• Report: #168591

Complaint Review: Advantage America

  • Submitted: Mon, December 19, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, December 19, 2005

  • Reported By:Odessa Missouri
Advantage America
1900 Howell Branch Road Ste. 4-7 Winter Park, Florida U.S.A.

Advantage America ripoff- identity theft Winter Park Florida

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I also have been invaded by this company and thought others should know the information I have found on them!! They told me they were registered with the BBB...they are not members as you will see below. Please read all the way at the bottom, I have also found where all their mail for addresses in the US is forwarded to!

BBB of Central Florida, Inc.
151 S. Wymore Road, Ste. 100
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

BBB Reliability Report

Advantage America
1900 Howell Branch Rd. Ste 4-7
Winter Park, FL 32792
Orange County
General Information
Original Business
Start Date unknown

Registration or
Incorporation Type of Entity not defined
State unknown
Date unknown

BBB File Opened August 25, 2005
Principal Contact Ms. Erika Roberts
Complaint Contact Ms. Crystal Brown
Other Contacts Mr. Ken Gomes

BBB Member This company is not a member
Type of Business Telephone Solicitation Companies

The information in this report has either been provided by the company, or has been compiled by the Bureau from other sources.

Nature of Business
The company contacts consumers claiming that they are eligible for governement grant money. In some instances the company representatives claim they are with the U.S. government. Representatives request bank account numbers and social security number claiming the grant money will be deposited directly to the consumer's bank account and that there is a processing fee of $49.95. The company's website also includes information on health program.
Customer Experience

Based on BBB filed this company has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to a pattern of complaints of misrepresentation in selling practices. Complaints concern grants were never received and advance fees that were withdrawn from consumers' bank accounts allegedly for application or processing fees.

Customer Complaint Data
The company's size, volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by the BBB. The complaints filed against a company may not be as important as the type of complaints, and how the company has handled them. The BBB generally does not pass judgement on the validity of complaints filed.
Number of complaints processed by the BBB since the firm's BBB file was opened in August 2005: 284
Number of complaints processed by the BBB in the last 12 months: 284
Complaints Concerned:
Selling Practices (90 complaints)
47 Resolved
4 Unresolved
11 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
28 Company did not respond

Advertising Issues (33 complaints)
21 Resolved
2 Unresolved
5 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
5 Company did not respond

Service Issues (6 complaints)
3 Resolved
1 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
2 Company did not respond

Credit or Billing Disputes (37 complaints)
22 Resolved
1 Unresolved
5 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
9 Company did not respond

Delivery Issues (8 complaints)
3 Resolved
2 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
3 Company did not respond

Refund Practices (35 complaints)
19 Resolved
1 Unresolved
10 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve
5 Company did not respond

Contract Disputes (9 complaints)
8 Resolved
1 Company did not respond

Guarantee or Warranty Issues (9 complaints)
7 Resolved
2 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve

Additional File Information
The Howell Branch Rd., Winter Park, FL address is an empty suite. Post Global, who leased the suite has told the BBBB that mail sent to that address is forwarded offshore to a West Indies address on the island of St. Lucia. The company's website registration gives the company's address as British Colonial, 1 Bay Street, Suite 303, Nassau, BAHAMAS. The company does not have an office in Poland, NY.

Addresses listed in other cities nationwide may also be mail drops with all mail going off-shore.

The BBB has also received information that the phone number the consumer may see on their caller ID could appear to be from a local area code , but the number is acutually "spoofed."

