Continued Misleading Practice Leads to Lawsuit in Two States

This is a follow up to a case the BBBⓇ has been pursuing since earlier this year. Change My Address, owned by Form Giant, LLC in Blue Ash, faces a lawsuit from two Attorney General offices for unethical business practices. The Ohio Attorney General and the Washington State Attorney General filed the lawsuit citing consumer protection laws were violated.

According to the lawsuit, the company offers to change a consumer’s address with the post office for fees ranging from $9.95 to $29.95, while the postal service charges only $1 for this same service.

The Ohio Attorney General is asking civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, and restitution for all consumers harmed. So far, 661 complaints have been reported from across the country with  more expected to surface. This company has caused consumer confusion  in the past by mistakenly having them believe the website is associated with the U.S. Postal Service even though they are not. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says, “By law, businesses can’t misrepresent their services and they must clearly disclose important terms and condition.

Now, there are a few things consumers can do to protect themselves. Here are some tips:

  • Double-check web addresses and URL to make sure you’re not being redirected to other websites that may pose as legitimate business.

  • Look for https or the lock icon in the URL of the website to ensure the information you are reading is secure.

  • If they offer to provide information or services that are otherwise available for a reduced rate that may be a red flag.

  • Businesses should protect any sensitive data you provide them and they should disclose exactly what measures they take to do so.  Additionally, they should tell you what information they collect, how they use it and be responsive to any requests you have about those practices.

What’s important to note here for consumers is anytime you are using the internet for services, don’t take what’s advertised at face value. Just because an ad is listed right at the top of a Google search doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legitimate. Check it out first by visiting bbb.org.

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About Howard Ain

Howard Ain has been reporting consumer news on Cincinnati television for the past 38 years. He also writes a newspaper column alerting readers to consumer scams. He now joins BBB|Cincinnati as a correspondent.