The Nationwide Telemarketing Fraud Lawsuit Investigation
After discovering that there’s a huge operation of a nationwide telemarketing scam that had targeted elderly consumers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota has charged 60 defendants.
According to authorities, the alleged scam involves magazine sales and netted the operators an estimated $300 million. The defendants received charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and violating the Senior Citizens Against Marketing Scams Act of 1994 (the “SCAMS Act”).
“This case represents the largest elder fraud scheme in the nation,” U.S. Attorney Erika MacDonald revealed. “More than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable victims across the United States have been identified in what is essentially a criminal class action.”
The investigation was spearheaded by the FBI and other regional law enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul confirmed that the operation is made of using telemarketers to pitch magazine subscriptions over 20 years.
The court documents attest that the defendants “devised and carried out a telemarketing scheme” to scam more than 150,000 victim-consumers through fraudulent magazine sales companies.
According to reports, the companies created telemarketing call centers where employees allegedly made calls utilizing deceptive sales scripts to scam victim consumers by inducing them — “through a series of lies and misrepresentations” — into giving large or repeat payments to the companies.
The lawsuit investigation also asserts that the defendants utilized several fraudulent and misleading sales scripts in their operation. The agency accuses telemarketers of falsely claiming to be calling from the victim’s existing magazine subscription company about an existing magazine subscription package.
Scammers Claim They Could Reduce Costs
The U.S. Attorney’s Office asserts that the telemarketers often say that they could decrease the monthly cost of an existing subscription. However, the company had no connection with the victim and was just tricking the victim to sign up for expensive and entirely new magazine subscriptions.
“Unfortunately, we live in a world where fraudsters are willing to take advantage of seniors, who are often trusting and polite,” stated MacDonald. “It’s my hope that this prosecution is a call for vigilance and caution.”
Editor’s note on The Nationwide Telemarketing Fraud Lawsuit Investigation
This piece is to inform you about The Nationwide Telemarketing Fraud Lawsuit Investigation.
We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join in on any potential consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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