Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Warns Consumers about Misleading Postcard Solicitations for Annuities
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today warned consumers about a scam that involves misleading postcards sent to seniors about an annuity they may have that has reached the end of its surrender period. An unlicensed company named Unlimited Fulfillment Services, LLC (“Unlimited”), has been allegedly contacting senior consumers with these postcards advising that they need to contact the company’s “scheduling department” to discuss options. The Florida Department of Financial Services has filed a Notice of Intent to Issue Cease and Desist Order against the company.
“This company’s illegal marketing strategy is aimed at our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” CFO Atwater said. “My department will continue to take action against these types of misleading solicitations, and I urge all consumers to be on high alert for this and other such attempts to get their hard-earned money.”
Unlimited, of Medina, Ohio, is not licensed in Florida as an insurance agency. The Notice of Intent to Issue Cease and Desist Order alleges that it engaged in the unlicensed, and therefore illegal, business of insurance by soliciting annuity products to elderly Florida consumers. The notice also alleges the solicitations contained false or misleading information directed to elderly consumers.
As referenced in the notice, Unlimited sent Florida seniors a postcard indicating that it was from Unlimited’s insurance and annuity services department. The postcard stated that the consumers might be in possession of an annuity that had reached the end of its surrender period. The postcard provided a toll-free telephone number and directed the recipient to contact an Unlimited representative to discuss options. The postcard was intended to mislead the consumers into believing that a phone call was necessary and action was required regarding investments about which Unlimited had no knowledge. Instead of possessing actual and relevant information regarding the consumers’ investments, Unlimited sought to mislead the elderly consumers by inducing them to call a toll-free telephone number upon receipt of the postcard advertisement.
Consumers who are contacted by this company are encouraged to contact the department’s Division of Consumer Services by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) to report the solicitation.
We also encourage you to Verify Before You Buy before you write a check or sign a contract and make sure that the company, broker or agent is licensed to do business in Florida. Visit our Verify Before You Buy website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.