superior Court Friday entered a
preliminary injunction, ordering several Northwest auto dealerships
owned by Mark Gilbert to comply with Washington dealer and consumer
protection laws, requiring prompt payoff of customers’ trade-in
Today Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined 29 other states in announcing a multi-million dollar settlement
with Toyota and its related North American entities over allegations
the company concealed safety issues related to unintended acceleration.
The Attorney General’s Office today warned parents to be careful
about educational companies who claim to be affiliated with their
child’s school as a way to sell their wares.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined a group of state attorneys
general and the U.S. Dept. of Justice in filing suit against Standard
& Poor’s. The group alleges the credit rating agency misled
investors with regard to structured finance securities backed by
subprime mortgages that were at the center of the national financial
Washington state strikes back against rigged Internet auctions
SEATTLE – Bidders on electronics and other goods auctioned on ArrowOutlet.com thought they were competing with other human beings. But it turns out, according to a lawsuit filed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, they were often battling “bots.”
SEATTLE – As he nears the end of a busy eight years as Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna is reminding families and policymakers to stay alert for threats to seniors.
SEATTLE – A powerful spam-sending application is attacking the most common smartphone operating system.
People Helping Horses bucks director and will audit finances
SEATTLE – An investigation by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office has led to significant changes to a Snohomish County horse rescue’s management and new controls on the organization’s fundraising and financial practices.
State attorneys general reach deal over Zyvox and Lyrica
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he and 33 other state attorneys general reached a $42.9 million settlement with Pfizer Inc. to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its drugs, Zyvox and Lyrica.
Florida firm faces lawsuit over spam called “as illegal as it is annoying”
SEATTLE – Spammers have discovered one of the most popular forms of modern communication: text messages. Unwanted word-filled bubbles now pop up on mobile phone screens, pitching products and frustrating consumers. Over a period of two days in May, for example, a Florida company blistered Washington state residents with tens of thousands of texts offering “quick cash” from payday loans. The Washington State Attorney General today fired back with a first-of-its-kind lawsuit.
McKenna and Attorneys General Koster and Zoeller call on Congress to take action to protect kids from being advertised for sex
SEATTLE – The
Washington State Attorney General’s Office yesterday settled a lawsuit
filed by sex trafficking site Backpage.com against Washington state.
State’s consumer watchdogs also have advice for consumers who need furnace and other repairs
Last year, Gordon Bradford received unwelcome news during a yearly
furnace inspection. A technician from Dick’s Heating and Air
Conditioning said a heat exchanger hole made the furnace unsafe.
Replacing the part, said the technician, would cost more than a new
furnace. After spending $5,000 on a new machine, Bradford examined the
old one. He didn’t find any holes on the heat exchanger.
Advice for surviving “Black Friday” and beyond
SEATTLE – It’s become a yearly tradition at the Attorney General’s Office to release a list of holiday shopping tips. This year, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna recruited attorneys, investigators and other office staff to chip in with their suggestions.
Pinnacle Security, Inc. agrees to change sales techniques and offer customer restitution
SEATTLE – Door-to-door salespeople hawking home security monitoring services for Pinnacle Security, Inc. routinely said things that weren’t true, according to documents filed yesterday by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
National report shows Washingtonians have received $521 million in benefits, with more to comeSEATTLE –
An independent report
released today shows that more than 7,000 Washington state residents
have received new loan terms because of last March’s national mortgage
Businesses, government, non-profits and others received misleading bills
SEATTLE – Washington State University was blanketed this fall by invoices from a company called US-Telcom. A Sammamish Montessori School, a Seattle Jewish day school and a Spokane women’s health clinic all received similar legitimate-looking invoices from the company for as much as $425. But none of those receiving the bills had ever ordered services from US-Telecom.
Canceling subscription services sold by Oberon Media called “difficult by design”
SEATTLE — An agreement negotiated by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office means “game over” for a video game company’s practice of signing up customers under false pretenses for hard-to-cancel recurring charges. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office, which reached the agreement yesterday with Delaware-based Oberon Media, Inc., calls the company’s tactics “unfair and deceptive” under the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
SEATTLE – An Everett auto dealership sued by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office for deceptive advertising, along with other illegal business practices, says it will change its ways. In a deal reached today, the owner of Performance Kia and the former Performance Nissan will pay $150,000 in attorneys’ fees and penalties to resolve the lawsuit. Performance Jeep-Eagle, the business that operated Performance Kia and the former Performance Nissan, is also on the hook for another $55,000 if the business practices – violations of the Consumer Protection Act and other state laws – continue.
SEATTLE - Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
today announced that he and 37 other Attorneys General reached a $90
million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) to resolve allegations
that the company illegally promoted its diabetes drug, Avandia.
Whitney’s Auto Group and its affiliated dealerships investigated for “unfair and deceptive” tactics
SEATTLE – A Washington State Attorney General’s Office investigation into Whitney’s Auto Group concluded Wednesday with an agreement halting consumer-unfriendly sales and marketing tactics.
MyLife.com changes practices to resolve Attorney General’s investigation
SEATTLE – “Go to MyLife.com, the Internet’s leading people search site, just type in your name and see if someone is searching for you – for free,” proclaimed a television advertisement for Los Angeles-based website MyLife.com. “It could be an old boyfriend,” an attractive young woman with a laptop wonders aloud. But unfortunately, according to documents filed today by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, there was nothing free about MyLife.com’s services.
Claim forms for one-time payments sent to thousands of state borrowers
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that claim forms are going out to approximately 34,000 Washington state borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure.
SEATTLE — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented Tacoma attorney David W.
Huey with the 2012 Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Public Service. Named in honor of the late
Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the
WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a
significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system, and the public.
Cencom, Inc. said to use “vague and misleading offers to lure consumers”
SEATTLE – A Kirkland, Washington-based business selling home alarm installation, repair and monitoring services nationwide will change marketing and billing practices criticized by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
Spokane Better Business Bureau discovered questionable practices at Physzique, alerted AG’s Office
SPOKANE – A Liberty Lake health club will change business practices the State Attorney General’s Office says violate state consumer protection laws.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he and 36 other Attorneys General reached a record $181 million dollar settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. McKenna and his colleagues allege that Janssen improperly marketed the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal, Risperdal Consta, Risperdal M-Tab and Invega.
SEATTLE — In an agreement with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, the owner of a rental property referral service has agreed to stop accepting fees from apartment-seekers and provide refunds to his customers.
SEATTLE – After receiving a flood of complaints against a Tacoma furniture store that was featured three times on King 5 Television’s “Get Jesse” and in an investigative piece by KIRO Television’s Amy Clancy, the Attorney General’s Office today filed a lawsuit against brothers Loren and Joeseph Gill, alleging both engaged in illegal business practices during the sale of home furnishings at Gill’s Furniture.
Washington state consumers to receive $2 million
SEATTLE — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, along with the attorneys general of 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia, today announced an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States.
SEATTLE – Thirteen Washington non-profit organizations will split the $43.8 million the state received to fund foreclosure relief as part of the landmark $25 billion national settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers announced in February.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is joining the Washington State Departments of Veterans Affairs and Revenue in warning consumers about phone solicitors posing as state agents for a senior property tax relief program.
The Washington State Attorney General's Office has settled a case with a trustee company formerly doing business in Washington for failing to comply with the state's laws.
SEATTLE – Pam Bailey is one of millions of Americans laid off during the Great Recession. The single mom found herself out of a job in 2007 when the bank she worked for merged with another. Her job search was severely complicated by the crumbling economy and bills started to pile up. Bailey missed two mortgage payments on her Kent home.
US Fidelis will pay $13 Million in national settlement
SEATTLE – Consumers who received letters disguised as offers from vehicle manufacturers will be interested in a settlement announced today.
SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is joining the Federal Trade Commission in warning consumers about a new scam targeting seniors.
McKenna was in town promoting the Washington Homeownership Information Hotline
, which connects struggling borrowers with counselors such as those at Apprisen. Today he repeated his warning that borrowers should stay away from those who offer potential loan modifications for an upfront fee, adding that such pitches come in email, phone calls and letters.
GlaxoSmithKline settles drug marketing and pricing claims
OLYMPIA –Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced Washington state’s share of the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.
President of National Association of Attorneys General addressed human trafficking, mortgage crisis
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today concluded his term as president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), handing the gavel to Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.
SEATTLE – Vianna Engel was determined to hold on to her home. “If I lose my property, my elderly mother loses her home, too,” Engel this week explained to a staff member at the Attorney General’s Office. Her mom’s single-wide mobile home sits on Engel’s property in Rochester. “She took care of me and I’m not going to let this happen to her.”
Consumers should think twice before giving these companies a “second chance”
SEATTLE – Guess who is back in town? It’s the door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state who appear on doorsteps claiming outrageously priced subscriptions will help fund “second chance” opportunities for inner city youth. The Washington Attorney General’s Office has issued warnings about such visitors before, and is again alerting consumers to beware of these solicitors and think twice before buying their magazines.
State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams
BREMERTON – Al Davis has never piled up credit card bills, avoids lines of credit or even car loans. “I’ve always liked to save for what I want,” Davis this week told a staff member at the Attorney General’s Office.
