Take My Money

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

Scams are costing millions and most of the people initiating scams are never punished.

Here is one that I know many elderly people will panic and call to get money.  It's a postcard it seems reasonable but in actuality it is designed for one thing and one thing only.  To get a call.  No return address yet the bulk mail stamp is out of Medina, OH.

It has a clear warning on the address side of the postcard.  What is not included is the company name.  Want toTake my money know the hook, the reason people call and why this company can afford to send thousands of targeted postcards?

Here is what is says:

"This communication is to inform you that you may have an annuity that has reached the end of its surrender period."

The end of a surrender period is a positive event that means an owner may cash in an annuity or make withdrawals without incurring a surrender charge.  A surrender charge is a fee levied by an insurance company on an annuity contract for withdrawals before the end of the time set by the contract (surrender period).  Withdrawals may, however, still be subject to tax consequences.

Please contact our scheduling department to discuss your options.  877-For-Money

(I changed the toll free number to protect the innocent)

This postcard was sent to my wife's elderly parents.  We have them trained to ask us before responding to financial matters, services or suggested repairs.  They, like many elderly American's have investments.  Ask them if they have an annuity or a CD and they may say, "yes or I don't know, ask my daughter!"

The point is this type of postcard was directed at a specific targeted age group.  They off no information on their company only a toll free 877 number to call.  They are their to convert money from prospect pockets to their pockets.

We have so many laws because of people taking financial advantage of other people yet we may have to think about requiring a business name and return address on every piece of direct mail.  Most reputable businesses I know want their names included on anything they produce.  I would be ashamed to have my name on this postcard too!

8.3 million people in the United States are scammed each year, according to the Bureau of Justice.  Of course we know this is only the number that has reported being scammed.  Many more never know or don't report being scammed because they think nothing will be done.

In a depressed market with many living on a fixed income the greed of companies to take advantage of our elderly population is appalling.

What's the latest scam in your area?

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Michigan Kent County Grand Rapids
Groups:
Greater GRAND RAPIDS, MI Real Estate
Michigan Realtors
Realtors®
Tags:
report scams
taking financial advantage
financial scams
being scammed
scams

Comments 6 New Comment

Anonymous
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Rainmaker
623,369
June Piper-Brandon
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time
Century 21 New Millenium

Gary, if only these folks would focus their energies on good wouldn't the world be so much better for it?  There are so many scams out there - facebook scams, postcard scams, warranty renewal scams, one of my clients was the victim of identity theft - someone filed a fake tax return with the IRS, rental scams on craigslist, and the list goes on and on.  Smart people putting their brains to work for bad rather than good.  Everyone has to be on their guard. 

March 24, 2012 06:22 AM
Rainmaker
647,221
Barbara Hensley
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas
RE/MAX Properties

Gary - you are smart to train your parents to talk with you first when they receive something like this.  Amazing!  These people are smart....or at least clever!  Think how successful they could be if they applied themselves to making money the honest way without scamming people.  

March 24, 2012 06:22 AM
Rainmaker
510,445
Ed & Tracy Oliva
Arizona Agents
West USA Realty - Arizona

Gary     Sad but true, its always the Innocent that gets hurt, Gary good luck with your business in 2012.  E

March 24, 2012 06:37 AM
Rainer
107,256
Leslie G. Rojohn
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty
MoonDancer Realty

Yes, seemingly smart people who use their brain power to harm people.  Sounds like a lot of big corporations. 

March 24, 2012 06:51 AM
Rainmaker
477,337
Kevin J. May

Here's where I see the inefficiencies of government agencies Gary.  The USPS can't track them.  The FBI or Police departments are tied up through liability, jurisdiction and agendas.  Cases like this need to be channeled through the state child support services division.  In less than a week they'll find who, what, when, where and how, even if the dmages amount to less than $50, Worldwide!  I heard that this type of scamming costs elderly consumers somewhere around $70 Billion dollars a year.  That is sad.     

March 24, 2012 08:16 AM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
1,072,243

Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375

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Additional Information

Grand Rapids Real Estate & West Michigan real estate markets, trends and issues discussed. Technical and personal thoughts pertaining to buying and selling real estate. How-to information, view 1000's of active listings. Go to our website for over 30 Free Reports that could save you thousands. For immediate service... Call: 616-784-2360 or Email: GaryWhite@FlexitRealty.com Flexit Realty® offers "Flexible Real Estate Home Selling Options"