Over the years scammers have tried different ways of using our trademarked “Freedom Benefits” business name to steer consumers to other services. Some of these involved criminal intent to defraud consumers, others are simply trademark infringements. These scams are especially prevalent on the Internet. In all cases we have cooperated with authorities to encourage fair consumer practices and, in one case, a conviction of the offender.
“Alliance for Affordable Services” is not affiliated with Freedom Benefits. This Web site uses “Freedom Benefits” as a title of its Web page apparently to draw traffic away from the legitimate Freedom Benefits Web site. This usage is a trademark infringement but we have no information as to whether it is connected to an intent to defraud consumers. It appears to be operated by a Web ring not affiliated with any professional organization. These scams by unregulated individuals are notoriously difficult to stop.
A new Internet-based scam uses the name of Freedom Benefits and a number of insurance companies to generate telephone sales leads. These Web sites are not affiliated with the legitimate Freedom Benefit companies in any way. We will work with proper authorities to stop the illegal activity. Below is a copy of a letter sent to the Texas Department of Insurance.
May 30, 2012
Texas Department of Insurance
Attn. Consumer Protection Office
SCAM ALERT – Unlicensed agency, Unauthorized use of business name and logo
Dear Texas Department of Insurance:
I am Tony Novak, owner of “Freedom Benefits”, a trademarked business name registered in Pennsylvania in 1995. Freedom Benefits operates a number of authorized licensed Web sites providing services related to my work in insurance, financial planning and employee benefits. I am a licensed insurance producer in Texas and all other states.
I recently discovered that unauthorized and apparently unlicensed Web sites using both the Freedom Benefits name and logo to generate insurance sales leads. See (http://www.freedombenefitsolutions.com/benefits-cest.pdf for an example of unauthorized use). These Web sites are not associated in any way with my legitimate Freedom Benefit companies.
The offenders are:
The company (listed as an LLC) uses a Texas address but is apparently not registered with the Texas Secretary of State or the Texas Insurance Department.
I urge you to join me in taking appropriate action against the offender to stop this illegal marketing. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.