Illinois Alleges Credit Repair Firm Sent Junk Faxes

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The Illinois attorney general's office announced a lawsuit yesterday against a Florida credit repair organization based on allegations that the firm sent illegal junk faxes and made misrepresentations in its advertising material.


World Wide Search Systems Inc., Fort Myers, FL, made false promises about repairing credit histories, the attorney general's office said. It also sent unsolicited faxes to small businesses and consumers in violation of state and federal law, according to the attorney general's office.


The attorney general's office did not quantify how many consumers and small businesses received faxes.


World Wide Search Systems falsely claimed it was recognized by the Federal Trade Commission and could improve credit scores by 15 percent within 90 days as well as remove negative marks on credit histories including bankruptcies, tax liens, student loans, late payments, judgments and foreclosures, the attorney general's office said.


The firm also promised to negotiate consumer debts and assist consumers with preparing a 100-word statement to be included with their credit reports, according to the attorney general's office.


World Wide Search Systems also failed to register as a credit services organization in Illinois, the attorney general's office said. It took $500 to $4,200 from each consumer and required partial payment in advance.


The attorney general seeks restitution for consumers from the company. The suit also seeks a $50,000 civil penalty plus $50,000 per violation and another $10,000 per violation committed against people 65 or older.


Contacted yesterday, an officer with World Wide Search Systems said he had not been notified of the lawsuit and declined comment.


Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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