Be wary of scams targeting seniors

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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If you are on Medicare, chances are good that you will soon be receiving a very official-looking piece of mail that could be mistaken for an announcement from the Social Security Administration. The heading says "NEW 2013 Social Security Changes and Benefits." At the bottom, it does say, in very small print, "Personal Business Matter."

Inside, surprisingly, is an announcement of a "Senior Final Expense Life Insurance Program" which helps pay for a person's funeral. It says that if you fill out the card and mail it back, you will receive a "FREE Walmart Gift Card" (amount not stated). If Walmart is, indeed, involved with this program, you can be sure that it is somehow legal, as they would have enough lawyers to vet any program.

But the mailing is shamefully — and purposefully — misleading. It has nothing to do with NEW 2013 Social Security Changes and Benefits. It is just a ploy to seniors to get them to open the mailing. If you send in the coupon and receive a Walmart card, I'd love to know "the rest of the story." Otherwise, this is just one more example of a scam that has seniors in its sights.


Janet Haisman

Oak Park

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