Several Phoenix telemarketing companies on Iowa AG radar - Tucson News Now

Several Phoenix telemarketing companies on Iowa AG radar

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CBS 5 News told you about a Phoenix telemarketing company that was ordered by an Iowa judge not to call people in that state anymore.

We're finding out telemarketing scams that use disabled people to their advantage are a huge problem here in the Valley. And it's another state that's alerting us to the fraud.

The sales pitch always begins with a phone call appealing to your generosity.

Woman: Who is this?

Jeff: This is Jeff with Americans with Disabilities.

Woman: What did you need?

Jeff: I was hoping I could send you out cookies this year. I'm trying to get a guide dog, a seeing-eye dog.

This phone call was recorded by Iowa officials after an Americans with Disability worker called an undercover consumer fraud line. The caller is in Phoenix.

"In some cases we find that a company is headquartered in Phoenix, but makes calls outside of the state. For reasons we don't know, but we see that happening," said Felicia Thompson with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau.

Iowa officials alerted us to what they call another scam operation: Fresh Start Handicapped Workers. CBS 5 News confronted the company's director, Paul Giza. He denied any wrongdoing.

That investigation was triggered after a worker also called the fraud line claiming to be disabled.

Ken: I have children that depend on me. This program is allowing me to do that, if that makes sense.

Woman: Yes.

But the Iowa attorney general's office alerted CBS 5 News to several other companies on their radar for doing the same thing. 

Action Point

America Workshops

Americans with Disabilities

American Handicapped & Disadvantaged Workers

Christian Employment Opportunity Center

Epiphany of Life

HDPD Products

Helping Hands Across America

Kalijos Enterprise New Hope Workers Praising G(God)

The BBB says one of the companies called American Handicapped & Disadvantaged Workers has 76 complaints against it.

CBS 5 News went to the address listed for the company Action Point. The company's owner Robert Foster was told not to have his telemarketers call Iowans anymore.

However, when we showed up, a worker told us it was not Action Point.

But a few minutes later, another employee came out and coincidentally knew Action Point sold light bulbs as stated in a July 2012 Iowa court filing. He even defended the practice.

"You go on TV and say, 'Oh they have these light bulbs that are $7 a piece.' But what you fail to say is there is a lifetime guarantee replacement in writing on it," the worker said.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office representative said they couldn't say whether a company was under investigation, but if you get a call that sounds like a scam, then it probably is.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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