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:
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Michigan Kent County Grand Rapids
Groups:
Greater GRAND RAPIDS, MI Real Estate
Michigan Realtors
Realtors®
Tags:
report scams
taking financial advantage
financial scams
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Emily Medvec
Keller Williams Santa Fe - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor, Santa Fe NM |CNE CRS RSPS | 505-660-4541

Suggested! Why? A scam is a scam is a scam. Gary is right on target with the details of how this postcard operation works. Pass it forward. The best way to stop a scam is to help others recognize one. Thanks Gary!

Mar 24, 2012 06:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
672,322
June Piper-Brandon
Century 21 New Millenium - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

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. 

Mar 24, 2012 06:22 AM #2
Rainmaker
647,287
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

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.  

Mar 24, 2012 06:22 AM #3
Rainmaker
532,637
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
Arizona Agents

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

Mar 24, 2012 06:37 AM #4
Rainer
107,456
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

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

Mar 24, 2012 06:51 AM #5
Rainmaker
517,429
Kevin J. May
Hobe Sound, FL

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.     

Mar 24, 2012 08:16 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375

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