Scammers know that retired individuals often have money. Under the right circumstances, some seniors can be easily persuaded to part with it. One effective method is by targeting mature adults with charity requests. Even though the request might seem like a good cause, there are many “organizations” that are simply looking for donations without using the money for the promised cause.
Solicitations in the Mail and Over the Phone
Phone calls are a common form of charity solicitation. But charity requests also often come in the mail. If you sort through your parent’s mail, you might find 10 – 20 or more pieces of mail each week asking for money.
The mature adult opens the mail and finds pictures of children or people with disabilities asking for support. It’s natural for them to want to help. Often, people at this age are looking for a way to leave a legacy and make a difference. Thieves tap into this desire and take advantage.
How to Stop the Requests
What can you do to stop these requests? You might consider adding your parents’ phone number to a Do Not Call registry to reduce telemarketing calls. Also, sort through their mail to identify potential scams. Keep in mind that an older individual might get excited about receiving things in the mailbox, so it can be disappointing to stop their mail. You may talk to family members and friends to ask them to send letters regularly.
Register your parents with the Direct Marketing Association, which will take their names off the national mailing list. However, there are many professional organizations and charities that are not required to participate in this opt-out program. You should continue watching their mail and call each organization to request removal from their lists.
If you discover that donation requests are coming from an organization that isn’t legitimate, you can report the information to your state attorney general’s office.
One of the best lines of defense is communication. Communicate with your family members often. Ask them if they have ever been contacted by solicitors, charities, or any other unknown person asking for a payment or donation. Sometimes the victim has no idea that they are truly a victim and may view the caller as a friendly person trying to “do good”.
For more information, email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or phone 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.