Seattle-based company accused of unfair and deceptive practices will pay restitution
SEATTLE – Over the last seven years, more than 500 complaints flowed into the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau regarding Seattle-based digital media provider RealNetworks, Inc. Consumers spoke of “odd charges” appearing on their credit cards, complaining of bills for monthly subscriptions for premium television, sports or game content that they never ordered.
State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams
SPOKANE – Alexa Young always made her mortgage payments “on time, every time.” Yet, like millions of Americans, recent events conspired to put pressure on the Spokane single mom’s budget, making her monthly mortgage payment harder to meet. After two expensive surgeries and a reduction in the amount of incoming child support, Young found herself at the breaking point. Her mortgage payment was nearly half of her monthly income, leaving barely enough for necessities. She contacted her lender in an attempt to work out new loan terms.
SEATTLE – Reality star Kim Kardashian, fresh from a sweaty workout, decides to dump her personal trainer. “It’s not someone else, it’s something else” said the celebutante in a recent television advertisement. After a gratuitous shot of one of the starlet’s most photographed body parts and a scene of Kardashian glamorously lacing up a pair of Skechers, text on the screen says, “Bye-bye trainer, hello Shape Ups.”
Adscend Media LLC also pays $100,000 in attorneys’ fees to state
SEATTLE – The owners of a California-based online marketing company have agreed to stop spamming Facebook users. The details were revealed today in a settlement – a consent decree – between Adscend Media LLC and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
Settlements involving consumer protection, Medicaid claims over illegal marketing of Depakote
SEATTLE – Working with other states, attorneys for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office have recovered more than $12 million through settlements with Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories, accused of illegally marketing an anti-seizure drug. The state will recover more than $10 million, split with the federal government, in a multi-state Medicaid fraud case against the company and more than $2 million from a consumer protection case.
State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams
UNIVERSITY PLACE – About a year ago, Irene Failor was on a ladder repairing her roof. Looking down, she watched a man walk up and nail a foreclosure notice to her house.
VANCOUVER – “I just started to accept that I was going to lose the house I raised my kids in – that I thought I’d spend my final years in,” Vancouver’s Jim Fleming explains.
State Attorney General warns borrowers to avoid mortgage-related scams
SEATTLE – The record $25 billion dollar national mortgage servicing settlement over alleged widespread mortgage fraud, negotiated by Attorney General Rob McKenna along with 48 state attorneys general and the federal government, is now finalized by court order.
“Comprehensive integration” of consumer data may compromise privacy
SEATTLE – If history is any guide, scammers will surely try to take advantage of news of the largest consumer protection settlement in U.S. history.
SEATTLE – Nearly a year of intense negotiations over mortgage servicing and foreclosure abuses has resulted in the largest consumer financial protection settlement in U.S. history. Thousands of Washington state homeowners stand to benefit who have already lost their homes or are struggling with mortgages larger than the value of their property.
Telecoms, collection agencies and broadband providers again top complaints to AG’s Office
SEATTLE – The numbers are in. The Washington State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division today announced their annual list of the top 20 classes of companies about which consumers complain.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg today asked businesses to reinforce their work to protect consumer data.
SEATTLE – If you use Facebook, the world’s top social networking site, you may have “liked” an Internet scheme without even knowing it – and unwittingly helped spread the scam to your Facebook friends. But today, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Facebook announced the latest step in an ongoing fight against spammers and scammers: a lawsuit against the co-owners of Adscend Media, LLC, an ad network that is alleged to develop and encourage others to spread spam through misleading and deceptive tactics, including the one known as “clickjacking.”
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Facebook’s Seattle headquarters Thursday to announce a joint legal strategy against a pervasive new scheme that takes advantage of those using the social media platform.
SEATTLE –– Pacific Power customers may comment this week on the company’s proposed electric and gas rate increases during public hearings in Walla Walla and Yakima.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding AT&T’s abandonment of its efforts to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is celebrating the withdrawal of the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” [H.R. 3035], which would have opened up mobile phones to robo-calls from businesses, whether consumers wanted to receive those calls or not.
OLYMPIA -- Many Washingtonians step up to help others in need, especially during the holiday season. To make the most of that generous spirit, Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna unveiled the 2011 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report Thursday as a tool to help people give wisely and avoid greedy fundraising organizations when making donations.
State AGs say proposed federal law goes too far
OLYMPIA – Attorney General McKenna today joined 53 other attorneys general in asking Congress to oppose legislation targeting consumers’ telephone privacy.
OLYMPIA — Attorney General McKenna announced today that Washington state has joined with 42 other states and the federal government in reaching an agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (Merck) to settle civil and criminal allegations that Merck marketed Vioxx for unapproved uses.
SEATTLE – “Black Friday” seems to arrive earlier every year, with turkey-and-stuffing-stuffed shoppers lining up on Thanksgiving eve. “Cyber Monday” follows, as Internet sales ramp up on Nov. 28. With this in mind, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna shared the following consumer tips for holiday shoppers, with a nod to Arizona AG Tom Horne.
SEATTLE – The owners of a Whatcom County car dealership will pay penalties and attorney’s fees to settle allegations by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office of deceptive sales and advertising practices. Not admitting any wrong-doing, the owners agreed to comply with the law.
State attorneys general raise questions about “binge-in-a-can” settlement
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, along with 33 other attorneys general and the San Francisco city attorney, filed comments today responding to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s proposed settlement with Phusion Projects, LLC regarding deceptive marketing of the flavored malt beverage "Four Loko" in super-sized cans.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood released a joint statement Wednesday applauding Congressional action to address online counterfeiting and piracy.
AGs say U.S. trading partners are stealing software -- and the jobs that go with it
OLYMPIA-- Foreign manufacturers are using stolen software to illegally slash costs and unfairly compete with American companies. Thirty-nine state and territorial attorneys general today asked federal authorities to use their existing powers to help strike back against such unfair competition, which costs U.S. jobs.
Urges homeowners to use non-profit, approved housing counselors instead
SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today reminded homeowners needing assistance to avoid companies selling “foreclosure rescue,” “securitization audits” and other home loan modification schemes.
Joins multistate coalition urging FCC to ban unauthorized charges on telephone bills, write stronger regulations on phone and wireless services
A new Washington state law, protecting consumers from immigration-related fraud, went into effect Thursday, Oct. 20. The recently enacted Immigration Services Fraud Prevention Act, requested by the Attorney General’s Office, prohibits anyone from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law in an immigration matter, unless that person is a licensed attorney or is otherwise authorized to provide legal services under federal immigration law.
La ley estatal de Washington protege a los consumidores ante el fraude relacionado con los servicios de inmigración. La recientemente promulgada ley de Prevención de Fraude en Servicios de Inmigración (RCW 19.154) prohíbe a las personas que no tengan autorización del gobierno federal o que no sean abogados de aconsejar a las personas en un asunto de inmigración. Esta nueva ley entra en vigor el 20 de octubre de 2011.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers about a text-message trap to capture financial information and drain credit card and bank accounts. Such text message scams are called “smishing.”
OLYMPIA - Deceptive advertisements will cost a Vancouver marketing company and its owner more than $128,000 in penalties and attorneys’ fees.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that his office joined the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit seeking to block a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. Washington state and six other states joined as plaintiffs an amended DOJ complaint, filed today in Washington DC, seeking to block the deal.
SHORELINE – Proving once again its commitment to helping Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure, the Attorney General’s Office today provided an additional $550,000 to provide free housing counseling to distressed homeowners.
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that the US Department of Justice has filed suit to block the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T.
SEATTLE – Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas in the legal field. Missing a deadline or not properly researching applicable law prior to submitting an application can cause an immigrant to lose his or her legal status or even face deportation.
OLYMPIA – The Washington Attorney General’s Office says too many car ads violate consumer protection laws. The office announced eight settlements today that are part of its ongoing work to steer dealers toward fair business practices.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that his office is suing ReconTrust Company, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for conducting illegal foreclosures on thousands of Washington homeowners.
McKenna unveils training materials to empower bank employees to protect vulnerable adults
BELLEVUE – It was a story that brought new attention to a growing problem: helpless seniors preyed upon by caregivers, friends, and relatives.
SEATTLE – Programs to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and improve the lives of mental health patients and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases were recently awarded grants by the Attorney General’s Office.
Also receives Kelley-Wyman award, AG association’s highest honor
CHICAGO – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna now leads the organization that combines the brain and fire-power of the states’ chief legal officers. McKenna became the president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) on Wednesday night, and simultaneously received the organization’s highest award.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will receive more than $1 million from a consumer protection settlement with two drug companies accused of poor manufacturing practices.
SEATTLE – From sea to shining sea, scammers are preying on those pursuing the American dream. For those seeking the right to live in the United States, the path to citizenship can be blocked by bad legal advice or blatant fraud. Federal and state officials banded together today in Seattle to expose immigration services scams and direct immigrants to real help.
SPOKANE – The “State Record Retrieval Board” notice mailed to Washington residents last year directed them pay $87 to obtain a copy of their property deed, or face an $35 fee if they missed the tight deadline. At least 45 of the 5,000 Washington residents who received the notice dutifully sent checks. But the Washington Attorney General’s Office says they were misled – and are owed refunds.
OLYMPIA – Washington state mental health programs will receive a $1.57 million lift thanks to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division’s role in regulating unfair marketing practices by a global drug manufacturer.
