Iowa Seizes 'Sucker List' Mail Responses

Share this content:
The Iowa attorney general's office seized 7,000 pieces of mail last week that it claimed were responses to a fraudulent sweepstakes solicitation campaign conducted by mail and telemarketing.

Acting on an impound order from a county judge, authorities took the mail Thursday from a commercial mail drop in Clive, IA. According to the attorney general, the mailers were sent in response to a mass-mail solicitation aimed at developing a "sucker list" of elderly consumers to be targeted later in a telemarketing fraud scheme.

Richard James Panas of Rock Hill, SC, arranged for the mailers to be brought to the commercial drop in mid-November, the attorney general said. The commercial drop cooperated with the investigation and was not charged.

According to the attorney general, the mailers misled consumers into believing they had won substantial prizes but had to pay "administration" or "pre-processing" fees of $10 or $20. While those solicitations alone are illegal, the goal of the campaign was to develop a list of consumers likely to fall prey to similar telemarketing prize schemes that could cost them up to $5,000, the attorney general said.

A call to Panas' list and direct mail business, R.P. Associates, was not returned Friday. Panas is under federal investigation and is wanted for arrest in Nevada, according to the attorney general.

Among the lists on the Web sites are several of sweepstakes and prize-promotion participants. One ad for a list titled "Avalanche of Checks" described consumers on the list as "sweepstakes enthusiasts" who responded to an offer of up to $10,000 in prizes guaranteed to all participants and who also sent a $9.95 "acquisition fee to receive a family collection of discount certificates with a fully redeemable value of over $2,000."


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above