ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING FILES SUIT AGAINST VA CERTIFICATE SERVICE, LLC FOR SCAMMING VIRGINIA BUSINESSES
~ VACS allegedly sent deceptive mailers to Virginia businesses offering services for nearly ten times the price of the same service from the SCC ~
RICHMOND (February 20, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that he has filed suit against VA Certificate Service, LLC (VACS), a business that has sent deceptive mailings to numerous Virginia businesses, purportedly offering services for nearly ten times the price that the same service would cost from the State Corporation Commission (SCC).
"Virginia business owners should be hypervigilant when reviewing any documents that come through the mail and look like official government forms,” said Attorney General Herring. "Unfortunately, scammers and con artists are always coming up with new ways to take money from hardworking Virginians, which is why you should always do your research before sending money to anyone. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an apparent government mailing, you should contact my Consumer Protection Section or the State Corporation Commission.”
Attorney General Herring alleges that VACS sent advertisements to businesses registered with the SCC seeking a $67.25 fee in exchange for a "Virginia Certificate of Good Standing,” a document that can be obtained from the State Corporation Commission for $6.00. The mailers that VACS sent give the false impression that they came from an official state agency. Adding to their deceptive nature, the mailers were formatted similarly to government documents with, among other things, a "Notice Date” and "Document Number,” and appear to confirm that filings are "complete” and that the solicited businesses are properly registered. VACS's mailers failed to adequately disclose that they were not official government mailings.
In his complaint, filed in Richmond Circuit Court, Attorney General Herring alleges that VACS engaged in deceptive advertising tactics and asks for the court to grant injunctive relief.
Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section first learned of consumer concerns relating to VACS through complaints and concerns brought to the Office of the Attorney General and the State Corporation Commission. Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section is aware of at least eight businesses that received solicitations from VACS
In 2016, Attorney General Herring announced the completion of a reorganization of the Consumer Protection Section to more efficiently and effectively enforce Virginia's consumer protection laws, provide exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provide robust consumer education to keep Virginians from being victimized by fraud, scams, or illegal or abusive business practices. During Attorney General Herring's administration, the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $323 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.
If you believe you have received one of VACS's deceptive mailers or if you have any other consumer-related questions please reach out to Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section:
- By phone: 1 (800) 552-9963
- Online Contact Form/Online Complaint Form
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