Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear's office announced Thursday it shut down a fraudulent telemarketing operation in Glasgow that was promising people it could recover money lost due to investment fraud for a non-refundable "research fee".
According to a news release, the AG's Office of Consumer Protection secured a multistate judgement against the owners of Vickery Enterprises and Vickery-Young & Associates which forces them to dissolve their companies. The news release said the companies had targeted more than 200 people across 40 states who are on the Do Not Call registry.
The companies targeted mostly out-of-state consumers, making "unsolicited calls promising consumers that the company had a high success rate for recovering money from investment fraud cases and that it worked with government agencies to bring criminal charges against perpetrators," the news release said.
"For a nonrefundable, upfront fee for recovery services – a violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule as well as the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act – the scammers told consumers they would receive a research report specific to their personal investment losses including a legal analysis," the news release said.
The four owners have agreed to pay restitution and investigative fees to Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas where most of the victims lived, according to the AG's office.
“Thanks to the diligent work of our Office of Consumer Protection, we caught and shut down a scam call operation right here in Kentucky that was targeting victims across the country,” Beshear said. “Our office takes seriously our job to hold scammers accountable and, in this case, those who sink so low as to target and prey on those who have already been victimized by a scam.”