McDuffie Introduces Bill to Protect Seniors from Predatory and Misleading Advertisements

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Councilmember McDuffie Introduces Bill to Protect Seniors from Predatory and Misleading Advertisements

 

Seniors Have Reported Receiving Deceptive Mailers Designed to Create False Urgency to Sell Property

 

Legislation Prohibits Advertising a False Deadline or Misuse of Words “Final Notice,” “Urgent,” “Time Sensitive”

 

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Contact: Nolan Treadway, 202-445-0361, ntreadway@dccouncil.us

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development introduced the Senior and Vulnerable Resident Protection against Unlawful Trade Practice Amendment Act of 2017 [B22-0614].

This legislation seeks to protect residents, like senior citizens or residents living with a disability, who are vulnerable to false, misleading, or deceptive advertisements received at their home or business. The legislation makes it unlawful in the District of Columbia to advertise a false deadline when an offer is open-ended, or to create a false sense of urgency by misusing terms such as “Final Notice,” “Urgent,” or “Time Sensitive.” These advertisements are often sent by companies seeking to mislead residents to sell their property below market value.

With introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“It is absolutely unconscionable to prey on our most vulnerable citizens, and this legislation will help to stop District residents from falling victim to these deceptive practices. These predatory advertisements have unfortunately become familiar to many of the senior citizens in Ward 5. This bill will protect seniors, residents living with disabilities, and others from false, misleading, or deceptive business practices in the future.”

An example of the deceptive mailers received by a Ward 5 resident:

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