By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
The lawsuit filed in Polk County District Court says Courtesy Health Watch, a for-profit professional fundraising group, targeted elderly residents, telling them their donations would end future solicitations. It, in fact, led to increased calls.
Additionally, the company obscured or exaggerated the portion of the donation that went to charities and, in some cases, callers told people they represented the actual charity instead of Courtesy Health Watch. They also told potential donors that people gave more than the $20 amount that they actually typically received, according to the lawsuit.
In one case, the company targeted an 82-year-old Keokuk woman, whom it called about once a month over a three-year period, according to Miller’s office.
“We’re concerned that this escalation of contacts could drain the resources of Iowans whose advanced age may make them more vulnerable,” Miller said in a statement.
Miller is asking the court to prohibit Courtesy Health Watch from making further solicitations in Iowa and make the company pay civil penalties and attorney fees.
Courtesy Health Watch represents charities such as the National Cancer Coalition, Children’s Leukemia Research Association, Childhood Cancer Research Coalition and Miracle Flights for Kids.
Contact Sheena Dooley at firstname.lastname@example.org.