A buddy of mine in the UK linked to this cartoon, which despite being humorous also points out a very real danger for the elderly:
(Click the image to see the full-size cartoon)
My own mother, go ndéanai Día trocaire uirthi (Irish for “may God have mercy on her”), was victimized unmercifully by fraudsters, and lost substantial amounts of money to these miserable wastes of human cytoplasm. As a result, I was moved to put together the Sweepstakes Fraud Factsheet, as this was the kind of operation that caused her the biggest problems.
Be aware that these solicitations, while causing minimal financial loss themselves, are typically bait for larger operations. Once a victim has responded, they’ve not only lost $19.95, or however much they send for one of these worthless reports, but they are now on an ever-more-widely-circulated “pigeon list,” and can expect floods of additional solicitations and personal calls from advance-fee criminals.
This is only one of innumerable ways that the scum-suckers of the earth target the elderly; disreputable telemarketers will sell anything to anyone who is willing to give out a credit card number, and many of these spurious sales also result in recurring charges to bank accounts and credit cards.
Moral: Be careful yourselves, and if you have elderly loved ones, especially ones who are becoming senescent, do all you can to take charge of their finances or appoint guardians with power of attorney before the douchebags get their foot in the door. The FTC has a raft of additional information which lists the most common scams and how to protect yourself and your families.
The Old Wolf has spoken.