SEATTLE – Consumers who purchased massage chairs, bath tubs and range hoods from a Bellevue-based company were left waiting … and waiting … for their simulated shiatsu, soaks and steam ventilation, said the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
GRAND MOUND – The White Swan Dream Makers come from a small town roughly 40 miles southwest of Yakima on the Yakama Reservation—a small town with big problems.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that Washington joined other states and the federal government to reach an agreement with pharmaceutical manufacturer EMD Serono, Inc. The settlement resolves claims that the company paid illegal kickbacks to medical professionals in order to promote Rebif, a multiple sclerosis (MS) medication.
SEATTLE – It was a bad Hollywood ending. After Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores closed their doors, former customers throughout the nation began complaining of collection notices added to their credit files without any warning. Not only did customers balk at excessive fees and damaged credit scores, but many claimed they didn’t owe the money in the first place.
KENNEWICK – Storybook Lane, an online company previously sued by the Washington Attorney General’s Office, must once again refund consumers nationwide. The Kennewick-based company, which sells home décor for children’s bedrooms, violated the terms of a 2008 settlement by failing to deliver orders, issue refunds and respond to customer inquiries.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office – a nationwide leader in enforcement actions against scareware purveyors – announced an agreement today with yet another collection of companies accused of using deceptive warnings and “free scans” to sell anti-spyware programs and registry cleaners.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna expressed gratitude to legislators today for supporting several of his 2011 legislative proposals.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office cautions homeowners about paying to participate in a “mass joinder” lawsuit promising mortgage relief.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna joined the attorneys general of 34 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, in objecting Tuesday to the settlement of a private, class-action lawsuit against DirectBuy, Inc., because it offers no real benefit to consumers.
SEATTLE – Six months into its investigation into unlawful business practices by foreclosure trustees, the Washington Attorney General’s Office announced that it has uncovered an additional widespread problem that jeopardizes homeowners’ chances of stopping a foreclosure.
SEATTLE -- Across Washington, immigrants looking for the right to live and work legally in our state are unknowingly risking their futures. The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced 10 new settlements today with individuals accused of illegally practicing immigration law – a legal area so complicated that one wrong step can drastically delay citizenship or completely ruin a family’s chance to pursue the American dream.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office is suing an online seller of stethoscopes for sales practices that caused consumers substantial heartache.
SEATTLE – You may be owed money if you paid a Washington-based company that sold search-engine optimization, shopping cart integration and Web design and hosting services. The Washington Attorney General’s Office says small businesses nationwide are potentially eligible for refunds as a result of a consumer protection settlement with a group of defendants who used multiple business names since 2005.
SEATTLE – Ads proclaiming, “Government Vehicle Disposal,” and “The Repo Joe Sale,” are designed to steer buyers to used car sales events under the pretense they’re getting a special deal. But the Washington Attorney General’s Office says these promotions usually violate the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
SEATTLE – Attorneys general announced today the largest multistate, consumer protection settlement with a pharmaceutical company in history. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP will pay a record $68.5 million to settle allegations of improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug Seroquel.
SEATTLE – In a sluggish economy when every dollar saved counts, the Attorney General’s Consumer Resource Centers are a valuable ally. Helping consumers and businesses resolve disputes, at no cost and without picking sides, the program’s volunteers and staff handled complaints from more than 22,000 people last year and helped recover $4.8 million those individuals said they were owed.
Only open government bills, eminent domain bill sidelined so far
OLYMPIA – Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are again showing their support for Washington State Attorney General’s proposed legislation, enabling most of his proposals to advance beyond the Legislature’s first major cutoff date of the year.
SEATTLE – Thanks to the Attorney General’s Office, hundreds of cash-strapped Washington consumers who paid Freedom Debt Relief to work out a deal with their credit card providers will be feeling some relief. The California-based company agreed to pay up to nearly $800,000 in restitution to resolve allegations it violated Washington’s Consumer Protection and Debt Adjusting Acts.
OLYMPIA – The Washington Attorney General’s Office wrapped up its case with a company accused of hawking pricey service contracts through deceptive junk mail, illegal robocalls and misleading TV ads. The state’s settlement bans Credexx and its former owner, David J. Tabb, from doing business in Washington again.
It began with one patient exhibiting unusual symptoms in 2006. Doctors were puzzled. When dozens of similar cases began to appear, they got worried. But it wasn't until they found the common factor that the mystery was resolved — counterfeit cough syrup containing diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.
The state budget received a little boost this week in the form of a $772,320.33 check thanks to a settlement between the Attorney General’s Office and Intelius last fall.
SEATTLE – Despite warnings, many computer users unknowingly leave them themselves vulnerable to financial fraud or privacy invasions. In recognition of Data Privacy Day, Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington residents to protect their personal information by checking the privacy settings on social Web sites and using secured networks.
SEATTLE – If you have a gift card for Anchor Blue, shop now. The clothing store chain is closing all of its stores and will honor gift cards, certificates and store credits as payment for purchases through Jan. 28.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna’s bill to help fight identity theft by increasing penalties for mail theft will be considered by a legislative committee this week.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office joined the U.S. Department of Justice and other attorneys general in a settlement that permits the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, while requiring Comcast to make its programming available to competitors.
Washington residents are losing thousands of dollars to manipulative criminals claiming to be relatives in need of help.
Businesses and consumers agree that saying “no” means “no.” But does not saying “no” – or simply remaining silent – qualify as a “yes?" Some marketers seem to think so. They’ve increasingly used deceptive tactics to charge consumers for products and services they never intended to buy and to collect consumers’ personal information, resulting in increased solicitations.
OLYMPIA – Five bills requested by Attorney General Rob McKenna are scheduled for public hearings this week.
SEATTLE – A software company whose self-proclaimed “performance-enhancing and PC maintenance” programs were purchased by more than 19,000 Washington residents must offer refunds to some of those consumers as part of a settlement announced today by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
Bills to save money, foster open government and protect consumers receive bipartisan support
OLYMPIA – Legislators from both parties joined Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today to announce proposals to save money, protect the vulnerable and make government more accountable.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office has reached an agreement with Qwest, CenturyLink, and the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) on a set of conditions to address concerns with the companies’ proposed merger.
SEATTLE – Dannon will pay $21 million to settle allegations of illegal advertising brought by 39 attorneys general who couldn’t digest the company’s claims about the degree to which its Activia yogurt can improve regularity. The case restricts how the company can market Activia and its DanActive dairy drink and represents the largest settlement payment to date with a food manufacturer.
SEATTLE: DIRECTV – which generated more complaints to the Washington Attorney General’s Office in recent years than any other business – will pay more than $1 million to resolve a landmark lawsuit brought by the state on behalf of consumers.
SEATTLE – The owners of an e-commerce company sued by the Washington Attorney General’s Office for repeatedly failing to deliver on their promises to help small and mid-size businesses nationwide sell their products online must pay for their actions, a judge decided.
OLYMPIA -- With Washingtonians still facing economic hardships, many Evergreen State residents are looking to give money to help their neighbors this holiday season. To assist their generosity, Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna unveiled the 2010 Commercial Fundraiser Activity Report Friday that helps people avoid greedy fundraising organizations when making donations.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna handed out an early holiday gift of nearly $570,000 in assistance for Washington food bank programs today.
SPOKANE –California-based K-Designers is the latest exterior home remodeler to be called out by the Washington Attorney General’s Office for allegedly misleading customers to make quick sales.
OYMPIA – The Washington Attorney General’s Office spearheaded a multistate settlement with the former owners of U.S. Fidelis that ensures the brothers will never again sell auto service contracts or telemarket in 11 states. The agreement also severely restricts how the duo advertises any other product or service and requires them to turn over nearly all their assets.
SEATTLE – A debt management business that allegedly misled consumers about its for-profit status will pay $4.5 million to settle claims brought by 20 attorneys general.
OLYMPIA – The Washington Supreme Court issued a decision today in which justices unanimously agreed with the Washington Attorney General’s Office that the financial privacy provisions of the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) don’t preempt the state Public Records Act. The ruling also clarified that information about individual mortgage borrowers is still protected as intended under federal law due to exemptions set forth under state law.
SEATTLE – A disbarred attorney and his business partner were accused of violating the Consumer Protection Act and the Immigration Assistant Practices Act in a case brought by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
EVERETT – An animal rescue organization in Snohomish County agreed to restructure its accounting practices as part of a settlement with the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
VANCOUVER – A Vancouver-based exterior home remodeler that allegedly built up sales by misleading customers agrees to comply with state consumer protection laws. Northwest First Choice settled claims brought by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
TACOMA – Consumers who purchased vehicles from Baydo Chevrolet in Pierce County may be eligible for refunds of documentary fees. The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced an agreement that resolves concerns the dealership engaged in unfair and deceptive marketing practices.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and Scott Jarvis, director of the state Department of Financial Institutions, announced that they have joined attorneys general and banking regulators nationwide in forming a multistate group to investigate whether mortgage servicers have improperly submitted affidavits or other documents related to foreclosure in their states.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office has uncovered evidence that suggests foreclosure trustees are ignoring consumer protection laws in Washington, adding a new layer to a stack of problems reported in the mortgage-servicing industry. He sent letters today to 52 trustees outlining his concerns and calling on them to suspend any questionable foreclosures in the state.
OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today a settlement with Wells Fargo Bank that provides loan modifications for residents in Washington and seven other states who obtained problematic mortgages from Wachovia Bank and Golden West Corp., which did business as World Savings Bank.
Attorney General McKenna announces latest drug company settlement
OLYMPIA – Washington will receive more than $3.2 million in its newest settlement with a drug manufacturer. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced an agreement with Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc., resolving claims by the federal government and several states regarding the illegal marketing of three drugs.
SEATTLE – Penny auction sites lure consumers with cheap prices on brand-name electronics, designer handbags and discounted store gift cards. But an investigation by the Washington Attorney General’s Office shows how some of these sites can fool consumers into paying big bucks on an auction with no winner. These sites use shill bids to drive up prices by one unlucky penny at a time.
Nearly 100 sites in Washington sites join DEA’S nationwide effort
OLYMPIA — The abuse of prescription drugs inflicts a deadly toll in Washington state. Painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin soothe chronic pain and improve lives. But such painkillers are increasingly abused by those who mix them with other drugs and alcohol or even crush and smoke them for a quick — and sometimes deadly — high. Unused or expired painkillers left in medicine cabinets are contributing to the problem.
SEATTLE – A Vancouver man who sells business cards and graphic design services over the Internet will refund customers who never received their orders under an agreement reached this month with the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
DIY legal forms aren’t a substitute for an attorney
SEATTLE – If you’ve watched cable TV, you’ve likely seen celebrity attorney Robert Shapiro tout his company, LegalZoom, as a way to start businesses, patent inventions and create wills. “We put the law on your side,” he says.
SEATTLE – If dreams of instant riches have you buying stacks of magazines in the hope that Prize Patrol will soon knock on your door, you may be disheartened to know that the only thing you’ve gained over other prize contestants is some reading material. Joining with his colleagues across the country, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a new agreement with a company famous for its sweepstakes promotions, Publishers Clearinghouse.
SEATTLE – An Ohio-based window manufacturer has settled allegations over erroneous energy-savings claims. In a settlement with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Great Lakes Window, Inc. agrees not to make false or unsubstantiated representations about the energy efficiency of their window products.
OLYMPIA – Following concerted efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures, the Washington Attorney General’s Office and a group of other state attorneys general and banking regulators say they’ve seen improvements in programs designed to help homeowners. But they’re concerned that foreclosures continue to outpace loan modifications, and note that most modifications increase the loan balance.
SEATTLE – Washington’s Lemon Law requires that dealers inform buyers if a car has ever been returned to a manufacturer. The Attorney General’s Office, which enforces the law, says a Bothell Chevrolet dealer neglected more than once to provide the required disclosures.
Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp and others accused of price-fixing
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit accusing the makers of Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp and five other brands of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens of fixing prices.
SEATTLE – Hundreds of thousands of consumers may have unknowingly enrolled in membership programs while using Web sites owned by Bellevue, Wash.-based Intelius. A two-year investigation by the Washington Attorney General’s Office alleges that Intelius received thousands of consumer complaints regarding unauthorized enrollment in the programs and that company management including CEO Naveen Jain knew about the complaints but chose to continue the deceptive and tremendously profitable marketing tactics.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and 33 other attorneys general reached an agreement with Internet message board host Topix.com to improve consumer protections and eliminate the $19.99 fee to expedite review of abusive or inappropriate posts.
SEATTLE – Latinos across Washington state lose thousands of dollars, their jobs and the chance to live legally in the U.S. because of erroneous legal advice and a frequently exploited translation hitch. That’s why the Washington Attorney General’s Office today announced three new settlements with individuals accused of illegally providing immigration advice.
SEATTLE – Latinos en todo el estado de Washington pierden miles de dólares, sus trabajos y la oportunidad de vivir legalmente en los EE.UU. debido a la asesoría legal errónea y una complicación de traducción frecuentemente explotada. La Oficina del Procurador General hoy anunció tres nuevos acuerdos extrajudiciales con personas acusadas de ilegalmente proveer asesoramiento de inmigración.
SEATTLE – The Attorney General’s Office has accused an Arizona company of violating a 3-year-old state law intended to crack down on “trust mill” schemes. The Preservation Group and its founders will offer refunds to more than 60 Washington seniors who purchased living trusts, under a settlement announced today by the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
SPOKANE – Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini does windows. Zurlini, who is spearheading a government push to clear up alleged deceptive sales practices among some window sellers, has negotiated six settlements with Washington businesses in recent months. The latest is Seattle’s Best Home Improvements, actually based in Tacoma.
SEATTLE – A Redmond-based seller of e-commerce services agreed to change course after customers complained the company promised Web hits but struck out, the Washington Attorney General’s Office announced today.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window sellers by reaching a settlement this week with Energy Exteriors, of Tacoma.
SEATTLE – Scammers posing as health inspectors are calling restaurant operators.
SEATTLE – The Y2K bug was the big concern in the computer world when makers of DRAM computer memory conspired to raise prices. More than a decade later, the companies and a group of state attorneys general have negotiated a $173 million antitrust settlement in principle with six of the world’s top manufacturers.
The Yakama Nation issued a warning today after individuals visited the tribe’s headquarters on Tuesday to recruit tribal offers for supposedly lucrative jobs cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The recruiters promised bus transportation to Louisiana and Florida, lodging and wages of $40 per hour. Many tribal members eagerly offered up their personal information and some even quit their jobs.
SEATTLE – Matchmakers bank on the notion that money can buy love. But some customers willing to pay thousands of dollars to a business that advertises as “the premier, personal dating service for Seattle singles” say they were sold false promises.
Penalties for repeat domestic abusers, restriction on child pornography among bills proposed by McKenna
OLYMPIA – Five laws proposed by Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna during the 2010 Legislative Session become effective today.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window selling businesses by reaching a settlement this week with West Coast Vinyl, of Tacoma.
Stadium High School group wins competition to present peer-based prevention programs
GRAND MOUND – Teens from all over the state gathered at Great Wolf Lodge last week to share ideas about reducing drug and alcohol abuse, violence and other destructive behaviors. Among the PowerPoint slides, costumes, singing and role-playing, one theme came up again and again: Prescription drug abuse is a growing, yet hidden, threat to young people.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is again reaching out to Chinese-American community leaders to help protect residents from fraud and unfair business practices.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window selling businesses by reaching a settlement this week with Harley Exteriors, of Bothell.
Producer of cystic fibrosis drug settles lawsuit over “off label marketing”
OLYMPIA – The state’s recession-battered general fund will receive a $261,844 deposit thanks to the latest settlement with a drug manufacturer.
McKenna joins suit seeking millions owed to state’s Medicaid program
OLYMPIA — Washington and 16 other states say the manufacturer of two drugs to fight acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach-related illnesses owes hundreds of millions of dollars to their Medicaid programs.
Si tiene una cuna de baranda móvil, revise la página de Web www.cpsc.gov para ver si se ha retirado su cuna del mercado.
EVERETT – The Attorney General’s Office is suing the owner of two Everett dealerships for misleading sales and advertising practices that resulted in consumers paying higher prices for vehicles.
SEATTLE – A for-profit fundraiser that solicited donations for Jaycees chapters and other charities throughout Western Washington, as well as fake charities, will no longer solicit donations under a settlement with the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
SEATTLE – A Covington contractor agreed to resolve concerns of consumers who complained that work they were promised and paid for was never performed.
CHEHALIS — Like millions of latch-key kids, 10-year-old Marlin Fryberg had too much time on his hands. The child of a single, working mom was left to fend for himself after school and during breaks. Many of the kids living in his Everett public housing complex were getting into trouble, skipping school and using drugs and alcohol.
OLYMPIA — Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 159,000 kids every year in Washington state. However, there is only one club in Washington for Native American kids.
OLYMPIA – While the foreclosure crisis continues to swell, the Washington Attorney General’s Office is commemorating National Consumer Protection Week with the passage of a new law that shields families who have lost homes from further harm.
SEATTLE – LifeLock – the identity theft prevention provider whose CEO published his Social Security number in advertisements – can no longer claim its services protect consumers from all forms of identity theft.
OLYMPIA – Un consecionario de autos en Mid-Columbia concordo ir por el buen camino tras las acusaciones de dirigir a clientes por el sendero equivocada con prácticas de ventas y publicidades engañosas.
OLYMPIA – A Mid-Columbia auto dealer agreed to take the high road following allegations of steering customers in the wrong direction with misleading sales and advertising practices.
SEATTLE – It’s a g’day at the Washington Attorney General’s Office, where attorneys reached a settlement with a pair of Aussies who used sexy stories to sell bogus health cures over the Internet.
SEATTLE – As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage window sellers to be transparent in their marketing, the Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement this week with Mukilteo-based Penguin Windows.
SEATTLE – Seven months after the Washington Attorney General’s Office sued Rent-a-Center and accused the national lease-to-own chain of crossing the line with its collection tactics – including cussing at customers, pounding on doors, peering in windows and threatening arrest – the company agreed to settle.
SEATTLE – Arranging recall repairs is easier for Toyota owners. The company has agreed to provide free pickup and return of recalled cars, as well as free rental cars or taxi fare, for car owners across the nation.
