JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two local Jacksonville business owners are in trouble with the federal government after they were accused of selling credit-help services, making a profit but not getting the job done.
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It’s called The Credit Game, but players are in the middle of a Federal Trade Commission investigation.
“Of the roughly 8,000 to 9,000 clients we had, I knew about 15 to 20 who were actually happy with the results,” former manager Bradley Hosier said.
An FTC complaint accused Mike and Valerie Rando of defrauding hundreds of customers by operating an illegal credit repair business.
A report says that through YouTube videos, websites, telemarketing, and email marketing, they would be able to quickly and legally improve your credit score, getting rid of the negatives that lower it. The FTC says these claims are false.
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It also says they would take prepayment fees between hundreds and thousands of dollars for the services and fail to make proper disclosures. An undercover FTC agent was told by a representative of the defendants that payment was due that day, according to the report.
Bradley Hosier says he was the former director of Elite Delitions, which according to the FTC report is affiliated with The Credit Game.
“They would call and say ‘I have a 515, 527 can you help me and the response was always ‘absolutely,'” Hosier said. you take 50 to 60 people to repair their credit every day, it’s impossible, no one can do it.
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The credit game also has an “F” rating on the Bettee Business Bureau. The FTC report also says they would encourage people to spend or “invest” tax credit benefits issued under separate COVID-19 relief laws on their service.
Sarah Hunter lives in Georgia and said she spent stimulus money on a package to help rebuild her credit rating.
“Six months later, I’m at 400,” she said. “I asked for my money back. They said what I signed up for was ‘credit education’ and not credit repair.”
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Action News Jax visited the two business addresses listed in the report for comment. Someone answered the door of a business on Beach Blvd. and said no comment; On Atlantic Blvd., everything was empty and Action News Jax learned that it had been empty for the past two weeks.
Action News Jax also visited three other business locations listed in the complaint, which were residential-style homes and condos. There were cars in the driveway of two of the addresses, we knocked and rang the doorbell, but no one answered, even though the condo was in a gated community so we couldn’t get in.
Action News Jax also called a few contact numbers and left voicemails, we also emailed and got a bounce back, general automated response regarding the company, but we haven’t received an official response.
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Hunter, who is a grandmother raising four grandchildren, said she felt stupid for paying.
“It really hurt. It didn’t just hurt me, it hurt those kids,” she said.
The former Action News manager Jax spoke to hopes Rando will apologize amid the accusations.
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