These people pretend to want to help victims of credit card scams - but then they scam the same victims.
They do it by promising clients they will get money back from the credit card companies, and then pile on administrative fees. They make their clients sign a written contract to pledge to make "donations".
The people who hire these thieves could hire an attorney to so the same thing for less money.
All this company does is make a couple telephone calls to the credit card company, and maybe send out a couple form letters - but they charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
DO NOT GIVE THESE CROOKS ANY MONEY. If you need help with an unfair credit card debt, GO HIRE A REAL LAWYER (it's cheaper and will get much better results).
The whole company is really only two guys who work from home - they have a huge turnover in employees too. Nobody works there longer than a couple months because the owners are so dishonest.
They ripped off my grandmother. Also, she waited so long for them to do something that she lost her chance to challenge a credit card charge (you only have a limited time to do it).
Review by TiffanyJ Ntonja5 years ago
Ripped me off of my money and has not returned it
Here is my story: (can provide more details later) I have documentation to back up my story.
First: My husband and I were going into a business with a gentleman named Anthony DeFusco. Everything seems on the up and up. We checked references and it was weeks before we decided to move forward. We were told that we would start in a couple of weeks from when we signed our contract. Fine. We kept getting put off and weeks turned into months. I kept in touch with Anthony daily. He told me that I would be under his company-Financial Freedom Fighters, based out of Orlando. We were to manage a group of 10 telemarketers and get paid $33 per worker per day. That was the deal…sounded great! He told me a couple of weeks in, that they were going to make this business opportunity very big so they were going to align themselves with this Consumer Advocacy group that protects people against fraud so they would have more credibility. Wow, great! But, from the time that we signed up with him, we were only told that we would be working with him and we would train for a week, and that week would be the first week we would start getting paid. He explained that we would only need a couple of hours to learn the software and a few days to learn the system and just listen in to learn how to do the business…PERIOD!
He kept putting me off time and time again, blaming it on the merchant processor. I would get an email from Anthony saying that we could not start on the day he promised we would. This got old! We signed up on May 23rd and it was like July 20th before we were finally getting a call that we were going to start! (I have emails and texts showing all of this!) The first start date we were given was the first week of June!
What I forgot to mention, is that because they were partnering up with this company, Consumer Economic Council Inc. vecva.org, we paid them directly so we would have a paper trail and be “protected” by our bank!! IMPORTANT FACT HERE! While making the payment, which was called a “Donation”, I was told to put on the memo, “FOR OPENING AN OFFICE”, which I did! I had to make the payments in smaller increments as it would not take my $10,000 all at once. OH, DID I MENTION IT WAS $10,000!?
We were told that they “aligned” themselves with them, NOT that WE would be in THEIR program!
This is taken right off of their website: VECVA.ORG
Community Economic Council, together with Victim Economic
Council - Victim Advocates is here as an Ombudsman to help
victims of economic crime rebuild their lives.
We are dedicated to serving consumers harmed by fraud by increasing awareness of the emotional impact of fraud and economic crime on victims.
Our mission is to Increase sensitivity, knowledge, and capacity regarding victims of fraud and economic crime and the major concerns facing them, including restitution and financial remedies. Victim Economic Council - Victim Advocates is appointed by Community Economic Council as a professional Citizen Advocate, unofficial ombudsman, and regulatory public organization. The typical duties of an ombudsman are to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them.
So, time went on, we were now into mid July! I had called Anthony once again, but he was traveling, asking him once again…WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET STARTED!? I do not remember the exact date, but I believe it was July 19th…when he finally called me with Agustino Mireles from the VECVA on the phone. (Agustino Mireles-Director of the Board, I believe he is the one in charge)
Wow! They were ready to start! Great!!
What happened next was appalling! When I spoke to Agustino on the phone, he was not only the rudest, most obnoxious person I have EVER dealt with but He proceeds to tell me that we were ready to get started and we would be training for 6 weeks and we had a bunch of paperwork to fill out..not to mention we were supposed to send them our (my husband and I) fingerprints, do a background check etc….THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT WHAT WE WERE TOLD AND SINCE THIS GUY WAS SO RUDE, SCREAMING AT ME AND NOT EVEN LETTING ME SPEAK, I REFUSED TO SPEAK WITH HIM! After all, I was investing in a business opportunity and who was he to speak to me so rudely?! He was also very rude to my husband!
First of all, when we signed up for this opportunity, we signed up with Anthony DeFusco, NOT these people. Again, we paid their company thinking we were protected! Who would ever think we would be ripped off by a consumer advocacy group that are protecting people against fraud?!
