Ripping off the old folks back home

FBI busts a Manhattan boiler room operation that fleeced elderly Florida residents. That’s good, and I’m glad the FBI is active in this area, but living with my own mother, who is sharp as a tack, I’m amazed at the number of scams sent to people her age, every day.

The worst – or the most recent – was a scam insurance policy sent by the Retired Officers Organization, or some such respected group. It contained lots of alarmist misinformation about the possible loss of her health insurance, a proposal to protect her from all that for fifty dollars a month and it was signed by a nice-looking retired Colonel. What could be better?

Reviewing the proposed policy, I saw that it offered no benefits to people over 80 – which rules out my mom, and really offered diddly-squat to those under 80. Just a pure rip off.

Anyway, Ma didn’t bite, so no harm, no foul, but if you have an older parent, you might want to warn them that they are being targeted by every crook in the world. No need for paranoia, but a skeptical eye kept on the mail and a policy of never, ever agreeing to buy anything over the telephone would probably be wise.


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2 responses to “Ripping off the old folks back home

  1. dogwalker

    Yeah, it is amazing how many people evidently feel okay making money that way. Unfortunately, one of my parents is a little too trusting (one of the traits that helped make America great, IMHO, but it doesn’t work too well nowadays).

    But the worst is when family members victimize elderly relatives, which happens much more often than one might imagine, I have discovered in recent years.

  2. peeps

    Yes, I do keep track of the scams sent to my parents. Another thing is that some geriatric health item catalogs will add things onto your order you didn’t ask for.
    I watch out for my parents all the time, but what I can’t control are relatives calling and giving sob stories about home repairs they need, or that their pet is sick and they wish they could afford to take it to the vet.
    I can tell you that because of what I see, and the fact that I have no children, I am afraid to get old. I don’t know what the scams will be in 25 years and if I’ll be sharp enough to side step the scam artists.