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District attorney files suit against HomeAdvisor

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced Tuesday the filing of a civil lawsuit against a home services company for allegedly falsely advertising about background checks in its radio and TV ads.

HomeAdvisor Inc. and its parent company ANGI Homeservices Inc. are the targets of the complaint filed last week in San Francisco Superior Court.

The company describes itself as “the operator of the largest home services marketplace across the globe” and stated in ads that service professionals like plumbers or electricians listed on the site have been background checked, according to prosecuttors.

However, investigators learned that the only person who undergoes a background check is the owner of an independently owned business, and that the company doesn’t perform any background check when the business is part of a larger national company or corporate account advertising on HomeAdvisor.

Gascon said in a statement:

“Companies like this offer a convenient service, but they also introduce strangers into our homes … They must operate their businesses in a way that is within the parameters of the law and not misleading.”

The complaint seeks an injunction against the ads and civil penalties for allegedly unlawful business acts. A court hearing is scheduled for April 12.

A spokesperson for HomeAdvisor said the company does not comment on ongoing legal matters.

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