Scams are often targeted at vulnerable and lonely seniors.
Many legitimate (and some not-solegitimate) organizations hire firms to raise money for them. Here are some of their techniques.
- Repeated use of your name
- Only small amounts of money needed to activate your “winnings”
- Words such as “you’re well on your way, you have made a smart choice, we can help you, mark your calendar, the choice of prize is yours, only our best customers . . .”
- Tapping into superstitions
- Tapping into religious beliefs, such as miracle cures
- Legal-looking documents with red or gold seals
- Official-sounding departments or agencies
- Sending small gifts like wallet cards, key fobs, even a toque
- Suggesting a sense of urgency (You must act today or you will lose your chance!)
- Tugging at the heartstrings by using starving children or pets to stir emotion
- Photos of celebrities seen on TV (who are just waiting to meet you!)
- An official authentic-looking investment policy • Handwritten (seemingly) personalized notes
- Statements that give the illusion that the entire amount will go to a worthy cause