Epsilon Data Management LLC, a global marketing firm, has admitted to selling more than 30 million consumers’ data to fraudsters looking to exploit vulnerable seniors.
Using sophisticated data modeling that targeted the elderly, the Irving, TX-based firm confessed that from July 2008 through July 2017, employees in its direct-to-consumer unit knowingly sold modeled lists of consumers to clients engaged in mass-mailing fraud schemes. These schemes involved false sweepstakes and astrology solicitations that stated that the recipient had won a large prize or individualized psychic service that they could obtain by paying a fee. Victims who paid a fee received nothing of value.
“By allowing clients engaged in fraudulent schemes to buy data on millions of consumers most susceptible to their schemes, Epsilon employees facilitated those schemes with staggering effect,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We are encouraged by Epsilon’s cooperation since the misconduct was discovered, its remediation efforts, and its commitment to stringent new compliance measures.