Attorney General-sponsored bills survive the committee process with overwhelming support
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna expressed his gratitude to state legislators today for allowing several AG-requested bills to be approved by key committees, setting the stage for final legislative approval.
OLYMPIA -- Four of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s public safety and consumer protection bills will receive hearings this week.
SEATTLE – A Sammamish-based nonprofit organization recently entered into an agreement with the Washington Attorney General’s Office concerning its charitable solicitations.
SEATTLE – There’s no place like home. For families struggling to make their mortgage payments, as well hundreds who already lost their homes, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna offered hope today: more than $1.8 million for local foreclosure prevention programs and cash for directly impacted consumers.
Consumer protection bills alive, too; property rights bills die without a hearing
OLYMPIA — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s law enforcement bills have survived the first major hurdle of the 2010 legislative process.
SEATTLE – Washington consumers filed more complaints about collection agencies with the Attorney General’s Office in 2009 than any other industry. Gripes about collection agencies have been rising in recent years but it took a single complaint to ultimately move the industry into pole position and bump telecommunications, which previously held the top spot for at least a decade.
SEATTLE – A New York-based organization that offers face-to-face charitable solicitors for hire entered into an agreement last week with the Washington Attorney General’s Office concerning its business practices.
OLYMPIA — Families who have lost their homes due to an inability to pay their property taxes are being targeted by individuals who want to take the little money they have left after the foreclosure sale. Legislation proposed by the Attorney General’s Office aims to protect these families from scammers and help them keep as much of their money as possible.
OLYMPIA – A group of state attorneys general and banking regulators predict a devastating acceleration of foreclosures unless policy makers step up efforts to assist homeowners. The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group issued a report Wednesday that cited disturbing trends including a rising tide of delinquent mortgages outpacing servicer outreach and loss-mitigation efforts. The report also offered recommendations for action.
OLYMPIA – Puget Sound Energy customers can comment on the company’s proposed electric and gas rate increases during a public hearing next week in Olympia. This is PSE’s first rate case following the sale of the utility to the Macquarie investor consortium which was approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) in December 2008.
SEATTLE – An Everett-based collection agency agreed not to harass, threaten or cuss at consumers as part of a settlement with the Attorney General’s Office.
SEATTLE – While marketing a drug to lower cholesterol, attorneys general say pharmaceutical giants Abbott and Fournier fattened their wallets by clogging the pathway for cheaper generics to be sold.
Bipartisan group of legislators join McKenna’s call to get tough on domestic abusers, criminals who exploit children or seniors
OLYMPIA — When shocking crimes are committed by repeat offenders, members of the public often ask elected officials why they didn’t do more to keep those criminals off the streets.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will be joined by a bipartisan coalition of legislators on Monday as he rolls out his agenda for the 2010 legislative session.
OLYMPIA – There’s only one government-authorized Web site
where consumers can get their free annual credit report, and it’s not the one with the catchy jingles in television ads. Attorney General Rob McKenna says more needs to be done to protect consumers attempting to obtain the free credit report allowed by law.
SEATTLE – It’s payback time for Enron, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today. The Attorney General’s Office sent more than $9 million this week to programs that will benefit utility customers who were gouged by the manufactured energy crisis of 2000-2001.
OLYMPIA — As shoppers prepare to head to big-box stores and shopping malls on Black Friday, Attorney General Rob McKenna today offered money-saving tips for holiday shoppers.
OLYMPIA -- Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna took a leading role in encouraging Congress to get tough on companies that engage in deceptive online sales tactics. McKenna was the only attorney general to testify in connection with Tuesday’s hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office today challenged electric and gas rate increases proposed by Puget Sound Energy (PSE).
OLYMPIA – Attorneys general in 32 states are calling on Vonage to change its marketing practices. The company, one of the nation’s largest providers of Internet-based phone service, will refund eligible customers and pay $3 million to the states to resolve concerns about its billing and cancellation policies.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is leading a group of 40 state attorneys general in urging Congress to uphold the role of the states in enforcing consumer protection laws.
In most Latin American countries, a “notario” is a licensed attorney. But the similar-sounding English word “notary public,” which translates to “notario publico,” means something entirely different.
SEATTLE – A year after Silver State Helicopters declared bankruptcy – leaving its former students with sky-high loan debt – a group of attorneys general has handed over a golden parachute.
VANCOUVER, Wash. –The Attorney General’s announced today that it is suing RGH Marketing, Inc., and the general manager of Interstate Auto Liquidators, as part of an ongoing crackdown on deceptive practices by some dealers and marketers.
SEATTLE – Window sellers need to be transparent in their marketing. Roofers need to stay on top of the law. And home siding installers shouldn’t sidle up to consumers with inappropriately high-pressure sales pitches.
SEATTLE -- If a young person knocks on your door and says they're selling magazines for a charity, wait before reaching for your pocketbook. The Washington Attorney General’s Office, which issued a warning
about Fresh Start Opportunities in March, says solicitors have returned to Washington state.
OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna fears a rise in scam victims as struggling homeowners trying to tap legitimate payment relief programs are simultaneously solicited by charlatans. He said a meeting this morning between Obama administration officials and state attorneys general on mortgage fraud is further evidence that cross-agency cooperation is vital to protect homeowners.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office today lifted the curtain on a Seattle-based window installer’s allegedly deceptive sales practices and negotiated a settlement to insulate consumers from future harm.
OLYMPIA – Gas vouchers were a hot promotional tool last year, used to lure potential customers to dealerships, furniture stores and seminars. But as gas prices rose, so did the number of consumers fuming about these so-called free fill-ups. A Vancouver, Wash., car dealer must now reimburse customers who responded to one such promotion that the Washington Attorney General’s Office says was deceptive.
SEATTLE – Working with the Washington Attorney General’s Office, Australian authorities recently announced
they’ve shut down an Internet health scam that fleeced more than 60,000 consumers worldwide.
Attorney General McKenna today joined 42 other state Attorneys General in announcing a $33 million dollar agreement with Pfizer Inc. related to the drug company’s alleged improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug, Geodon.
Attorney General McKenna today announced two major settlements between the government and pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc. The company will pay $2.3 billion to states and the federal in a historic Medicaid fraud settlement and $33 million more to settle states’ claims of unfair and deceptive marketing practices.
In one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, attorneys from the public and private sectors are stepping up to lend a hand to struggling consumers.
OLYMPIA — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, in partnership with the Entertainment Software Association Foundation andWeb Wise Kids, today announced the launch of a statewide program that uses video games to help students, teachers, and parents better understand safe use of the Internet and other technology.
SEATTLE – Washington consumers looking to lose weight or wrinkles have jumped at “free trial” offers for açaí berry and resveratrol products. But the fruity supplements came with unexpected costs, say officials at the Washington Attorney General’s Office who want to warn shoppers about deceptive advertising practices.
OLYMPIA– On Monday, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn will announce their partnership with the Entertainment Software Association Foundation and the non-profit Web Wise Kids to introduce an innovative youth Internet safety program that will be used in 70 Washington schools.
OLYMPIA – Mortgage scammers and others seeking to prey on homeowners had better watch their backs. Attorney General Rob McKenna and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller are co-chairing a new State-Federal Task Force on Mortgage Enforcement which is an unprecedented partnership to target fraudsters.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section
of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office today challenged electric and gas rate increases proposed by Avista, saying the Spokane-based utility’s request is not justified and that, in fact, the company might be charging its customers too much for service.
SEATTLE – All they wanted was to start an online business. But many Washington residents who agreed to pay thousands of dollars to a company called StoresOnline claim they were suckered. ... After accusing the company of deceptive sales practices, the Washington Attorney General’s Office today announced an agreement that provides refunds for StoresOnline customers, who include many elderly and people on limited incomes.
SEATTLE – Nearly 1,000 Washington residents who lost their homes to foreclosure are a step closer to receiving some money to ease their pain, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
OLYMPIA – Attorneys general in 46 states served up some relief for DISH Network customers today. The satellite TV provider will pay nearly $6 million to settle allegations that the company and its third-party retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices.
SEATTLE – Marketers of the cholesterol-lowing drug Vytorin will pay $5.4 million to resolve an investigation by attorneys general into the companies’ delayed release of negative study results, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
SEATTLE – In the aftermath of the mortgage industry shakedown, a new type of bottom-feeder is chomping at homeowners struggling to keep up with their loan payments. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office joined the Federal Trade Commission and other states in a nationwide crackdown on foreclosure rescuers and loan modification businesses that charge hefty upfront fees and often provide no help.
SEATAC – The Washington Attorney General’s Office will hold a press conference at SeaTac Airport on Wednesday, July 15, at 12:30 p.m. to announce five new cases concerning loan modification and foreclosure rescue businesses that have solicited Washington homeowners, as well as additional initiatives that are part of a nationwide federal/state enforcement initiative.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today praised the Federal Trade Commission for tackling a Tacoma company that preyed on financially strapped consumers. He urged consumers to take advantage of low-cost credit counseling services.
SPOKANE -- Residents of a Spokane mobile home park were bewildered to learn they didn’t own the homes they live in. When an investigation by the Washington Attorney General’s Office revealed that the owner of West Prairie Village never properly transferred the titles, the business agreed to make things right.
