I get my love of freebies from my Dad. He won an Oldsmobile in 1938 by writing an essay comparing the Oldsmobile to a bunch of animals. From that day forward, he entered a lot of contests. He never won anything of real value again.
But he almost got scammed alot later in his life.
You know the deal, a very official looking letter comes: YOU MAY HAVE WON $200,000, return this letter by blah blah blah.
More than once, Dad drove over to our house with a letter in hand, just sure he had won. It took a lot of patience to explain that MAY, means MAY. Dad had plenty of money to keep him housed and fed and healthy, but he still loved the feel of winning. I’m sure he wished he could win so he could give it to us or his grandchildren.
It was so disheartening to see how crestfallen he was when I had to burst his bubble.
Here’s a poor guy in Florida that found out his dad, in later stages of dementia, wrote $74,000 in check to scammers.
It wasn’t until over a year later that Rob discovered what had been going on. He found his father had sent in hundreds of checks. All to cover “processing” and “registration” fees to claim the money promised in the very urgent-sounding documents he was receiving, by the dozens, every day.
It was then Rob learned his father was at the onset of dementia. He had been writing check after check, without thinking twice. In total, he was out more than $74,000.
Luckily, my dad let me handle his checkbook. I wrote the checks. I knew where his money was going. No snarky aside, no irreverence this time…
If you have a parent that may be gullible to this type of scam, do your very best to make sure they understand that the bad guys are good at lying and cheating. Unless your parent is equally as good at lying and cheating, those letters should get tossed unopened.