Hundreds of Iowans will get their share of $7,000 in refunds from a company that made bogus promises of money and miracles in exchange for a fee.
Nature Plus Limited sent letters from someone claiming to be a clairvoyant, promising “ties to spiritual leaders of many world religions” and offering “riches and life-changing miracles,” said a statement from Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller. Most of the letter recipients were elderly.
The personalized letters were from supposed psychics called “Mary Theresa” or “Lady of Hearts,” asking for fees between $20 and $54. For some elderly and vulnerable Iowans, the fees they paid added up to hundreds of dollars over time.
Miller said his office learned of the letters when an eastern Iowa woman discovered her 91-year-old mother was nearly broke because she was sending checks to answer mailings from “an array of characters claiming extraordinary powers and promising riches and good health, among other things.” Miller said many of these mail scams are based in Europe, which can present special challenges to U.S. law enforcement.
“This elderly victim’s experience has exposed a very ugly set of practices,” Miller said. “Fake clairvoyants, manipulative mailings, sophisticated networks for targeting vulnerable people – these elements have conspired to cheat thousands of elderly Iowans, and we’re doing what we can to get their money back and keep it from happening again.”
Approximately 325 Iowans will get refunds as part of the settlement with Nature Plus Limited. The company was also prohibited from directly or indirectly soliciting or trying to sell anything to anyone with an Iowa address.