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Better Business Bureau: Texas AG slams cellphone crammers with a lawsuit

By By Tracy Bracy
Nov. 16, 2013 at 5:16 a.m.


You know those text message services that offer horoscopes and ringtones? Better beware. You could end up with unexpected charges "crammed" onto your cellphone bill.

Fortunately, government and state agencies are onto the scam. Last week, the Texas attorney general filed an enforcement action against four text messaging content providers for alleged cellphone cramming.

Here's how the scam works. The defendants allegedly enroll customers in premium text messaging services without disclosing the cost, and then, they bill the customers without consent. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the companies' business practices.

Torch award encourages businesses to show off ethics

The Better Business Bureau is accepting entries for the 2013 Torch Awards competition. These awards recognize companies that are committed to high ethical standards and service to their customers and employees. Individuals and employees should nominate a business they believe values these principles for this prestigious recognition.

Any for-profit business in the 79-county service area of Better Business Bureau is qualified to submit an entry. While Better Business Bureau Accreditation is not a requirement, companies must have at least a "B" rating with Better Business Bureau to be considered. Entries can be submitted through Friday. For entry forms and additional information, visit centraltexas.bbb.org/torch-awards.

Supplement marketer charged with deceptive advertising

If only there were a magic pill that would make you lose weight without exercising and watching your diet. That fantasy has made a lot of money for businesses over the years, though it hasn't really solved America's weight problems. The Federal Trade Commission just cracked down on an operation that allegedly took advantage of Americans' desire to lose weight.

The FTC has sued Kevin Wright, of Arizona, who markets HCG Platinum diet products. HCG is a hormone produced by human placenta that has been marketed for decades as a weight-loss supplement. The FTC says advertising for the products falsely claims they will cause consumers to lose substantial amounts of weight.

Former Corpus Christi investment adviser indicted for securities fraud

The Texas State Securities Board announced the indictment of a former investment adviser in Corpus Christi who allegedly made deceptive guarantees to six clients who invested $225,000 in a gold, silver and commodities operation.

According to the indictment, on Sept. 26 in Nueces County, Mays used investors' money to pay personal expenses and misrepresented the financial condition of his company.

On Oct. 4, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed a complaint against Mays, alleging he misused client funds, giving a client's money to his father and his ex-wife. FINRA also alleges he operated an outside business without informing employers.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at info@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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