TACOMA – The telemarketers’ pitch seems innocent enough: They want you to buy trash bags, light bulbs or gift cards at jacked-up prices. They claim your cash will help the homeless or support employment for those with disabilities. But state officials and consumer advocates are warning residents not to be misled by these sales calls.
SEATTLE – TJX Companies, Inc., agreed to pay $9.75 million to 41 attorneys general as a part of settlement that follows the states’ investigation concerning the retailer’s data security practices. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said $2.5 million will fund a Data Security Trust Fund to be used by the states to advance enforcement efforts and policy development in the field of data security.
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) is pleased to announce that its Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project is accepting clients. In response to the current foreclosure crisis in our state, the WSBA is partnering with the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) to provide free legal assistance to Washington residents in danger of losing their homes. The goal of the project, which will last through May 2010, is to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington state will receive more than $2.6 million as part of a $95.5 million global settlement with Aventis Pharmaceutical, Inc, to resolve allegations that Aventis and its corporate predecessors shortchanged taxpayer-funded health care programs.
OLYMPIA – Here’s some sweet news for Chrysler owners: The Chrysler Group, LLC, and Fiat have agreed to honor the “Lemon Law” rights of buyers when the new company takes control of the U.S. auto maker, Attorney General Rob McKenna said today.
Goldendale couple told to pay more than $89,000
GOLDENDALE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office is working to “keep the dirty side down”* for motorcycle enthusiasts who shop for parts over the Internet.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office is sounding the siren on marketing firms accused of using deceptive advertising and prize promotions to steer consumers to buy cars. The state announced two new lawsuits today as part of an ongoing effort to enforce fair marketing practices.
SEATTLE – Recent layoffs mean more Washington residents are without health insurance. The good news is they may qualify for assistance to help cover the costs of necessary prescription medications.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office declared a major victory for consumers today in response to a judge’s order that a notorious foreclosure rescue scammer must pay more than $3.2 million to victims he wronged plus $179,000 in penalties for violating the Consumer Protection Act.
GRAND MOUND – Proving that you don’t have to give in to fit in, Washington teens wowed their peers and adult mentors with clever marketing campaigns, peer support programs and even hip-hop aimed at preventing youth drug and alcohol abuse, violence and other destructive behaviors.
OLYMPIA – As state legislators prepare to head home, Attorney General Rob McKenna was gratified that many of his consumer protection, community safety, and open government priorities had been approved by the Legislature. Some have already been signed into law and others await the Governor’s signature.
State attorneys general warned federal officials years ago that there would be consequences for paying insufficient attention to meaningful consumer protection, particularly related to predatory lending practices. Only now, with record numbers of mortgages in default and the economy in crisis, do officials in the other Washington seem willing to listen.
SEATTLE--Attorney General Rob McKenna Monday announced a landmark settlement brokered by Washington and other states requiring sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to provide loan modifications for as many as 395,000 borrowers nationwide. As a result, nearly 10,000 Washington homeowners will receive about $200 million in payment relief.
SEATTLE--Attorney General Rob McKenna Monday announced a landmark settlement brokered by Washington and other states requiring sub-prime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to provide loan modifications for as many as 395,000 borrowers nationwide. As a result, nearly 10,000 Washington homeowners will receive about $200 million in payment relief.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement today with an Auburn business that sold precious metals online but allegedly failed to deliver the items by the promised date.
Lawsuit aims to put the skids on company’s deceptive sales practices
GOLDENDALE – A Klickitat County couple who sold motorcycle parts on the Internet are accused of taking their customers for a ride. The Washington Attorney General’s Office alleges Slade and Shawn Kitchens, of Dallesport, violated the state’s consumer protection law by failing to ship orders, provide refunds or obtain required business licenses.
Online Divorce agrees to stop providing legal advice to Washington residents
OLYMPIA – In an era of drive-through wedding chapels and even quicker divorces, it’s still possible to reach a roadblock. The Attorney General’s Office, which announced a settlement today with a company that advertised online divorce services, says Washington residents should check out the credentials of those who provide legal guidance and resources.
Seniors reminded that government agencies don’t phone for personal info
OLYMPIA –The Attorney General’s Office is warning Washington residents that they should not provide Social Security numbers, bank accounts or other personal information to callers claiming to be from the government. If past events are any indication, cons are likely to start working the phone lines after today’s announcement about the availability of a new prepaid debit card to receive federal benefits.
RICHLAND – ¿Si su nieto llamara buscando ayuda, enviaría usted dinero? La Oficina del Procurador General de Washington advierte a residentes de Washington acerca de la "Estafa de Abuelo," donde estafadores que actúan como parientes tratan de convencer a víctimas de edad avanzada que envíen dinero en efectivo para ayudarles a pagar por reparaciones imprevistas de autos, cuentas médicas – o incluso pagarles la fianza.
RICHLAND – If your grandchild called seeking help, would you send money? The Washington Attorney General’s Office is warning Washington residents about the “grandparent scam,” where cons posing as relatives try to convince elderly victims to wire cash to help pay for emergency car repairs, medical bills – or even post bail.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna will be in Spokane on Friday to award a $15,000 grant to Prescriptions for Life, a local nonprofit organization working to eliminate prescription drug abuse. The money, which comes from a settlement with the maker of OxyContin, will help pay for a new educational video that will be shown to students, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement, medical professionals and civic and business leaders.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged members of Congress to adopt legislation that would increase the ability of state attorneys general to protect consumers from lead-tainted products.
SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that 28 states and the District of Columbia entered into a $9.5 million settlement
with Express Scripts Inc., one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits management companies.
SEATTLE – Two online companies that promised consumers “free” big-ticket items but required them to pay for trial offers and subscriptions must pay $55,000 in civil penalties under a settlement
announced today by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Under the terms of the settlement, SubscriberBASE Holdings, Inc., of Columbia, S.C., and SubscriberBASE, Inc., can no longer offer such promotions to Washington residents. The companies also agreed to refund more than 35,000 Washington consumers who paid for products and services in order to qualify for the so-called “free” items.
SEATTLE – A defunct business that sold magazines on eBay agreed to refund consumers who never received their orders, under a settlement announced today by Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. The Attorney General’s Office sued Cheapest-Magz, which formerly operated in Bremerton then California, and its owners Wilmyr Dagohoy and Eireen Ejem-Dagohoy, in October 2007, alleging that their practices violated the state Consumer Protection Act.
SEATTLE – Six small businesses in Washington state that lost phone and Internet services when their telecommunications provider, NorVergence, Inc., went bankrupt in 2004 will not have to pay the full amount due on their rental contracts, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office announced today.
SEATTLE - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today expressed concerns over the recently announced online advertising alliance between Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.
The Washington Attorney General’s Antitrust Division has received several inquiries and concerns regarding the new “print on demand” or “POD” policy recently implemented by Amazon.com.
PASCO – Attorney General Rob McKenna, who will travel to Pasco this weekend, said he believes a first-of-its kind Latino Business & Consumer Expo
comes at an important time.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced that he and 10 other attorneys general sent a letter today to the Federal Communications Commission expressing their concerns about the proposed merger of satellite giants Sirius and XM.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he and attorneys general from 19 states have filed a civil complaint against the manufacturer and marketers of TriCor, a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol. The states’ complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Delaware accuses Abbott Laboratories, based in Illinois; Fournier Industrie Et Sante, of France; and subsidiary Laboratoires Fournier, S.A., with violating federal antitrust laws by delaying the availability of a cheaper generic versions of the medicine. The suit also alleges the defendants violated Washington consumer protection and antitrust laws.
KENNEWICK – An online company that sells home décor for children’s bedrooms must refund consumers nationwide under a settlement with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office announced an agreement today with Storybook Lane, of Kennewick, Wash., and its owner Teryl Cooper that resolves allegations the business failed to deliver orders, issue refunds and respond to customer inquiries.
SEATTLE – Washington consumers filed 19,686 complaints with the Attorney General’s Office in 2007. Complaints about collections agencies climbed to the No. 2 spot, bumping retailers, who held that ranking since at least 2001, to No. 3. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division released its annual Top 20 list of consumer complaint categories today in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week. At the same time, Attorney General Rob McKenna acknowledged the division’s work in recovering $13 million for consumers through litigation, complaint mediation, and the Lemon Law program during the 2006-2006 fiscal year.
SEATTLE – Washington consumers filed 19,686 complaints with the Attorney General’s Office in 2007. Complaints about collections agencies climbed to the No. 2 spot, bumping retailers, who held that ranking since at least 2001, to No. 3. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division released its annual Top 20 list of consumer complaint categories today in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week. At the same time, Attorney General Rob McKenna acknowledged the division’s work in recovering $13 million for consumers through litigation, complaint mediation, and the Lemon Law program during the 2006-2006 fiscal year.
SEATTLE – The manufacturer of Silkies hosiery will pay $455,000 to settle a case with Washington and 14 other states regarding the company’s marketing and sales practices, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
PASCO – Attorney General Rob McKenna invites the Latino community to attend a free town hall meeting on Friday, Feb. 22, in Pasco to learn more about the office’s work in identity theft, car sales, notarios and other consumer protection issues.
PASCO: El Procurador del Estado de Washington, Rob McKenna, invita a la comunidad Latina a una reunión comunitaria el Viernes, 22 de Febrero, en Pasco, para informar a la gente sobre los esfuerzos de la Procuraduría con respeto a temas de Robo de Identidad, Compra de Autos, Notarios, y otros temas de protección al consumidor.
