Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Vicious Scam Targets Old-Timers, AG Says

PHOENIX (CN) - An Arizona man and his Tempe-based companies use "scare tactics" on old people to sell them a $400 "service" that they don't need and couldn't use if they did, plus a monthly "service charge," for which they get "nothing," the Arizona attorney general says. The state seeks damages and an injunction against Nathan Mooers, EMT Medical, and Life Secure U.S.A.

Mooers runs both companies out of Tempe and also uses a drop box in Chandler, Attorney General Terry Goddard says in the complaint in Maricopa County Court.

Mooers uses scare tactics on "primarily telephone elderly consumers, claiming that their medical safety products could save their lives," but fails to disclose "the nature of services that they are purchasing when they provide their checking account information to defendants," Goddard says.

"Mooers and Life Secure telephone consumers and claim that their personal information, including their Social Security number and bank account information, was stolen and is being used by companies who have fraudulent intentions," according to the complaint. "Defendants Mooers and Life Secure attempt to sell an identity protection program at a cost of $387 per year and a monthly service charge."

Goddard say Mooers and his crew use "prepared scripts ... to sell their programs to elderly consumers. ... Defendants Mooers and EMT do not explain to consumer that they are calling to sell a service which costs $398.25 plus an additional $9.95 maintenance fee. Instead, defendants tell consumers that they were 'updating their records' and 'noticed that you have not received a medical ID card in the mail so we need to get that sent out to you.'

"Defendants also maintain a website through which a potential customer can leave their name and telephone number and be contracted by one of defendants' telemarketers. The website contains statements intended to scare consumers in an attempt to persuade them to purchase defendants' services, including: '98,000 Americans die every year due to medical mistakes. Avoid being a statistic.'"

However, the attorney general says, "Mooers and EMT charge consumers without explaining that consumers must input their medical records on a website or arrange to have their medical records placed on a website. The majority of defendants' customers do not own a computer and are not capable of inputting, monitoring or updating their medical data on a computer. Thus, defendants' services are of no use to their customers."

Some consumers paid the money and got "nothing;" Mooers refused to honor his refund policy, withdrew money from checking accounts without customers' approval, and continued to withdraw money from the accounts after he was told not to, Goddard says.

He seeks restitution, an injunction and $10,000 for each violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

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