Over70s are notoriously targeted by scammers with endless schemes to steal our financial resources. Best to know and remember: NOTHING IS FREE; THERE ARE NO MIRACLE CURES, NO ANTI- AGE FACE CREMES, NO GET RICH QUICK successes. Fortunately I’ve never been taken in by a hucksters but they are everywhere. I sometimes unplug my land phone in order to avoid constant interruptions by telemarketers and phony IRS agents. Fortunately I’ve never had a problem hanging up the phone in someones face.
How could anyone donate money to strangers on the phone claiming to represent firemen, police, veterans, cancer victims and on and on. With all the hucksters around one has NO clue as to where donations really go or what is done with them. There are reported scams by Red Cross, ASPCA, Haiti Relief and MDs have committed some of the most evil scams known.
Another type of hustle is the Publisher’s Clearing House $5000 a week for life. It’s obvious you will not experience the fantasy-win without buying a bunch of stuff, even tho they say not so. My dear, intelligent mom had a large closet full of trashy Family Dollar type stuff which she never opened – purchased via Publisher’s Clearing House in hopes of winning big. I would say there’s never been a winner who was not first a purchaser.
And then we find the free-trial-offer scam. They are everywhere on the internet and TV. Just today I ran into one for a pet product guaranteed to help with arthritic conditions Fortunately I read the fine print and learned the following: if you did not contact them within 14 days with a cancellation of the product you would be charged $70 for the free bottle and $80+ forever into the future.
They give the phone # to call for cancellation but there is also the admonition of “high call volume” which means: good luck trying to reach them.
The reasons why Over70s are targeted is fairly obvious. Many have savings, own homes and are trustful. Others are near the end of their resources and looking to gamble a little to possibly gain a lot. And everything is a throw of the dice when dealing with corporate schemers. I’m thinking of ruses employed to draw the consumer into the fold only to change the rules after one has signed on. My first experience with this legal scamming was when I signed up with Blue Cross at one price only to have it continuously raised approximately every 6 months. This was back in 2000.
When I turned 65 and received all the info from Medicare I studied the booklets for a week and wondered what I was to think after reading a sentence that said all rates can be raised without due notice to the insured. That little bit of info really stuck with me and I determined to avoid western medical care. And what will I do should I become critically ill? That will be the subject of future blogs.