North Carolina military members fell victim to electronic retail scams

FORT BRAGG - North Carolina service members who were overcharged for electronics are having their debts forgiven.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said it's all part of a $6.8 million dollar settlement with the electronic company, Smartbuy.

The electronics were financed by a company called Rome Finance, said Cooper.

He said contract agreements would outline 16% interest rates for purchases like laptops and gaming systems.

However, when customers were actually charged, they would see up to 3 times that rate, and the money was taken directly out of their bank accounts, said the attorney general.

Smartbuy had locations near military bases around the county, including Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg.

"When they had a serviceman or women in their clutches they knew they had a person with a steady paycheck," said Attorney General Roy Cooper.  "They knew they had someone with a personal bank account, and they knew they had a person that may not be as experienced as other consumers."

There were 17,000 customers affected by the settlement nationwide, and more than 1,300 of them are enlisted service members from North Carolina.

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