A New York-based jewelry company agrees to a settlement for approximately 1,350 Kansas consumers, the vast majority of whom were military members or their families.
A muli-state investigation found that service members were enticed into retail stores that were intentionally placed near military bases through a marketing scheme, dubbed “Operation Teddy Bear” in which Harris Jewelry advertised teddy bears in military uniforms with promises of charitable donations. Investigators found that no legal contract was actually signed between Harris Jewelry and the charity it claimed to support. Harris Jewelry then used the marketing tactic to lure service members into high-priced, deceptive in-house financing contracts for vastly overpriced, poor-quality jewelry, which included high-interest loans, falsely claiming the program would improve their credit scores. This left service members and veterans with thousands of dollars of debt and damage to their credit.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt reached a settlement for Kansans that will refund to mostly service members more than $342,000 for protection fees. They will also cease collecting debt payments from the customers they scammed, totaling almost $300,000. Harris Jewelry is also required to correct the bad credit scores of consumers and dissolve all of its businesses.
Eligible consumers will receive an email and letter in the mail notifying them of this agreement and their eligibility. Links and Phone numbers for more information are listed on our website kggfradio.com
Copy of the consent judgment:
More info or file a complaint:
Consumer Protection Division (800) 432-2310