November 19, 2014
The Florida Attorney General together with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed enforcement actions against Consumer Collection Advocates, Corp., and Michael Robert Ettus, CCA Principal, for allegedly targeting consumers who were victims of previous consumer frauds or scams. In return for upfront payments and a percentage of any recovery, the company contracted with these victims, guaranteeing to recover the monies the victims lost as the result of the earlier fraud or scam, but often failing to deliver on that guarantee. The lawsuit also seeks to obtain an injunction to stop the business from operating in violation of Florida laws. “This company allegedly took advantage of consumers who had already been exploited in previous scams, and today we have taken steps to stop this business from unlawfully operating in Florida,” according to the filings by the State of Florida. According to the investigation, the defendants violated:
· Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act by misrepresenting defendants’ business status and purported fee recovery services and making false and misleading statements to induce consumers to pay for goods or services; The Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by requesting or receiving upfront payment from consumers for services represented to recover or assist in the return of money paid for by the consumer in a previous telemarketing transaction; and The Florida Telemarketing Act by refusing consumers a refund, credit or replacement for services which are not presented or not received as promised.
On November 4, 2014, the FTC obtained an injunction against Consumer Collection Advocates which effectively shut down the operations of the organization (see Order of Temporary Injunction at http://ccareceivership.com/
Additionally, the assets of Consumer Collection Advocates were placed into receivership. Information about the receivership and the eventual claims process for harmed consumers is available at the receivers website at http://ccareceivership.com/
The Law Office of Robert W. Murphy Consumer Fraud Attorney Fort Lauderdale aggressively litigates claims against fraudsters, especially companies that target victims of consumer fraud. As a result of the inability of consumers to distinguish slick marketing from legitimate advocacy, many consumers pay up-front fees to con-men who promise to recover money or to represent consumers in disputes with third-parties. To avoid such fraud, the Law Office of Robert Murphy recommends that consumers look for competent legal representation by contacting local and state Bar Associations or by visiting the website of the National Association of Consumer Advocates at http://www.