theoldwolf: (Default)
I have received several calls from "The benefit department of MedPlus". Today I walked through the process with them, as though I were my elderly mother (whom they were trying to contact).

This number (1-866-999-8539) was given to me by a telemarketer from India who claimed to be from the medical department of MedPlus, or "American Management" (although the phone rep, obviously in an Indian call center, insisted that the first digit was "9" and not "1").

Their sales pitch was designed to extract name, address, date of birth, bank routing number, bank account number, check number, and last 4 digits of SSN. I provided completely bogus information and completed the process. They were recording the call, supposedly to get my "yes" answers to authorizing a $385.00 charge to my checking account.

I have informed the real MedPlus of this con - not that they can do anything about it, but at least they know someone is using their good name.

Beware scammers! Never give out sensitive information, and protect your elderly loved ones!

theoldwolf: (Default)
I was about to write a long rant about the number of political fundraising solicitations my 93-year-old mother receives on a daily basis from virtually hundreds of different organizations claiming to be dedicated to the cause of elderly quality of life.

Then I found this, which saves me a lot of typing. Much of what Mum is experiencing is found here.

Just today I cleaned out solicitations from

"Senior Citizen Association of America"
"National Association for Uniformed Services"
"The Seniors Center"

All wanted money for supposedly critical senior issues.



What is plain is that whatever their stated motivation, every single one of these companies is driving a money-making scheme at the expense of the elderly.

Old folks have very little income, as a general rule. What funds they have are the result of careful savings over a lifetime, or hard-earned pensions. They have much better things to spend their money on than political causes, and many who contribute - such as the gentlemen referred to in the linked article - contribute out of a sense of senescent confusion. This is simply wrong.

I find it sad that there is no way to stop this onslaught.

Hell is going to be a busy place.
theoldwolf: (Default)
Mom is 93. I now help her with her mail. And the deluge of junk that she gets absolutely takes my breath away.

She still gets all sorts of Sweepstakes Scam Letters, which go straight into the recycle bin.

She still gets all sorts of solicitations from psychics and occult spcialists claiming to be able to "attract money and luck, become a winner, remove jinxes and negative energy, protect from bad, improve health and spirit, become powerful and irresistable, and revive sexual energy." Only $19.99 per magic energy crystal. Holy hqiz, people, get a life. These also get turned into insulation.

What disturbs me the most is the daily pile of solicitations for money from people claiming to represent political causes. Today's haul:


  • A solicitation from the Democratic National Committee, including letters from Madeline Albright and Nancy Pelosi, asking for money to support Obama and his programs.
  • A solicitation from the Senior Citizens' League in the form of a survey and scare letter about medical privacy issues. Please send emergency donations to make sure promised medicare benefits are protected, and not rationed.
  • A "SkyPost" letter from Thomas Cromwell of the "Benefit Security Coalition", asking for donations between $15 and $1000 to lobby for passage of the Cola Fairness Act of 2009.
  • A very disingenuous solicitation from the Senior Citizens' League asking for contributions to correct the (nonexistent) "Notch Benefit" discrepancy. The letter implies that contributors are helping lawmakers obtain a $5,000 lump-sum settlement. Mom gets several of these each month, and she's not even in the mythical "notch".
  • A solicitation from "RetireSafe" asking for contributions to help lobby for passage of the Social Security Benefit Protection Act. Contributions to this "citizens' lobby" are not even tax deductible. By their own declaration, only 16% of funds they gather is used for lobbying efforts.


This is one day's mail. To one 93-year-old, mildly senescent lady, who would haul out her checkbook for anyone if there weren't an advocate at her side telling her to keep her limited income to herself.

Most of the contributions to these marginally legal organizations go to line the pockets of the organizers, or to pay for additional solicitation. They are yanking money out of the pockets of the most vulnerable and least affluent section of our society with half-truths, outright lies and intimidation tactics. How this kind of financial rape can be condoned or allowed is beyond me. The problem is big enough that one voice can do little, but this one voice can do something; and it will not be silent.