OLYMPIA – A company that deceived Washington businesses into purchasing labor law and safety posters is prohibited from mailing future advertisements that appear to originate from government-affiliated agencies, the Attorney General’s Office announced today.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that Washington will receive nearly $1.7 million as part of a $41 million settlement
between 29 states and Caremark Rx, LLC, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits management companies.
SEATTLE – CM Travel must refund individuals who answered an employment ad for travel agents but instead were offered opportunities as independent contractors. The Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement today with the Bellevue-based company and its owners, resolving allegations that they violated the state Consumer Protection Act.
SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office today announced a settlement in its case against three Oregon companies accused of using deceptive tactics to sell credit and debit card processing services to small businesses in Washington state.
SPOKANE -- Attorney General McKenna, U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt and Spokane criminal justice officials will discuss counterfeit check scams now impacting our state and the Spokane area during a press conference Jan. 17 in Spokane.
Attorney General Rob McKenna and state Department of Health Secretary Mary Selecky sent the following letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the sale and distribution of unproven and dangerous "energy medicine" devices:
SEATTLE – The official-looking postcard in your mailbox warns that your car’s warranty is about to expire and urges you to call a toll-free number to ensure you’re covered. But think twice before you dial. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division says these mailers are advertisements aimed at pressuring you into buying an expensive service contract.
OLYMPIA – A New Jersey company accused of making illegal misrepresentations while selling motorized wheelchairs to Washington consumers agreed to reform its sales practices, refrain from future violations and provide consumers with a 14-day cancellation period for any motorized wheelchair under a settlement with the Attorney General’s Office.
SEATTLE – Following on the heels of Washington and other states that have approved credit freeze laws, the nation’s three leading credit bureaus recently announced they will provide all Americans with the opportunity to freeze unwanted access to their credit history. But before you rush to sign up, the Attorney General’s Office says there are some things you should know.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today cautioned Washington residents to beware of possible flood-related scams including fraudulent home repair offers and charity appeals.
OAK HARBOR – An Oak Harbor couple who took thousands of dollars from aspiring authors is prohibited from marketing ghostwriting and publishing services unless they pay back customers, the Attorney General’s Office announced today.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a Kirkland-based company that sells leads to real estate agents on a subscription basis. HouseValues, Inc., is accused of misrepresenting the quality of information it provides and misrepresenting subscribers’ cancellation rights.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged homeowners to check out contractors they hire to help repair their storm-damaged homes and remove fallen trees caused by yesterday’s 40-50 mph winds.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit today accusing a former Bremerton couple who sold magazine subscriptions on eBay of violating consumer protection laws. Attorney General Rob McKenna said more than 30,000 consumers nationwide purchased subscriptions but never received their magazines.
SEATTLE – A reminder for everyone who signed up for the national Do Not Call Registry back in 2003 when it was created: It’s time to renew your spot on the list if you want to continue to stay off of telemarketers’ phone lists. Numbers are flushed after five years. About half of the 148 million numbers on the nationwide registry are due to fall off the list starting in June.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement that addresses concerns surrounding the merger of the nation’s two largest school bus contractors. Eleven states reached an agreement with Laidlaw International, Inc., and FirstGroup plc to help ensure that school districts can still receive competitive bids for student transportation.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $16.75 million multistate settlement with Guidant Corporation that extends a replacement program for certain heart defibrillators built prior to November 2002.
SPOKANE – Consumers who purchased recently recalled Westlake, Compass or YKS tires are eligible for free replacements.
Olympia - Attorney General Rob McKenna joined 29 other attorneys general nationwide today in urging the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to stop alcohol manufacturers from making misleading health-related statements when advertising alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced an agreement with TruGreen, L.P. of Memphis, Tenn., that provides for refunds of over $83,000 to Washington consumers whose accounts TruGreen improperly debited, and for payment of over $50,000 in costs and attorney fees incurred by the state.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged consumers to check the tires on their SUV, pickup or van in case they are among those being recalled. Attorneys General in 24 states issued consumer alerts and have formed a working group to look into concerns that an estimated 270,000 tires brought into the U.S. from China may be potentially unsafe.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office today announced a settlement with Titleist Meats, LLC., concerning the company’s refund and cancellation policies. Titleist Meats has an office in Spokane and sells meat products door to door in Washington.
SEATTLE –Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington consumers who continued to receive bills for America Online (AOL) services after cancelling are eligible for refunds as part of a $3 million nationwide settlement with the Internet service provider.
The Washington State Department of Revenue has received reports that taxpayers have received automated phone messages from a party that identifies itself as the Department of Revenue. The phone message directs businesses to call a 1-800 number and have their tax numbers ready. When the call is made, a recording says the number has changed and directs the caller to call an international number beginning with the digits 101 for which charges apply.
LAKEWOOD – Attorney General Rob McKenna warned Washington residents that con artists are becoming increasingly skilled at customizing their pitches. Residents of Lakewood, Washington, have been targeted twice in recent weeks for identity theft and financial fraud scams. The cases appear to be unrelated, but show how far criminals will go in order to convince someone to send money or provide personal information.
SEATTLE – The owners of several Bellevue businesses that sent official-looking postcards to homeowners urging them to have their hot-water tanks or electrical panels inspected agreed to issue refunds to consumers as part of a settlement, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned businesses to beware of traveling salesmen who fraudulently claim to be federal government representatives and use coercive tactics to sell labor law posters. Cons were recently reported in the Tacoma area.
OLYMPIA – Thousands of Washington apartment homes and hotels may be especially vulnerable to fire. The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office says up to 500,000 fire sprinkler heads in Washington may be defective – and officials don’t know where they are located.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington homeowners and businesses to beware of cons claiming to repair your driveway. Scammers have been reported in communities across Washington, most recently in the Vancouver and Tacoma areas.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Coranda Living Trust Services and its owner, Stephen Cuccia, Jr., in which the former Sumner resident agreed to provide refunds to Washington residents who purchased estate planning products. The agreement resolves allegations that Cuccia made misleading statements in order to sell living trusts and insurance annuities to at least 70 seniors.
A group of telemarketers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their “debt elimination program” violated federal and state laws by falsely promising consumers substantially reduced interest rates and thousands of dollars in savings. Under the proposed settlement, two business owners are permanently barred from engaging in any debt negotiation or debt elimination business. According to a complaint filed by the FTC and the Washington State Attorney General, the defendants made unsolicited phone calls to consumers nationwide and marketed the program on Internet Web sites, including www.debt2wealth.com and www.acceleratedfinancialinc.com.
OLYMPIA – A listserv account used by the Washington Attorney General’s Office to send news items was hijacked as part of a “phishing” scam. State agencies have resolved the problem to ensure further unauthorized e-mails are not sent.
SEATTLE – You may be owed money if you paid for a video subscription service from Movieland.com, bought Spyware Cleaner software or a Sony BMG music CD, or were billed for a shopping service or travel club you didn’t want. The Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division says thousands of Washington consumers are potentially eligible for refunds for products and services as a result of government settlements. But with deadlines rapidly approaching, those consumers need to submit their claims soon in order to receive payment.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with three California-based businesses that resolves allegations they installed software that took control of a consumer’s computer by launching aggressive and persistent pop-ups that demanded payment for a movie download service. The software was installed after users signed up for a seemingly anonymous free trial for the service.
SEATTLE – Washington state consumers are eligible for refunds as part of a settlement reached between the Florida Attorney General’s Office and Email Discount Network (EDN). Email Discount Network, located in Florida, charged more than 250,000 consumers nationwide a monthly fee for shopping coupons and discounts the company advertised on the Internet.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against Merchant Processing, Inc. (MPI), of Beaverton, Ore., and several of its associates. The suit alleges the defendants used deceptive tactics to sell credit and debit card processing services to small businesses in Washington state. The Attorney General’s Office filed its complaint today in King County Superior Court, alleging violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act by MPI and two affiliated companies in Oregon: Vequity Financial Group, of Beaverton, and Direct Merchant Processing, of Tigard. MPI’s president Aaron Rian and vice president Michael DeGroat are also defendants.
Lakewood driving school owner Gary R. Probst received a 50-day sentence in Thurston County Superior Court Thursday afternoon after entering a guilty plea for one count of first degree theft for evading more than $14,000 in taxes.
Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a Seattle company accused of making misrepresentations in the course of offering parking lot monitoring services to local businesses. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that Parking Enforcement Services, Inc., misrepresented its authority to enforce trespassing laws, operated in a way that deceived people as to the company’s authority to act as law enforcement, and offered an illusory “appeal” process to individuals who disputed fines.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against three California-based Internet affiliate advertisers and their respective business entities. The defendants are accused of sending anonymous “Net Send” messages to consumers’ computers that simulate Windows operating system warnings, transmitting bundled software that changes Internet browser home pages, and marketing registry-cleaner programs through the use of deceptive free scans.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $90 million nationwide settlement with Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (“Samsung”), resolving allegations that Samsung and others major computer chip manufacturers fixed prices of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM).
SEATTLE & SPOKANE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has teamed up with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to sponsor several events in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week (Feb. 4-10).
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna is partnering with The Advertising Council on a new campaign aimed at putting the brakes on fatal car crashes involving teens and young adults.