Government Actions
North Dakota - On November 10, 2005 the Attorney General issued a Cease & Desist Order against FirstNationalGrant.com
aka Advantage America
aka First National Benefits
aka First Government Grants
aka First National HEalth Care
aka Titan Financial
aka First National Government Grants
aka AIG Limited
aka Premier Health Benefits
aka First National Health Care Limited
aka First National Benefits
and others including, Ken Anthony Gomes, Individually and d/b/a Bespin Trust, d/b/a Managment Network; Helen Television System, d/b/a Helen IT; Callworx, Inc.; Lakeshore Media Group., Inc. d/b/a Mygrantmanagement.com, d/b/a Grantmanagementnetwork.com. d/b/a Mygrantnetwork.com; Jody Robert Overland, individualy; Nancy Purcell individually aka Nancy A. Mangiacotti; and Kathy Spencer, individually d/b/a Global Strategies and David Yamin, individually, Respondents. According to the Order the Respondents are in violation of North Dakota's Consumer Fraud Law and Do Not Call Law by (1) engaging in telephone solicitiations to North Dakota telephone subscribers who have registered for the Do Not Call list; and (2) engaging in deceptive acts or practices during telephone solicitations to the state's consumers.

Educational/General Comments
Consumers are now being targeted by companies offering to assist them in obtaining large amounts of government money. This potential scam is initiated by email or by a telemarketer, who claiming that the consumer is eligible for up to $8,000 in grant money from the United States Government. The company then offers to assist the consumer in obtaining the money in exchange for allowing his/her "company" to withdraw money from the consumer's bank account. Some consumers have also received direct mail solicitations offering to assist them in obtaining government grants in exchange for payment. Consumers who send money to these programs only received "information booklets," containing minimal assistance, if they receive anything at all. This is contrary to the promise that the consumer will get actual money, rather than a list of grants. Although there are a variety of sources within the government and private sector that offer grants to eligible applicants, individuals do not need to enlist the services of a separate company to learn about such funding sources. The application procedures for a wide variety of public and private grants can be obtained free of charge as public information. In addition, consumers should never give their bank account information to unknown telemarketers.

Government Grants Program

Since many of its departments offer grants, the United States Federal Government has created the Grants.gov program as a resource for parties seeking information about grants. Grants.gov is managed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and may be contacted as follows:

Grants.gov Program Management Office
200 Independence Avenue SW
HHH Building, Room 739F
Washington, DC 20201

Consumers may also contact the United States General Services Administration's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at: www.cfda.gov

The person or company that called you will most likely drain your bank account of all your hard-earned money and take off....never to be heard from again.

Here are some easy ways to spot this scam and others like it:

Beware of callers who claim that you have been awarded a government grant.
grants are only provided to people and organizations that meet specific guidelines and complete the
application process. Remember that people generally will not call to offer you money.

Never send money to "verify," "guarantee," or "process" your alleged grant request for up-front fees are a sure sign of a scam.

Never provide personal financial information or your Social Security Number. This type of information, when in the wrong hands, can be used to steal your identity and your money.

Always ask for information in writing. If the grant is legitimate, the caller will not have a problem sending you the information in writing.

Always trust your instincts like the old saying goes: "if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is."

Additional Information

This Business Operates under the Names 1st National Government Grant Benefits
Advantage America
Advantage America Benefits
American Advantage
American Advantage Benefits
Easy Step Solution
First National Benefits

Addresses 300 N. Corporate Dr., Suite 350, Brookfield, WI 56045-5865 MAP
Union Industrial Estate, Castries, St. Lucia - West Indies
15720 John J. Delaney Dr., Charlotte, NC 28277, Mecklenburg County MAP
24 Main St., Poland, NY 13431, Herkimer County MAP
1900 Howell Branch Rd. Ste 4-7, Winter Park, FL 32792, Orange County MAP

Phones (800) 410-1682
(800) 503-7345
(866) 503-7345
(877) 851-3466
(877) 851-4366

Here is the information for the Nassau, Bahamas location...it's a hotel!!

British Colonial Hilton Nassau
Number One Bay Street
P.O. Box N-7148
Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas

Telephone: 1-242-322-3301
Fax: 1-242-302-9009
Email: nassaureservations@hiltoncaribbean.com

There has got to be a way to stop this company from ripping us all off!!!! Someone has to take attention to this!!!

Kansas City, Missouri

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/19/2005 08:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Advantage-America/Winter-Park-Florida-32792/Advantage-America-ripoff-identity-theft-Winter-Park-Florida-168591. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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