Protect your elderly loved ones. Monitor their mail if you can, and help them keep their resources where they will do the most good - in their own bank accounts.
theoldwolf: (Jedi Hand Wave)
Cross-posted to Wordpress 5-8-2015

Yesterday while feasting on steamed clams at Cap'n Cat's Urp! Excuse me!, I got my first phone call ever from my grandson. He was in trouble, oh so much trouble. Car accident. Thank Mogg, he wasn't hurt badly. And I knew what was coming next: would I be able to wire him $3,000 via Western Union to help him with expenses?

Well, I shut this drone down in a hurry - although I was surprised that he called back right after I had told him to shove his scam where the sun don't shine. He probably wanted to return the favor, but I didn't bother to answer.

How this scam works is beyond me. They call elderly people, and open the call with "Hello, Grandpa"? (or Grandma). They never identify themselves by name. If the person responds, "Is this (Tommy)"? they immediately say yes, and they have a name to work with. They're invariably in trouble. Sometimes overseas. Accident, arrested, what have you. Just need a loan to help them get fixed, bailed out, pay doctor bills, etc. Just wire the funds via Western Union.

This guy didn't sound Nigerian. He was definitely North American. How he got my cell number is beyond me, because I'm not listed anywhere. And I only have two grandchildren, both girls, aged 3 and 6.

To all within the sound of my voice: If anyone wants money via Western Union or bank transfer, hang up. If you think a relative may truly be in trouble, verify who you're talking to with some questions that only the relative in question could answer. Better yet, get a number where you can call them back and then verify the matter with another relative. If a kid's in jail, a night in the pokey never hurt anyone... it will give you time to check the facts first.
theoldwolf: (Default)
Back in 2003 I posted the Sweepstakes Fraud Factsheet, after my mother began receiving literally hundreds of such fraudulent solicitations. It makes interesting reading, in any event.

Despite all our best efforts, she continues to receive things of this nature on a regular basis. There are not enough obscenities in the English language - or German, or French, or Italian, for that matter, and that's saying something, because they have some really colorful ways of expressing themselves - to describe the heartless drones who prey on the elderly and befuddled in this manner.

Here is the list of what I had to confiscate and throw away only today.

Company Name Address City State Country or Zip
Aggregate Merchants 9030 W. Sahara Ave, #13 Las Vegas NV 89117
Friedrich Mueller PO Box 15027 Las Vegas NV 89114-5027
Kemper & Covington PMB 305, 10120 W. Flamingo Rd, Ste. 4 Las Vegas NV 89147
Lynnebrook & Associates PO Box 31478 Las Vegas NV 89173-1478
Serena CP 702 Vernier Switzerland CH-1214

 
My goodness. With the Swiss exception (and she's a clairvoyant), do we see any similarity in these addresses? I will allow you the privilege of drawing your own conclusions, whatever those might be.

Here's a sample of the latest hqiz that these filthbags are sending out (keep clicking the image until you get to full resolution):



On the back is a long disclaimer which, if read carefully, eliminates all confusion about what kind of solicitation this is, and places this piece of ejecta into the category of "barely legitimate scams." However, the sentence that really redlines my BS meter is this one:

"You are entitled to receive, upon return of Award Voucher, one of the following prizes: $9,800.00 (odds: 1 :995,999), $3,000.00 (odds: 1:995,999) $.79 (odds: 1:1) $1,250.00 (odds: 2:995,999) and $300.00 (odds: 5:995,999)."

Look closley. Buried within the other enticing prize amounts is the fact that your fee of $21.95, for the privilege of being ripped off, will net you a worthless report of sweepstakes you can enter, and a guaranteed check of 79 cents.

By the holy skull of Mogg's grandmother, this infuriates me. The eternal fires of Tophet are too merciful for the pieces of camel hqiz that run these operations. Give me half a chance and I'll tell you how I really feel.

If you have loved ones who are receiving this kind of bogus solicitation, please teach them not to respond to any of them - because they will be opening themselves up to a whole horde of depraved criminals who will hound them to their graves.

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