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Police Arrest People In India Involved in IRS Scam
Police caught more than 700 people in Mumbai, India call centers posing as United States Tax Officials who scammed Americans into paying money for fake tax related debts. At least 70 people have been arrested so far. These calls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. helps people enforce.
Authorities estimate the call centers made an average of $150,000 a day, or over $50 million a year. The scammers demanded payments over the phone through money transfer wiring services and gift cards. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started the Robocall Strike Force in August to battle unwanted, illegal robocalls such as the IRS scam and to find the source. Consumers who get these calls can receive up to $1500 per call under the TCPA, which Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. has extensive experience litigating.
The scam utilized a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to make the Indian telephone numbers imitate US numbers. Scammers also received training to learn how to speak in an American accent. First the scammers would introduce themselves and detailing a purpose for the call. Then the scammers harassed victims to make immediate payments and threatened local police forces will get involved when victims refused.
Call centers in India have an unfortunate history of scamming Americans. Scammers have attempted to sell consumers fake virus and malware software and a variety of other computer tech support. Authorities in India also noticed a rise in India based call center scams targeting residents in their own country.
Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. are lawyers who can help stop unwanted robocalls, junk faxes and debt collection harassment. Contact us at (614)944-5219 today for assistance.
The Ohio Lemon Laws protect consumers purchasing new automobiles and dealing with auto repairs. A new vehicle with one or more serious issues is considered a “lemon”. Consumers purchasing used vehicles are protecteded under other consumer litigation laws.
In Ohio new vehicles are protected under the lemon laws for the first 12 months a consumer owns the vehicle or the first 18,000 miles the vehicle is driven. Whichever comes first ends the consumer’s protection period according to the lemon laws, although a consumer may sue years later as long as the issue was raised within this period. During this time the consumer has to ask a manufacturer to fix a problem before turning the issue into a legal matter. If the problem is considered a manufacturer error and cannot be fixed by the manufacturer within a reasonable time period, then the consumer might have the possibility to receive a refund or replacement. The manufacturer must provide a warranty that protects the lemon laws when the consumer is purchasing a new vehicle.
There are several situations that can determine whether a manufacturer has had a reasonable opportunity to fix a vehicle under the lemon laws. Manufacturers may be allowed at least three or more attempts to repair one problem and at least one attempt to repair a life-threatening problem. A vehicle that has been in a repair shop being fixed by a manufacturer for 30 days or had eight different problems repaired during the consumer protection period, is considered reasonable opportunity. After one of these scenarios has taken place, a consumer may request a replacement vehicle or refund.
A consumer choosing to receive a refund is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price. That price includes the entire amount paid on the new vehicle, transportation costs, and charges for the manufacturer services. Taxes, registration fees, license fees, warranty charges, and costs for credit insurance and financing is also included in the refund.
Consumers purchasing used vehicles are not protected by the Ohio Lemon Laws. Used vehicle dealerships cannot misrepresent the functionality of the vehicle when making a sale. If the vehicle was a previous lemon that was returned, then the dealership must notify the consumer. The dealership must also notify a consumer of the price, interest rates, mileage and previous sales history of the vehicle. Consumers also have the right to know if the vehicle was a rental or a salvage title. A salvage title has information stating whether the vehicle has been damaged in the past or considered a loss by a previous insurance company.
Assistive Technology and Consumer Rights
Assistive technology is tech that is obtained and used by people with disabilities or injuries. People in Ohio using this tech are protected by the Ohio assisted device lemon laws when encountering a defect with the tech or dealing with the details of a warranty.
Assistive tech devices covered by Ohio law include:
- Motorized Scooters
- Voice Synthesizers
- Optical Scanners
- Talking Software
- Braille Printers
- Environmental Controls
- Communication Boards
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Devices intended to improve or maintain a disabled or injured person’s ability to function.
- Hearing Aids (A similar Ohio law governs a consumer can return a hearing aid in 30 days for any reason.)
All assistive devices over 500 dollars are covered by a minimum one year warranty which the consumer should not have to pay extra for. The warranty begins the day a consumer comes into possession with the device. The warranty must include instructions for if the device is defective, the full cost of repair or replacement for the manufactured defect and all collateral costs associated with the repair or replacement. Accommodations should include shipping costs and sales tax.
Manufacturers also have rights when fixing defective equipment. The most important right being that the manufacturer is given the opportunity to fix a defect. They are allowed three attempts and 45 cumulative days to repair the assisted device before the consumer is entitled to a refund. If the repair takes more than 21 days, the consumer is also entitled to a loaner device. If the manufacturer ultimately cannot fix the defected device, then the consumer does have the right to a replacement or a refund.
Doucet & Associates Co. L.P.A. in Ohio helps people enforce rights based on the assisted device lemon laws. Please contact us today if you or someone you know needs help.