Skip to main content

Many companies say they want to serve those who serve. But some companies take advantage of our military personnel and use unlawful practices to lure them into deceptive deals. That’s why the FTC and eighteen states have brought charges against Harris Jewelry for violating federal and state lending and consumer protection laws. This is also the FTC’s first case alleging violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA).

Harris sold jewelry, watches, and military-themed items to active-duty servicemembers at its stores near and sometimes on military bases. According to the FTC, Harris allegedly lured servicemembers in with shady practices, for instance, not giving them some information required to be disclosed under the MLA including a statement of the Military Annual Percentage Rate.

Almost all of Harris’s sales were on credit, through its in-store financing plans. Harris touted its financing plans as a way for servicemembers to raise their credit scores — and an effective way for servicemembers to get lower interest rates in the future. But Harris had no evidence to back that up. Financing a purchase does not guarantee you’ll end up with a higher credit score. And no one can guarantee that a servicemember would be able to borrow money on more favorable terms in the future by entering into a financing plan now, particularly without knowing a servicemember’s current credit score and payment history. The company also allegedly included protection plans as cost add-ons by misrepresenting the plans — or not disclosing them well enough — to servicemembers.

The settlement will stop Harris from similar practices in the future. It requires the company to give affected servicemembers refunds for purchased add-on protection plans, stop collection of servicemembers’ debt, and ask consumer reporting agencies to delete negative credit entries. Harris also must pay the states $1,000,000 to be used for law enforcement and education efforts and complete shutting down and dissolving its operations under the states’ laws once it meets its obligations under the order.

To learn more about managing your credit, visit, read the FTC’s articles, Understanding Your Credit and Credit Scores, and talk with a military personal financial counselor. All active-duty, National Guard, and reserve servicemembers, their family members, and survivors can get free financial counseling services. Find a Department of Defense financial counselor near you.

If you encounter these or other deceptive practices, tell the FTC at

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

diane glaubitz
July 26, 2022

how wonderful for active duty. does retired rate the same privilege.