Texas AG gets judgment to stop marketer from targeting seniors

Drew Smith Sep. 23, 2008, 12:34pm

Greg Abbott (R)

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)--Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has obtained a final judgment and permanent injunction against a marketing company accused of unlawfully obtaining senior citizens' personal information.

Abbott's investigation found that America's Recommended Mailers Inc. (ARM) enticed senior citizens with mailings that claimed their government benefits might be in jeopardy.

Abbot claims many of the citizens provided their personal information to the Lewisville, Texas, company thinking they were signing up for notifications to changes in federal law that would affect their personal finances. That personal information was then sold as marketing data to insurance companies and agents.

The state's final judgment prohibits ARM owner Tina Hennessy from sending direct mail to seniors that is misleading or untrue in nature. The company must now clearly disclose when mailers are sent on behalf of a particular insurance agent or company.

Abbott began taking legal action against such activities in early 2006. Other defendants include American Senior Alliance Inc., a company that ultimately settled with the state, Prospect Pros, which is set to go to trial, and Lead Concepts Inc., a case that is still pending.

Abbott claims the companies created the mailers in order to promote confusion and provide false impressions to the elderly. He said his investigations suggested the defendants' only goal was to unlawfully induce senior to respond to their mailings.

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