PHOENIX — A $110,000 judgment was filed against Arizona company Publishers Service Office Inc. and owner Burudi Mwonyoni after the company allegedly used a magazine-subscription scam to defraud thousands of U.S. consumers, according to state Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office.
A consumer-fraud lawsuit was filed by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office accusing the company of using an auto-dialer to place more than 48,000 phone calls a month to sell magazine subscriptions and renewals.
According to Brnovich, Publishers Service Office falsely claimed it was authorized by magazine publishers to charge or bill consumers on behalf of the publishers.
Publishers Service Office also is accused of disguising the telephone numbers from which it called consumers to make the numbers appear as originating from the state or area code in which the consumer lived.
According to the lawsuit settlement, Mwonyoni and Publishers Service Office are prohibited from soliciting consumers over the telephone to purchase a periodical subscription and cannot request or receive payments from consumers for subscriptions that Publishers Service Office claimed to have sold to them.
Mwonyoni and Publishers Service Office are ordered to pay the Attorney General’s Office $110,000 in fines, plus attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the case, according to the AG’s office.
“I’m as annoyed as anyone by relentless and illegal telemarketing phone calls,” Brnovich said in a written statement. “Deceptive telemarketers need to know the Attorney General’s Office takes complaints seriously and remains committed to prosecuting individuals who blatantly ignore Arizona law.”
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