Phoenix – Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against an Arizona telemarketing company accused of using a magazine subscription scam to defraud consumers throughout the United States. Burudi Mwonyonyi and his company, Publishers Service Office, Inc. are alleged to have placed 48,000 telephone calls a month, using an auto-dialer, to sell consumers new or renewed magazine subscriptions. Publishers Service Office is alleged to have violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by falsely claiming that Publishers Service Office was authorized by magazine publishers to charge or bill the consumers on behalf of the publisher.
"This office will aggressively investigate telemarketing scams and hold individuals who defraud Arizona consumers responsible," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "We are working with state lawmakers to introduce legislation that will make it more difficult for deceptive telemarketers to operate in Arizona."
The lawsuit alleges Publishers Service Office called consumers after purchasing information about the consumers’ magazine subscription history. According to the lawsuit, the company also falsely claimed the consumer had previously agreed to purchase a subscription and the company had a recorded confirmation of the agreement. Publishers Service Office also allegedly disguised the telephone numbers from which it called consumers to make the numbers appear as originating from the state or area code in which the consumer lived. Finally, the lawsuit alleged that Publishers Service Office misrepresented the business’s geographical location on its envelopes and invoices as being in California, even though it operated exclusively out of Arizona.
The lawsuit requests that the court prohibit the defendants from violating the law and order them to pay consumer restitution, civil penalties, and the State’s costs and attorney’s fees, and to surrender all profits they obtained as a result of their allegedly illegal conduct.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Arizona Attorney General’s website.
For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.