Bryan Cohen Mar. 10, 2014, 2:31pm

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne reminded consumers on Thursday to hang up on telemarketing scammers to avoid losing money by paying scammers for products, business opportunities or lotteries.

As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Horne recounted several judgments made against telemarketers by his office in the past year. In January, Horne obtained a consent judgment against Consumer Benefits Research Group Inc. to resolve allegations it resold consumer information and offered to sell an identity theft protection program that did little to protect against fraud.

The consent judgment also prohibited the company's owners, Corey McCormick and Tesha McCormick, from being involved in any entity engaged in telemarketing of business opportunities or services, accepting payments from their customers and selling the personal information of their customers. The defendants also paid restitution, attorney fees and costs, as part of the agreement.

"Telemarketing fraud is a pervasive and devastating problem that makes victims out of innocent consumers, especially seniors," Horne said. "Consumer protection and aggressive prosecution continues to be a priority for my office and we remain vigilant in our efforts to put illegal telemarketers out of business."

Horne's office also obtained a judgment against Fresh Start Handicapped Workers Inc., a Phoenix-based telemarketing company that allegedly called consumers on the Do-Not-Call Registry and lied about what portion of their revenue was directed to disabled employees. His office also obtained judgments against several individuals and businesses that allegedly sold fraudulent business investment opportunities.

Horne said that consumers lose thousands of dollars every year by paying fraudulent telemarketers for services and products that are never delivered, lotteries that provide no payout and business opportunities that fail to produce income.

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