After realizing, (which did not take long) that there was no way in hell I was going to deal with these rude people, let alone the fact that they all did a bait and switch, I told them I wanted out! I was not going to sign their contract and I was not going to deal with them at all! It was my right!
I was told several times, (again proof) by Anthony, that he would give me a refund as time went on and on! When it came time for a refund, he said I had to deal with the VECVA since I had paid them. Ok, no problem! He said, and I quote, “They will refund”.
I contacted the company via email and sent an email to both Agustino and Terre Brady, who is the one who had sent us the magic packet via email to fill out on July 19th. She was the only one to answer my calls or emails. Mr. Obnoxious, Agustino Mireles, never returned a call, nor an email! (by the way, I see he has a previous record and also you can read some pretty bad reviews on him)
Point: In the meanwhile, I had called Wells Fargo, which was my bank. I told them the story and they told me I really needed to do it “the right way”. I was told to send them a request and give them a chance to refund on their own. Then, if they did not reply in 14 days, I could put in for a reversal of the charges. I did what they asked…I never ever signed paperwork with these people!
I was told by Terre on July 24th, to send a request for a refund along with any documentation. I did as she asked. She responded by email saying: (July 26th)
Thank you for submitting the documents requested. An internal investigation will be conducted. You will hear back from us in approximately 14 days with a response to your request.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy".
Martin Luther King, Jr.
HMMMM…did you hear back from them????
Anything that I had received from them or sent to them…. was then forwarded to the bank so they could have a copy. [email protected]
Needless to say, they did not respond in the 14 days or EVER!!
I was then able to open up a case with my bank! Finally..bottom line..…THEY JUST STOLD MY MONEY!!! You call yourselves an advocacy group and help people when you steal?! Really!?
All along, I was sending tons of info over to Wells Fargo. I was told that there was no chance they would win, as they would have to produce a contract. I NEVER SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THEM! And, even if I did, I immediately asked for a refund and did not receive anything at all from them, let alone “Open an Office”!
I had 100% confidence that my bank, Wells Fargo would help me get my money back! After all, IT IS MY MONEY, I WAS RIPPED OFF AND THAT IS THE REASON I USED A VISA DEBIT CARD…FOR MY PROTECTION!!
Well, I lost!! I got a letter from Wells Fargo that they decided against me and the “temporary refund” they credited to my account would be taken back!? NO WAY!!!
PLEASE NOTE: What I got back from the bank were copies of my transaction and that I did, in fact authorize the transaction. I did not argue that fact! My complaint was that I paid through their website to “be protected” by both this “Advocacy group” and Wells Fargo! VERY IMPORTANT FACT: I NEVER SIGNED ANY CONTRACTS WITH THIS GROUP AND ANTHONY DEFUSCO IS NOT A PART OF THEIR COMPANY. THE CONTRACT WAS WITH ANTHONY DEFUSCO, WHO TOLD ME I WOULD GET MY MONEY BACK BY THEM. I WAS TOLD BY WELLS FARGO CLAIMS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO PROVE THAT I SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THEM (THE RECIPIENT), WHICH I DID NOT! WELLS FARGO IS PROTECTING CROOKS!
I did forget to mention that the company that was actually paid was PayPal! That was their payment processor. Wells Fargo had to go after PayPal. They are impossible to deal with! I was never called by PayPal to hear my side of the story! (I take that back, they “tried” to call me but a couple of times never left a message!) I did not know why they called, who to call back or what to do...so I never called them back.
I have since closed all of my accounts with Wells Fargo and spoke to the bank manager whose jaw was to the ground when I told her my story…she had to get me a box of tissues! I have lost plenty of sleep over this and now there is going to be trouble with my account! They are going to try to take back MY money, which is not there!! There was no way I was going to let them have my money!! They are supposed to protect ME, their customer, not crooks!!!!
I have sent in letters to the BBB, no response, I have written a few place that I thought might help, but the government has much more to deal with right now and are all shut down!
I want to go after these people, I want my money back, and I want an apology letter! I want my $10,000 back as promised!! PERIOD! I did not receive anything for my money as promised! I did not sign up with them, only used them to process my payment, which clearly was NOT a donation…it was clearly stated: TO OPEN AN OFFICE!
I am not sure what else to say here other then, I need help! I cannot afford to lose $10,000! I did this to try to better myself and my family! PLEASE HELP!!!
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1901 West Colonial Dr., Suite 19