YAKIMA – El Procurador Rob McKenna advertio a consumidores hoy que hay un vendedor de programas(software) de Brainstorm USA que se ha communicado con padres que hablan Español en el Distrito Escolar de Yakima, reclamando fraudelentemente que son asociados con el distrito.
YAKIMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers that a software salesman for Brainstorm USA has contacted Spanish-speaking parents in the Yakima School District, fraudulently claiming to be associated with the district.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers that a scam letter bearing the Mega Millions logo is being sent out to individuals in several states via standard mail. This letter notifies supposed winners of their unclaimed "Mega Millions" prize and also contains a counterfeit check.
Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that SONY BMG Music Entertainment has agreed to pay $316,000 to the state of Washington and nearly $4 million to 39 other states as part of a settlement. The company also agreed to provide refunds of up to $175 per individual consumer to resolve problems that arose when SONY BMG caused anti-copying software to be surreptitiously downloaded onto consumers’ computers by the simple act of playing a SONY BMG music CD.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged homeowners to check out contractors they hire to help repair their storm-damaged homes and remove fallen trees. A quick fix may end up costing homeowners much more than the job is worth – especially if the repairs aren’t done properly and they have to pay even more to hire another contractor.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a multi-state settlement in a lawsuit against YP Corp. and its subsidiary, Telco Billing, Inc. The businesses will pay more than $2 million to resolve allegations they deceptively marketed phone listings and advertisements on internet yellow pages. The money includes reimbursements for businesses and organizations in Washington and 33 other states that paid for online advertisements they did not want.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna said Washington residents whose personal information was stored on a stolen Boeing laptop computer should take precautions to protect themselves against identity theft.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna and the Washington State Bar Association are sponsoring a one-day conference to help businesses meet the challenge of safeguarding consumer information in the age of data breaches and identity theft. Learn from front-line experts about how to prevent and respond to information security breaches.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with two New York-based companies accused of violating Washington state's consumer protection and computer spyware laws.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced settlements with two Spokane-based corporations accused of violating telemarketing and charity laws.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced new settlements with operators of LA Weight Loss diet centers in Washington.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a New York man that provides restitution to Washington state consumers who purchased the software program QuikShield Security.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers about a new version of a counterfeit check scam in which victims are told they received a restitution from a lawsuit settlement.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Mary Lobdell has been promoted to Consumer Protection Division Section Chief for Southwest Washington effective Dec. 4.
OLYMPIA – As homeowners begin the daunting task of repairing damage caused by the recent record flood waters, their initial impulse may be to dial the first contractor in the phonebook, then hand over whatever amount of money that contractor requests. But a quick fix may end up costing homeowners much more than the job is worth – especially if the repairs aren’t done properly and they have to pay even more to hire another contractor.
SEATAC – El Procurador Rob McKenna congrego la primera de dos Conferencias de Educación para el Consumidor Latino la semana pasada en SeaTac, trayendo juntos defendedores expertos de consumidores y participantes de grupos diversos con la meta compartida de ayudar a proteger a los consumidores Latinos de el Estado de Washington de el fraude.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with PeoplePeople, resolving allegations that the Vashon-based company failed to deliver merchandise, issue refunds or respond to consumer inquiries in a timely manner. The company agreed to contact previous customers and provide refunds to those who request them
SEATAC – Attorney General Rob McKenna convened the first of two statewide Latino Consumer Education Conferences today in SeaTac, bringing together expert consumer advocates and a diverse group of participants with a shared goal of helping protect Washington’s Latino consumers from fraud.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington and 27 other states reached an agreement with PayPal, Inc. resolving concerns about the company’s business practices.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna and Washington’s Lottery warned Washington residents about an illegal e-mail scam that use the Washington Lottery name and logo.
SEATTLE – Five small businesses in Washington state that lost phone and Internet services when their telecommunications provider, NorVergence, Inc., went bankrupt in 2004 will not have to pay the full amount due on their rental contracts, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office announced today.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the filing of Washington’s second lawsuit under the state’s computer spyware act. The state’s suit accuses four California-based corporations of installing software that takes control of a consumer’s computer by launching aggressive and persistent pop-ups that demand payment for a movie download service.
SEATTLE – Nearly 54,000 Washington residential and business customers who purchase local phone services from Embarq (formerly Sprint-United) will see a credit on their July bill.
SEATTLE, June 19, 2006 – Attorney General Rob McKenna will welcome consumer protection advocates from across the nation next week when they converge in Seattle for the 31st annual conference of the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a former insurance agent accused of deceptively marketing in-home care services to senior citizens.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington residents about a scam in which a con claimed to work for the state Employment Security Department.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a multi-state settlement with a California-based marketer of Internet directory listings. Yellow Pages, Inc., will pay $525,000 to resolve allegations of deceptive marketing practices brought by Washington and 26 other states.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna spoke in opposition today of the IRS’s proposed new rule that would allow tax-return preparers to sell information from individual returns to third parties.
SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission want a federal judge to order Debt Solutions, Inc., to stop charging consumers hundreds of dollars for a bogus “debt elimination program.”
SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $5 million multi-state settlement with the manufacturer of a supposed “male enhancement” pill advertised in TV spots featuring a character named “Smiling Bob.”
SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office filed a court petition to prevent a New Jersey-based traveling salesman from promoting products – including a machine he claims can make a car engine run on pickle juice or cola.
SEATTLE – The Attorney General’s Office recovered about $9 million for Washington consumers last year through its complaint mediation and Lemon Law programs, Attorney General Rob McKenna said today.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington residents about a phone scam in which the caller claims to work for the Department of Health.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced settlements with operators of LA Weight Loss diet centers in Washington. The settlements resolve allegations that LA Weight Loss misrepresented program costs to get consumers to enroll, then pushed the sale of protein bars and supplements after they had signed a contract.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a consent decree requiring the divestiture of the Loews Meridian 16 movie theater in downtown Seattle after the merger of the Loews and AMC theater chains is completed.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna and Labor and Industries Director Gary Weeks warned consumers today to be on the lookout for private companies mailing notices that threaten businesses with up to $17,000 in fines, lawsuits and audits for not displaying labor law posters.
SPOKANE & SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers to be wary of two apparently separate scams in Eastern and Western Washington.
Vancouver, WA – More than 40 AARP Fraud Fighters lit up the phone lines today as part of a “Reverse Boiler Room,” dialing hundreds of seniors in Portland and Vancouver.
SEATTLE – Consumers who purchased additional tire warranties within the past two years from a Firestone Tire & Service Center in Washington may be eligible for a refund. Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Firestone Tire & Service Centers, resolving allegations that the company sold road hazard warranties with its tires without informing consumers that the warranties were optional.
SEATTLE – Businesses can learn how to better meet the challenges of corporate social responsibility this Thursday during the Responsible Corporate Leadership in Washington State conference in Seattle.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a multi-state agreement with Western Union Financial Services in which the company will increase its efforts to warn consumers about wire transfer scams.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Thesaurus Fine Arts, an Asian antiquities dealer that sold merchandise over eBay and in a downtown Seattle store.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will present Cancer Lifeline with a check for $24,182 to benefit cancer patients.
SPOKANE – The Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana today warned consumers to be wary of callers who either offer coupons or claim you have won a gift certificate from a local business, then ask for personal bank account information.
OLYMPIA –Attorney General Rob McKenna today issued the following statement in regards to a request from states that CardSystems Solutions provide information about its security breach:
OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) today sent a letter to the Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel for CardSystems Solutions, Inc., demanding the company inform all consumers affected by its recent security breach.
SEATTLE – Concerned about the recently reported security breach at CardSystems, Inc., Attorney General Rob McKenna is requesting that the company provide information about affected Washington consumers.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna warned consumers today to be wary of callers who claim you have won a gift certificate from a local business, and then ask for personal account information to withdraw a fee.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna and Labor &Industries Acting Director Judy Schurke warned consumers today to be on the lookout for The Washington Labor Law Poster Service that is sending out direct mail notices threatening businesses with $7,000 fines and state investigations for not having labor law posters displayed on the premises.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he and the Attorneys General of 46 other states plus the District of Columbia have reached an agreement with Blockbuster Inc., to settle allegations that the company misled consumers in the advertising of its “No Late Fee” program.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Rob McKenna today filed a lawsuit against a California-based marketer of Internet directory listings after more than 75 Washington businesses and organizations complained about the company's deceptive marketing practices.
SEATTLE -- Several service providers in Washington are now offering Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. This new service allows consumers access to voice services using their Internet Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection, and no longer needs a dedicated telephone line to make phone calls. Many plans also provide long distance service at no charge.
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has received complaints against a firm selling magnetic mattress pads in Washington, Greentree Health Systems, of Lebanon, Ohio.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Rob McKenna today filed suit against a Canadian seafood supplier and its officers for allegedly conspiring with a convicted poacher to steal more than 65 tons of geoduck from South Puget Sound.
10.20.03 SPOKANE - the Attorney General's Office today issued a warning to Eastern Washington residents to be wary of vacuum cleaner sales people who are using unfair and high-pressure sales tactics on vulnerable elderly citizens.
Attorney General Christine Gregoire and state and federal recovery agencies are warning flood-stricken Washington residents not to fall victim to flood-related scams.