p. 316.660-3600toll free. 800.432.6878
535 N. Main
Wichita, KS 67203
Fair Debt Collection
Foreign Financial Scams
Used Car -
There are many different versions of the contest and prize
giveaway scams, but in every case the consumer is asked to buy a product or
simply send money in order to obtain the prize. Such solicitations may be done
by a telemarketer, direct mail or via the internet. As great as the "pitch" may
sound, the only one who will get rich is the promoter, please remember:
There are numerous legitimate organizations providing
assistance and relief to those in need in our community and beyond. Yet, more
and more con artists are using "phony" charities to scam generous consumers out
of millions of dollars. If you want to help, contribute only to organizations
that you know well and who willingly provide written information about their
charitable efforts. If you are thinking about contributing consider several
things before you make your pledge:
Homeowners should be especially careful when having work done
to their home. If damage is caused by a Kansas storm, homeowners are very
anxious to have repairs done as soon as possible. Such storms attract con
artists who go door-to-door offering immediate repair services and promising to
do the work at a very attractive price. The added demand for repair work may
make it difficult for consumers to obtain repairs from established local
contractors and this results in homeowners being especially vulnerable to
Repair or remodeling projects should be carefully planned.
Homeowners should talk with contractors about their plans, the costs involved
and the expectations for the completed job. This can be a challenging experience
as workers invade your home in order to complete the project. Homeowners should
remember the following:
If you use credit cards, owe money on a loan, or are paying
off a home mortgage, you are a debtor. Most Americans are. You may never come in
contact with a debt collector; but if you do, you should know that there are
laws to make sure you are treated fairly, including the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act. The following are some main points taken from the Act:
The law specifically states that debt collectors may not
harass, oppress or abuse any person. This includes the prohibition of the use of
threats or violence, use of obscene or profane language, making telephone calls
without identifying the caller or in any way advertising your debt.
The Federal Trade Commission offers online information about
the Fair Debt Collection
For a number of years, this office has received complaints
from citizens who have been contacted by mail and by fax in an effort to
"entice" them to participate in a overseas financial venture. This letter has now
been "updated" on the Internet, and we find that citizens are receiving these
letters of solicitation by email. The number of contacts is
dramatically increasing. The current scheme that we have reviewed in a
number of emails offers thousands or millions of dollars if you simply turn over
your bank account number to the sender. This sender typically claims to be
a member of the military or government of a foreign country, or another country, who requests your assistance
to obtain "hidden" money without the government's knowledge. No matter how
"new and improved", this email solicitation is a scheme, the sole purpose of
which is to part you from your money!
What should I do in the event that I receive this type of
Email is an efficient and cheap method to perpetrate a hoax.
Be very alert to ANY request for your financial information or promises of "get
rich quick" schemes. They are all an attempt to defraud the recipient.
The District Attorney's Office is happy to respond to
your email inquiries on this topic or other topics regarding criminal justice
issues and consumer alerts. It is by working with the public that we can
more readily address those issues of concern to our community. This office
collaborates with other law enforcement agencies, whether municipal, state, or
federal, in an effort to properly address issues that impact our citizens.
Other questions that you may have can be answered by our
specialists in the Consumer Protection Division
of the District Attorney's Office.
Many new car dealers advertise low interest rates and other
special promotions such as high trade-in allowances and free or low cost
options. While these advertisements may help you shop, finding the best deal
requires careful comparison.
When considering an advertised special, read the ad carefully,
paying close attention to all small print. Then call or visit the dealer to find
out about all the terms and conditions of the offer.
Here are some questions you should keep in mind when
considering an advertised special:
Kansas does have a Lemon Law statute that protects consumers
of new vehicle purchases that are defective or can not be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. Lemon laws
apply only to new vehicles, not used vehicles.
The Federal Trade
Commission also offers
additional advice for your next car purchase.
Most Kansans don't realize they are protected by one of the
best telemarketing laws in the country. Under Kansas law, with some exceptions,
in a telemarketing sale, the sale must be completed by sending the consumer a
confirmation. This confirmation should list all the terms and conditions and,
unless it is signed by the consumer and returned to the seller, there is no
binding agreement. The major exception to this rule is a situation where the
consumer may obtain a full refund for the return of the undamaged and unused
goods or cancellation of services within seven days after receipt by the
If the consumer does not want to get ripped off over the
phone, they should follow these simple rules:
Some telemarketers represent reputable companies and offer a
convenient way to purchase products and services without leaving your home.
Consumers need to be able to tell the difference between reputable and
Consumers should avoid sending money in response to offers
promising a chance to earn extra money working at home by stuffing envelopes or
assembling small products. While there are many different versions of this scam,
all of them request money in exchange for the "opportunity" to earn money at
home. These schemes are almost never what they appear to be and deceive
consumers into wasting their time, energy and money. While they have been
"promoted" for many years, especially in classified advertising, on yard signs
and in direct mail, these schemes have found a new home "on line" on the
You receive a pocket knife that you never ordered. Despite
your objections, the company continues to send you bills and/or notices
threatening your credit rating.
Thousands of people are placed in similar situations each
year. Fortunately, a consumer does not have to pay for merchandise he or she did not order
because Kansas law prohibits mailing unordered merchandise to a consumer and then
Under Kansas law, if you are sent books, clothing, magazines,
office supplies, or any other merchandise that was not ordered, you generally have a legal right to keep the shipment as a free gift. While you have no legal
obligation to do so, sending a letter stating your intention to keep the
shipment as a free gift is an advisable precaution. Your letter may discourage
the seller from sending you repeated bills or notices or it may help clear up an
honest error. You may want to send your letter by certified mail and keep the
return receipt and a copy of the letter. This will help you establish later that
you did not order the merchandise.
When shopping for a used car, look for the Buyer's Guide
posted on the car's side window. This Buyer's Guide is required by law on all
used cars sold by vehicle dealers. It tells you whether a service contract is
available. It also indicates the type of warranties that are available. There
are two types of warranties: Express and Implied.
An express warranty is a written agreement that
states that the dealer or manufacturer intends to repair the car under certain
circumstances. Express warranties for used cars are usually limited to certain
parts of the car and usually require the purchaser to pick up the tab for a
certain percentage of the repair. Look for an express warranty where the
dealer agrees to pay a majority of the costs of parts and labor for a
significant period of time. Remember that the terms of such a warranty,
like the price of the vehicle, is generally negotiable between you and the
dealer and get it all in writing.
Implied warranties are unspoken and unwritten.
Under the implied warranty of merchantability -- the seller promises the product
will do what it is supposed to do. For example, a toaster will toast. It is also important to know that in Kansas, the implied
warranty of merchantability cannot be waived; therefore, this warranty can
provide the buyer with some remedies in addition to those set forth in an
Office of the District Attorney Consumer Protection Division -
Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.
© Copyright 2014
and Notice of Privacy Practices Regarding Medical Information.