Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
HERRING ENCOURAGES VIRGINIANS TO KNOW THEIR RIGHTS DURING NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK
~ This week Attorney General Herring will have a special focus on consumer education and enforcement actions by his recently reorganized Consumer Protection Section ~
RICHMOND(March 6, 2017)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring's recently reorganized Consumer Protection Section will mark National Consumer Protection Week with a week-long campaign to help Virginians understand their rights as consumers, and to help Virginia businesses understand their responsibilities to their customers. Each day Attorney General Herring will highlight consumer protection enforcement actions and ways that Virginians can protect themselves and their hard-earned money from common consumer protection challenges:
Monday-Deceptive advertising and conduct
Tuesday-Predatory lending including payday loans, online, car title, and open-end loans
Wednesday-Scams and frauds, in-person, online, or on the phone
During Attorney General Herring's administration, the OAG Consumer Protection Section has obtained judgments or settlements awarding approximately $147 million in consumer debt forgiveness, $24.8 million in restitution, and $32 million in civil penalties and attorneys' fees. The Section has transferred nearly $7 million to the Commonwealth's General Fund.
In November 2016, Attorney General Herring announced the completion of a reorganization of the OAG Consumer Protection Section to more efficiently and effectively enforce Virginia's consumer protection laws, provide exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provide robust consumer education to keep Virginians from being victimized by fraud, scams, or illegal or abusive business practices.
Notable enforcement actions to date include:
USA Discounters- Virginia successfully led the negotiation of a settlement between 49 states and retailer USA Discounters that will result in nearly $100 million of forgiven debt and restitution nationwide largely for military families and veterans, including more than $27.4 million to Virginia consumers. This is the largest multistate consumer settlement ever led by Virginia.
CashCall- Under terms of a settlement subject to court approval, Virginia consumers will be receiving $15.335 million in restitution and debt relief as part of a settlement to resolve claims that CashCall, Inc. illegally deceived borrowers and collected illegal interest on online loans issued as part of a "rent-a-tribe" scheme.
Freedom Furniture- Virginia partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the state of North Carolina to protect military servicemembers from illegal debt collection practices. Three affiliated companies and their owners were ordered to provide more than $2.5 million in consumer redress and pay a $100,000 civil penalty.
VW settlement-The Commonwealth of Virginia is receiving more than $100 million and qualified Virginia VW owners are receiving tens of millions more in direct compensation under a settlement addressing Volkswagen's illegal modification of emissions systems of certain vehicles and violations of state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices.
Anti-competitive mergers-Attorney General Herring and his Antitrust Unit helped block or mitigate the negative effects of numerous mergers including between Anthem/Cigna, Aetna/Humana, and SYSCO/US Foods.
Fake cancer charity enforcement action-Virginia joined state and federal partners to shut down a series of sham charities whose operators were accused of bilking more than $187 million from donors who thought they were supporting cancer patients.
E-book price fixing cases-Through two multistate settlements the Consumer Protection Section secured and oversaw the distribution of millions in compensation for Virginia consumers harmed by an illegal price fixing scheme involving e-books.
Mobile "cramming" cases-As part of three multistate settlements, Virginians received compensation for illegal charges by mobile phone carriers Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Please contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section to file a complaint or for additional information about any consumer protection related matter:
- By phone: (800) 552-9963
- Online: Online Contact Form/Online Complaint Form
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