Opinion

Consumers need to monitor records

An editorial from The Inter-Mountain 

ELKINS, W.Va. —  ver hurried to write a check and get it in the mail after being informed your payment is overdue? It is an uncomfortable experience many people have had.

But slow down and check your records before you seal that envelope. You may have been targeted by a scam artist.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has done an excellent job in safeguarding consumers, has won a $195,000 court judgment against a Florida company – for trying to collect money people did not owe.

Simple Recovery Solutions LLC and its owners, Todd West and Alexander Simao, have been ordered to pay the money. They also have been banned from engaging in debt collection in West Virginia.

As many as 130 consumers received phone calls or letters from the company, claiming people owed debts that did not exist, Morrisey’s office reported. Upon receiving complaints, the attorney general’s staff took immediate, decisive action.

No doubt some targets of such illegal scams never recognize they have been victimized. If you do suspect you are being conned, call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division, at 800-368-8808.

Despite their best efforts, law enforcement authorities cannot prevent all scams aimed at West Virginians. In this case, the best safeguard is to ensure you owe money before sending a check – and never, ever, to give out a credit card or bank account number over the phone.

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