FTC: Couple ran unlawful credit help service

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two local Jacksonville business owners are in trouble with the feds after being accused of selling credit help services, making a profit but not actually getting the work done.

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It’s called The Credit Game, but the players in it are in the midst of a Federal Trade Commission investigation.

“Our of about 8,000-9000 clients we had, I knew about 15-20 that were actually happy with the results,” said former manager Bradley Hosier.

An FTC complaint accused Mike and Valerie Rando of scamming hundreds of customers by operating an unlawful credit repair business.

A report says through YouTube videos, websites, telemarketing and email marketing, they would be able to quickly and legally improve your credit score, by getting rid of negative items bringing it down. FTC says those claims are false.

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It also says they would take advanced payment fees between hundreds to thousands of dollars for the services and don’t make the proper disclosures. An undercover FTC agent was told by a representative of the the defendants that payment was due that day, according to the report.

Bradley Hosier says he used to be the former manager at Elite Delitions, which, according to the FTC report is affiliated with The Credit Game.

“They’d call in and say ‘I got a 515, 527 can you help me and the answer was always ‘absolutely’,” Hosier said. “The credit repair guys, subcontractors were getting overwhelmed. If you’re taking in 50-60 people to repair their credit every single day it’s impossible, nobody can do that.”

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The Credit Game also has an “F” rating on the Bettee Business Bureau. The FTC report also says they’d encourage people to spend or “invest” tax credit benefits issued under separate COVID-19 relief laws on their service.

Sarah Hunter lives in Georgia and said she spent stimulus money on a package to help build her credit score back up.

“Six months later and I’m down to a 400,” she said. “I asked for my money back. They said what I signed up for was ‘Credit Education’ not credit repair.”

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Action News Jax visited both business addresses listed in the report looking for comment. Someone answered the door at one business location on Beach Blvd. and told no comment; On Atlantic Blvd., everything was empty and Action News Jax was told it was cleared out within the last two weeks.

Action News Jax also went three other places of business listed in the complaint, which were residential style homes and condos. There were cars in the driveway of two of the addresses, we knocked and rang the doorbell, but nobody answered, while the condo was in a gated community, so we could not get inside.

Action News Jax also called a few phone numbers attached and left voicemails, we also sent an email and got a bounce back, general automated response regarding the business, but haven’t received an official response.

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Hunter, who is a grandmother raising four grandkids, said she felt stupid for paying.

“It really hurt. It didn’t hurt just me, it hurt these kids,” she said.

The former manager Action News Jax spoke with is hoping that Rando apologizes amid the accusations.