Attorney General alleges consumer fraud in seller’s mailing: “How I WIN $20,000 Every Month from The Lottery”
DES MOINES – The owner of a New Jersey-based company that sells supposed systems for winning lotteries and other money-making schemes will permanently stop targeting Iowans through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller, who alleges the schemes are deceptive.
Success Publishers LLC, which also does business as Market Force, Wintrack, and Win-Track.com, and its owner, John F. Abate, of Millstone Township, will refund money to Iowans and permanently cease marketing to the state’s residents.
The agreement, called an assurance of voluntary compliance, requires Abate and his company to refund approximately $3,800 to 86 recent Iowa purchasers who paid $10-$100 to the company, provide additional refunds to any other Iowans who request them, and pay $1,000 to the state’s consumer education fund. The agreement also bars them from using or selling the list of names of Iowa customers.
The case began late last year when an Iowa consumer contacted the Consumer Protection Division after receiving a mailing titled, “How I WIN $20,000 Every Month from The Lottery.”
“These are what might be called ‘beat-the-lottery’ products that appear to violate Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act,” Miller said. “We demanded that sales to Iowans must cease, and that Iowa consumers who paid money are entitled to refunds.”
Abate and his company deny liability or wrongdoing in the agreement.
As an example of Abate’s allegedly deceptive promotions, Miller referred to a mailing offering to sell “secrets” used by an elite group of “rogue mathematicians” called “Lotto Dragons,” who the mailings claim predict lottery wins at a rate of about 90%.
The mailings assure would-be purchasers of easy income from lottery winnings without any risk of loss. The mailings add that each recipient is one of a select group of people being offered these “life-changing” secrets, and urge a quick payment of $60 to take advantage of the limited time offer.
According to Miller, the broad claims of assured winnings raise serious concerns. “These lottery systems make sweeping promises that recipients are certain to come out ahead, but games of chance always involve the risk of loss. Like any other get-rich-quick scheme, consumers should treat win-the-lottery systems with extreme skepticism,” said Miller.
Miller noted that his office has seen schemes of this nature take an especially heavy toll on the elderly. He encourages caregivers and family members of older Iowans to be aware of such deceptive promotions, and to report any concerns to the Consumer Protection Division.
For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Consumer Protection Division at www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov or email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers can also call the Consumer Protection Division at 515-281-5926, or outside the Des Moines area, toll free, at 888-777-4590.