South Dakota Receives $70,000 from DirectONE
(Pierre) – Chief Deputy Attorney General Larry Long announced today that DirectONE, a California phone company, has agreed to reimburse approximately 1,000 South Dakota consumers for improper charges to their credit cards.
DirectONE will deposit $93,000 with the State to cover the restitution and an additional $40,000 to cover investigation and litigation costs. $70,000 has already been paid and the balance of $63,000 is due within 3 months. The agreement was reached after the Attorney General's Office sued DirectONE for defrauding South Dakota consumers by billing their credit cards without authorization.
DirectONE must also provide a list of all South Dakota consumers who were billed.
"We can now contact each South Dakota consumer who was victimized by DirectONE and get them their money back," said Chief Deputy Attorney General Larry Long.
The Attorney General's Office will contact those consumers by mail to determine if they actually ordered DirectONE services. Consumers who were improperly billed should receive the letters in the next several weeks.
The DirectONE investigation is part of a nationwide effort targeting cyberscams. The South Dakota Attorney General's Office joined with the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, nine other Attorneys General, and 20 law enforcement agencies to bring 19 civil and criminal actions against scammers based in the Midwest.
The legal actions taken by these agencies range from Internet auction fraud to securities fraud.