Joomsef.net, a website that posted exaggerated traffic citations, has reached a settlement with Maryland's Consumer Protection Division, the state attorney general announced this morning.
The state claims that Joomsef, run by Stanislav Komsky, published public information on traffic offenses, but indicated that the drivers had been "booked" or arrested. It would also state that mugshots weren't available, wrongly implying that a mugshot had been taken, the state said.
Consumers found out by searching for themselves on the Internet. To see the information about themselves, Joomsef charged $9.99, and to get it removed, they had to pay about $40 to $90. That price was determined by how fast consumers wanted the information taken down.
In the settlement with the state, Komsky agreed to stop publishing false or misleading info on people and he has taken down the website that had been up for 84 days, the state said. Komsky also must return the money consumers had paid to him and pay a penalty of $7,500.
Were you among those burned? Contact the consumer protection division at 410-528-8662 for more information about the settlement. Let us know, too, about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apparently, Komsky isn't the only one publishing public information and then asking consumers for money to take down information that could hamper them from getting a job. The New York Times on Sunday wrote about this disturbing new business.