Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter

Stay on top of all the latest news from the Attorney General of Virginia's Consumer Protection Section. Subscribe now!

Consumer Protection Newsletter

Summer 2020

Covered in this Edition: 

Attorney General Herring Sues Northern Virginia Towing Company


Herring Secures $15.3 Million in Debt Relief for Nearly 2,000 Virginia Students


Virginia Joins Suit to Protect Student Borrowers


Attorney General Herring Shuts Down Sham Charity Fundraising Operation


Attorney General Herring Reaches Settlement with Venture Pest Control

$85 Million Settlement with Honda Over Deadly Airbag Defects


Attorney General Herring Transfers Nearly $6 Million to General Fund


Be a Wise Donor!


 

Attorney General Herring Transfers Nearly $6 Million to General Fund

At the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020, Attorney General Herring transferred $5,902,740 to the Commonwealth’s General Fund.  This money was recovered primarily by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section while enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws.  Since 2014, the Consumer Protection Section has transferred approximately $59 million to the General Fund.
 

 

scam alert starburst

Subscribe to receive our OAG Scam Alert newsletter to stay on top of all the latest scam information in Virginia.

Attorney General Herring Sues Northern Virginia Towing Company

Attorney General Herring filed a lawsuit against Advanced Towing Company, LLC, a towing and recovery operator based in Arlington, Virginia, for violations of Virginia and Arlington County towing laws. The lawsuit alleges that Advanced Towing employed tow truck drivers who were not properly registered with the Commonwealth, towed vehicles without the proper legal authority, unsafely towed vehicles, unlawfully towed police vehicles and commercial delivery vehicles like Amazon delivery vans, and failed to maintain appropriate contracts with property owners authorizing tows. Read more about the suit here

 

Herring Secures $15.3 Million in Debt Relief for Nearly 2,000 Virginia Students

Attorney General Herring recently announced that his Predatory Lending Unit secured approximately $15.3 million in debt relief for at least 1,840 former ITT Tech students in Virginia as part of a large multistate settlement. The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid. Read more about the settlement here 

Virginia Joins Suit to Protect Student Borrowers

Attorney General Herring also joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education challenging their action to unlawfully repeal the 2016 “borrower defense” regulations and replace them with regulations that benefit predatory for-profit schools at the expense of defrauded students. Read more about the suit here 

 

Attorney General Herring Shuts Down Sham Charity Fundraising Operation

Virginia joined the Federal Trade Commission, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York in an enforcement action that will shut down a sprawling fundraising operation that allegedly scammed donors out of millions of dollars. The settlement permanently bans the business’s owner and others involved in its operation from charitable fundraising and requires them to pay back money for use by legitimate charities. The complaint filed with the settlement alleges that the defendants served as the primary fundraisers for several sham charities that were the subject of numerous law enforcement actions. The sham charities claimed to use donations to help homeless veterans, retired and disabled law enforcement officers, breast cancer survivors, and others in need, but they allegedly spent almost none of the donations on the promised activities. Read more about the enforcement action here 

Attorney General Herring Reaches Settlement with Venture Pest Control

Attorney General Herring entered a settlement with Venture Pest Control of Charlotte, L.L.C., a pest control company with offices in Ashland, to resolve allegations that the company failed to properly notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel a home solicitation sale and failed to provide required disclosures in connection with a continuous service offer. As part of the settlement, the company will offer refunds totaling $17,463 to 145 consumers who were required to pay an early-termination fee to cancel their service agreements. Read more about the settlement here 

 

$85 Million Settlement with Honda Over Deadly Airbag Defects

Attorney General Herring joined a more than $85 million multistate settlement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. over allegations that they concealed safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. The systems were designed and manufactured by Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, and were first installed in Honda vehicles in the 2001 model year. The settlement includes substantive injunctive relief, including changes to oversight and critical areas of Honda’s business operations. Virginia received $1,954,154.58 as its share of the settlement. Read more about the settlement here  

 

Be a Wise Donor!

With the holiday giving season approaching, many generous Virginians will make donations to worthy causes. While there are many legitimate charities, there also are many con artists that will try to take advantage of your generosity. Remember these 10 tips when considering a charitable donation:

  • Give to charities you know and trust with a proven track record.
  • Beware of “copy-cat” names that sound like reputable charities.
  • Be especially cautious if you did not initiate the contact with the charity.
  • Do not be pressured into giving. Legitimate organizations will not expect you to contribute immediately.
  • Ask for written information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number. Legitimate organizations will give you materials about the charity’s mission, how your donation will be used, and proof that your contribution is tax-deductible.
  • Ask how much of your donation will go to the cause.
  • Do not donate cash or use a wire transfer. Make checks payable to the charitable organization and not to an individual collecting a donation. For security and tax record purposes, you may wish to pay by credit card.
  • If contributing over the Internet, be sure the web site you are visiting belongs to the charity to which you want to donate.
  • Verify the charity’s registration with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) at (804) 786-1343, or by searching OCRP’s Charitable Organization Database online: http://cos.va-vdacs.com/cgi-bin/char_search.cgi
  • While a legitimate charity should be registered with OCRP to solicit contributions in Virginia, registration alone does not mean that the organization will be effective in using your donation.

 

 
 
File a Consumer Complaint
 
Visit Our Website!