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Consumer Fraud

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EXPLORE
August 31, 2011
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the Office of Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is telling residents to be wary of home repair scams and other consumer fraud. On Aug. 29, Gansler's office said damaging storms are often followed by scam artists who promise to perform home improvement work and then don't. The office warned against people who use high-pressure sales tactics, demand up-front payment and demand an immediate decision on work. The attorney general advised homeowners and businesses that before signing on for work: • Check to see if a contractor is licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission by calling 410-230-6309 or going to http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mhic.
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NEWS
December 20, 2011
Thousands of puppies are bought and sold every year during the holiday season, which means thousands of consumers end up unknowingly supporting puppy mills. Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities that place an emphasis on profits over the health of the dogs they sell. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, typically in deplorable conditions. As a result, their puppies are often unhealthy and can carry infectious diseases. Two recent investigations by The Humane Society of the United States demonstrate the wide-spread consumer fraud and abuse that characterize the industry.
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NEWS
December 20, 2011
Thousands of puppies are bought and sold every year during the holiday season, which means thousands of consumers end up unknowingly supporting puppy mills. Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities that place an emphasis on profits over the health of the dogs they sell. The breeding dogs at puppy mills live their entire lives in cages, typically in deplorable conditions. As a result, their puppies are often unhealthy and can carry infectious diseases. Two recent investigations by The Humane Society of the United States demonstrate the wide-spread consumer fraud and abuse that characterize the industry.
EXPLORE
August 31, 2011
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the Office of Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is telling residents to be wary of home repair scams and other consumer fraud. On Aug. 29, Gansler's office said damaging storms are often followed by scam artists who promise to perform home improvement work and then don't. The office warned against people who use high-pressure sales tactics, demand up-front payment and demand an immediate decision on work. The attorney general advised homeowners and businesses that before signing on for work: • Check to see if a contractor is licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission by calling 410-230-6309 or going to http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mhic.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Andrea K. Walker | January 16, 2010
Maryland regulators and courts grappled Friday with the chaos created by the failure of a debt-collection law firm, as consumers endeavored - often with no luck - to figure out where to send payments or make good on court-ordered settlements. Rockville-based Mann Bracken recently closed its 24 offices across the country with little public warning, prompting consumers left in the lurch to complain to state officials that the firm's phones were disconnected and it had stopped cashing their checks.
FEATURES
By Edward M. Eveld and Edward M. Eveld,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | September 20, 1998
Somewhere deep in the American psyche is the desire to nab a great deal. With vacation sweepstakes and travel come-ons at every turn, it's no wonder people pounce on them.They would do well to back off.Despite the efforts of government and consumer groups, travel fraud keeps getting bigger and more insidious. The old scams are still working, and new avenues are proving ever more fruitful for con artists.Besides pitching travel packages over the phone and by postcard, scammers are taking to the Internet, which offers a worldwide audience and plenty of anonymity.
FEATURES
By Lara M. Zeises and Lara M. Zeises,SUN STAFF | July 28, 1997
Penni Wilson loves M&Ms. She buys a pack of them every day on her break from her department store job at East Point Mall. The red ones are her favorite."
NEWS
By SCOTT SHANE AND TOM BOWMAN and SCOTT SHANE AND TOM BOWMAN,SUN STAFF | December 10, 1995
Zug, Switzerland -- For four decades, the Swiss flag that flies in front of Crypto AG has lured customers from around the world to this company in the lake district south of Zurich.Countries shopping for equipment to encode their most sensitive diplomatic and military communications value Switzerland's reputation for business secrecy and political neutrality. Some 120 nations have bought their encryption machines here.But behind that flag, America's National Security Agency hid what may be the intelligence sting of the century.
BUSINESS
By Los Angeles Times | July 29, 1992
In a landmark move to reduce consumer confusion over environmental labeling of products ranging from diapers to trash bags, the Federal Trade Commission released yesterday the first national guidelines for companies to follow.The move marks the broadest effort to date to end disputes among environmentalists, consumer groups and corporations over the meaning of such terms as "recyclable," "biodegradable" and "ozone friendly."In recent years, the use of "green marketing" techniques has expanded amid controversy over the accuracy of manufacturers' claims.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | August 9, 1997
Four key figures in a bustling interstate odometer roll-back ring that clicked back the mileage on thousands of used cars sold around the country were found guilty of all criminal counts in federal court in Baltimore yesterday.Jurors also acquitted three others charged in the case of the Maryland-based ring, which extended from New York to Florida to Indiana. After deliberating for nearly 16 hours over three days, the panel decided that two motor vehicles clerks from the Carolinas and a woman who handled some finances for the ring should go free.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Andrea K. Walker | January 16, 2010
Maryland regulators and courts grappled Friday with the chaos created by the failure of a debt-collection law firm, as consumers endeavored - often with no luck - to figure out where to send payments or make good on court-ordered settlements. Rockville-based Mann Bracken recently closed its 24 offices across the country with little public warning, prompting consumers left in the lurch to complain to state officials that the firm's phones were disconnected and it had stopped cashing their checks.
FEATURES
By Edward M. Eveld and Edward M. Eveld,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | September 20, 1998
Somewhere deep in the American psyche is the desire to nab a great deal. With vacation sweepstakes and travel come-ons at every turn, it's no wonder people pounce on them.They would do well to back off.Despite the efforts of government and consumer groups, travel fraud keeps getting bigger and more insidious. The old scams are still working, and new avenues are proving ever more fruitful for con artists.Besides pitching travel packages over the phone and by postcard, scammers are taking to the Internet, which offers a worldwide audience and plenty of anonymity.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2010
The Humane Society of the United States filed a class action lawsuit Monday in New Jersey against Maryland-based Perdue Farms, accusing the nation's third-largest poultry producer of falsely advertising its chickens as "humanely raised. " The suit was brought on behalf of a New Jersey woman who bought chicken at a BJ's Wholesale Club bearing the Harvestland label, a trade name used by Perdue for birds raised in Kentucky and marketed as "purely all-natural" and "humanely raised. " The suit alleges that the poultry producer's marketing violates New Jersey's consumer fraud law. The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against Perdue, as well as an injunction barring it from making claims that it treats its birds humanely.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 5, 2002
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, urged by a group of states to remove a constitutional obstacle to prosecuting fraud by professional fund-raisers, agreed yesterday to clarify the boundary that separates charitable solicitation from consumer fraud. The case was brought to the court by the Illinois attorney general's office, which for 10 years has tried to pursue a consumer fraud action against a telemarketing company that keeps 85 percent of the money it raises on behalf of a Vietnam War veterans' charity.
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