Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined officials from the Postal Service and Federal Trade Commission on Thursday to announce the results of a joint effort combating business opportunity fraud.
Zoeller filed three lawsuits against fraudulent companies last week. Those companies ‘get rich quick’ schemes are now the target of a cooperative state and federal task force.
‘Operation Lost Opportunity,’ saw state and federal prosecutors file lawsuits against 131 fraudulent companies over the last year. Those cases involved nearly 81,000 victims and accounted for nearly $13 million in economic activity.
David Vladeck directs the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and says the continuation of the operation will help protect consumers.
“Operation lost opportunity demonstrates the achievement potential when law enforcement, prosecutors, and government agencies partner together with a common goal,” Vladeck says.
The action includes 22 lawsuits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, 21 by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and 15 by state attorneys general in Indiana, California, Arizona and Colorado. Zoeller says his office now wants to ramp up legislative action on behalf of consumers across the state,
“We’ve receive nearly 130 complaints against alleged business opportunity scams,” he says. “Within the last two years, our offices have opened up 15 litigation matters against these business scams. And just this past week additional 3 lawsuits that have been filed against this type of action.”
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office encourages consumers to contact their office if they are unsure of a company’s legitimacy or think they may be a victim of a scam.