ATTORNEY GENERAL HALTS MAGAZINE TELEMARKETING SCAM
DENVER - Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the Office of the Attorney General has filed a civil lawsuit and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Raymond B. Jones, Jr. (D.O.B 10/21/76), Cora Jones (D.O.B. 07/26/52), and several magazine telemarketing companies that they operate. The Joneses and their companies are alleged to have charged consumers hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for magazine subscriptions that they neither wanted nor ordered.
“The Joneses and their companies must immediately cease telemarketing magazines and their bank accounts are now frozen,” said Suthers.
According to the complaint filed in Denver District Court, the Joneses purchased lists of consumers who were already receiving magazines, called those consumers, and pretended to be the company that was providing their magazines. Sometimes, the consumer lists contained detailed information including complete credit card or bank account numbers. Using a carefully scripted three-step process, the Joneses told consumers that they were calling merely to verify and update the consumers’ accounts, and then deceived people into disclosing or confirming their confidential financial information. If a consumer stated they had not ordered magazines, the Joneses would insist that the consumer owed them money and threaten to report the consumer to the credit reporting agencies.
The complaint also alleged that Raymond and Cora Jones would convince consumers to participate in a recorded “verification.” Prior to the “verification,” the Joneses assured consumers that they were simply verifying the details of their previously placed magazine order. However, after tricking consumers into the “verification,” the defendants began debiting money from credit card and bank accounts, claiming that the consumer had agreed to an “oral contract” to pay up to $1,300 for magazines. The Joneses then began aggressive collection efforts on the bogus “contracts,” including threatening to report negative information about the consumers to the credit reporting agencies. When consumers tried to cancel these non-existent contracts, the Joneses would charge them a “cancellation fee” of up to $350.
The Joneses went so far as to charge a “cancellation fee” for orders they could not cancel. On some occasions, believing that they were talking with the company that was already providing them magazines, consumers would inform the Joneses’ telemarketers that they wanted to cancel their magazines. Even though the Joneses had no affiliation with the company that was providing the consumers’ magazines, they would charge these consumers a “cancellation fee.” The Joneses had no ability to cancel these consumers’ orders.
“They simply took the money,” explained Suthers.
The Joneses operated through various companies including Publications@Mile High; Subscription Solutions; C&R Marketing and Associates, LLC, and Magazine Man.
Consumers who fear that they may have been victims of this scam are urged to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by calling 800-222-4444 or clicking, www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/complaints.
# # #
DateMay 1st, 2013