PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Scammers posing as used-car dealers tricked customers into handing over personal information they sold to third-party car dealers, Oregon's attorney general claims in court.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued The Insight Solution dba OneMinuteCarApp.com, 503YES.com and their founders Kyle Walker and Leonard M. Shiley, in Multnomah County Court.
Walker and Shiley pretended to sell used cars on their websites to get people to submit personal information, which the men sold to used car dealers, the attorney general says in the 17-page lawsuit.
"Defendants advertised on Internet websites such as Craigslist and Facebook that motor vehicles were available for sale. The advertisements encouraged consumers to contact the defendants in order to purchase a vehicle. The advertisements did not state that the vehicles would be coming from an entity other than the defendants," the state says in its complaint.
The attorney general estimates that Walker and Shiley "posted at least 90" such used-car ads online. The cars were actually being sold by (nonparties) Metro Motors and Luxury Auto Group, the state says. But Walker and Shiley did not say so on their websites, leading people to believe they were selling the cars themselves, according to the complaint.
"At no time did OneMinuteCarApp.com or The Insight Solution LLC hold an inventory of motor vehicles to sell," the state claims.
Walker and Shiley also falsely advertised that they offered financing, that all credit applications would be approved, and that they worked with "2 banks that nobody else does that will get you financed no matter what your past is," according to the complaint.
Oregon says these statements are untrue because Walker and Shiley never had "consumers fill out credit applications and did not offer credit. Moreover, defendants did not know whether the motor vehicle dealers to whom they referred customers would approve all credit applications, regardless of qualifications."
The state seeks $25,000 to $50,000 in civil penalties for each violation of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, and an injunction permanently banning the defendants from advertising that they offer car loans and have used cars for sale, acting as brokers for car sales, and soliciting customers for car sales.
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