Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Meet DA Nancy E. O'Malley

SCAM ALERT: Residents Urged to Beware Private Companies Offering Massage Therapy Training, Licenses

OAKLAND, CA – The Consumer Fraud Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is issuing a consumer advisory to Bay Area residents about certain private companies offering massage therapy training and accreditation.

Through recent solicitations in newspapers, certain private companies engage students interested in a career in massage therapy. In order to enroll in the course, these companies require the applicant to pay a fee and disclose personal information, such as social security number, driver’s license and immigration information. Certain private companies take the applicant’s money but do not provide services, nor do they issue the necessary certificates and transcripts required for accreditation. These companies are scams.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley noted, “These solicitations target members of the local community who are attempting to improve their lives and brighten their futures by obtaining education for better employment.”

District Attorney O’Malley urges consumers to carefully investigate any firm or company before they hand over their money or personal private information. To see if a business is properly licensed, DA O’Malley encourages consumers to contact any of the agencies listed below.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of any business as described above, please call the Alameda County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection ALERT LINE at: 1-877-288-2882. The ALERT LINE message is in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish, though messages can be left in any language.

Resources:

Better Business Bureau
Tel: (510) 238-1000 or (510) 844-2000

Bureau for Private Postsecondary & Vocational Education
400 R Street, Suite 5000
Sacramento, CA 95814-6200
Tel: (916) 445-3427

Alameda County Business Licenses
Tel: (510) 238-3704 (Oakland)
Tel: (510) 583-4600 (Hayward)

Posted on Jul 27, 2012