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Lawsuit Claims New Jersey Man Scammed Elderly Iowans

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A lawsuit has been filed against a New Jersey man after state officials say he cheated elderly Iowans out of hundreds of dollars.

Attorney General Tom Miller filed a consumer fraud lawsuit Wednesday against Robert C. Schneider, of SchneiderCreative. The lawsuit alleges Schneider’s “deceptive handiwork” cheated Iowans through sweepstakes-related mail solicitations.

The lawsuit states at one elderly Iowa man was victimized repeatedly and lost at least $175 in a matter of months. Another victim is a 91-year-old eastern Iowa widow whose “savings were being depleted as she sent check after check in response to personalized mail solicitations from scammers.”

The mail solicitations notified recipients that they had been selected to receive a large cash prize that would be delivered after paying a $25 processing fee. The lawsuit says one mailing, titled “important advisory,” appeared as a specially-authorized $1,150,000 “prize account balance” notification.

“We allege that the mailings Schneider designed were slick and artfully misleading, inducing payments from many vulnerable Iowans,” said Miller.  “We further allege that Schneider provided these design services to many different con-artists, multiplying the losses suffered by elderly consumers in Iowa and elsewhere.”

Caregivers of older Iowans should be cautious of official-looking, personalized mail offering prizes and to be on the lookout for predatory mailing or telemarketing campaigns making “too-good-to-be-true promises,” Miller said.