SW Transmissions LLC, an online used auto parts dealer that falsely claimed to operate an office in Creve Coeur in St. Louis County, is among several related businesses named in a civil fraud lawsuit filed June 23 by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, according to St. Louis Better Business Bureau (BBB).The business was the focus of a St. Louis BBB alert in June 2015.Consumers alleged SW Transmissions and several related businesses took their money and shipped them wrong or broken engines or transmissions. Customers also said the businesses delayed or refused to give refunds, failed to honor warranties and seemed intentionally to try to frustrate and confuse customers who called with problems.Michelle Corey, St. Louis BBB president and CEO, said the suit should serve as a stern warning to any business that repeatedly risks the ire of frustrated customers.“These are serious allegations,” Corey said. “This case puts all businesses on notice that the public – and law enforcement – will not tolerate questionable behavior in the marketplace.”The 2015 alert, prompted by a joint investigation by BBBs in St. Louis and Milwaukee, warned that the company appeared to be part of a multistate auto parts business that received hundreds of customer complaints to BBBs in Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma. The investigation also involved BBBs in Kansas City, Tulsa and Western Michigan. The pending lawsuit in Wisconsin alleges that the scheme was headquartered at Midwest Auto Recycling LLC in Cudahy, Wis., and operated at least ten unique website addresses for businesses that included SW (or Southwest) Transmissions. Other names included Engine & Transmission World, Engine Shopper, Quality Used Transmissions, Quality Used Engines and SW (Southwest) Engines.Alfred Talyansky of Mequon, Wis., described in the lawsuit as owner of the businesses, is also named as a defendant.The suit notes that all of the websites and businesses appeared to be operated out of Wisconsin and that the addresses used by the related businesses were either virtual offices or not legitimate.In the 2015 St. Louis BBB news alert, managers of the Creve Coeur office building where SW Transmissions claimed to be located said the business never had offices there.In a news release, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the suit is asking the court to force the businesses “to halt their alleged corrupt business practices, pay fines, and most importantly, provide restitution to the hundreds of consumers from Wisconsin and across the country who have been wronged by this company.”Specifically, the lawsuit accuses the businesses of fraudulent misrepresentations in their marketing, fraudulent misrepresentations in reporting their company locations and unfair billing practices in charging consumers for products they did not order.Milwaukee-based BBB Serving Wisconsin first issued an alert on Engine and Transmission World in 2011. It issued follow-up alerts in 2014 and 2015. The 2015 alert noted BBB had received complaints from 46 states and Canada.BBB offers the following tips when buying merchandise online:Research the business and owners carefully before signing a contract or paying any money. Go to www.bbb.org to search for BBB Business Profiles or find contact info for your local BBB.Ask for references and contact them.Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase. Make sure to read and understand all warranty information. Know your options in the event you receive an item that was not as advertised.Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.Check for a valid office address and call in advance of ordering. If you have trouble speaking with a company representative, that could be a signal of future problems.Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https://.” You also may see a picture of a small closed lock in the lower right hand corner of the screen. St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.comShellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgColumbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, email@example.comCape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, firstname.lastname@example.orgQuincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), email@example.comAbout BBBBBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.