Harris Jewelry will have to provide refunds, stop collecting debts and correct bad credit ratings for more than 46,000 service members and veterans nationwide.
HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that, as part of a multi-state settlement, he has won a settlement that recovers $34.2 million for 46,000 service members and veterans nationwide who were deceived by Harris Jewelry. The jewelry company used deceptive marketing tactics to lure active duty members into a finance program, falsely claiming it would improve their credit scores. In reality, the military was tricked into taking out high-interest loans for thousands of dollars on overpriced, shoddy jewelry. Under the agreement brokered by 18 states and the FTC, Harris Jewelry must stop collecting debts from service members they deceived and take appropriate action to correct their poor credit ratings. July is Military Consumer Month and with today’s agreement, at least 87 service members in Pennsylvania who borrowed more than $100,000 will receive restitution.
“Harris Jewelry has gone after active military and veterans alike,” said AG Shapiro. “People who voluntarily put themselves in danger to protect our freedoms deserve better. With today’s agreement, we have reduced the crippling debt that Harris Jewelry has placed on our service members and veterans and allowed them to recoup their hard-earned money. Let this be a warning to other companies, anyone trying to rip off our serving heroes will have to answer me.
A multi-state investigation found that Harris Jewelry violated the FTC Act, Truth in Lending Act, Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Military Lending Act, Holder Rule; and state laws relating to jewelry sales and financing to members of the military.
Harris Jewelry has made false or unsubstantiated claims that financing jewelry purchases through the company will result in higher credit ratings. They misrepresented their protection plan and failed to include written disclosures in their retail contracts as required by the Truth in Lending Act and the Military Loans Act.
Harris Jewelry also offered service members jewelry protection plans, which they said were optional but were added to nearly all eligible transactions without consumer consent. Protection plan costs ranged from $39.99 to $349.99 and in some cases exceeded the wholesale price paid by Harris for the item.
Eligible service members and veterans will receive an email and letter in the mail informing them of today’s deal and whether they are eligible for a refund.
Joining Attorney General Josh Shapiro in today’s agreement which was led by New York and the FTC are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.
Service members and veterans in Pennsylvania who believe they have been scammed should contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs by emailing [email protected] or calling 717 -783-1944.
# # #