Elderly Citizens Donation Targets?

By: Patrick Claybon Email
By: Patrick Claybon Email

One man tells News 4 how his mother has received hundreds of donation requests in under a year.

Jim McGee has collected every request sent to his mother while she battles with ovarian cancer.

"It's a hard thing for a child for check on their parents financing," said McGee. But, check he did, and he discovered his mothers account had become overdrawn due to excessive donations.

"I think when people get into their older years, giving becomes a little more important," McGee said.

National non-profits know this as well, sending out letter after letter to Mrs. McGee, one group sending 17 requests in 11 months.

Leslie Turner of Wesley Manor says elderly people nearing dementia could easily fall behind on money due to repeated donations.

"We've had family members come in and that was a problem; they're noticing that mom or dad isn't able to keep their account going like they should."

Some Tips From Website Obviously.com

General Techniques
Your name, address, and buying habits are a commodity that is regularly sold & traded on the open market. These days’, organizations you deal with virtually all sell your name unless you specifically ask them to stop.

Here are some general techniques:

1. Whenever you donate money, order a product or service, or fill out a warranty card, write in large letters, "Please do not sell my name or address". Most organizations will properly mark your name in the computer.

2. Product warranty cards are often used to collection information on your habits and income, for the sole purpose of targeting direct mail. They are not required in most situations - avoid sending them. On the telephone, ask "Please mark my account so that my name is not traded or sold to other companies".

3. Your credit card company probably sells your name the most often. Call them and ask them to stop. "Contests" where you fill in a little entry blank are almost always fishing expeditions for names. If you fill one out at a football game, for example, expect to get a catalog of football merchandise within a few months. Avoid these if you don't want the mail.

4. Select a false middle name or initial for each charity or business you deal with. Keep track of which letter goes with which organization. You can also select a false road designator, "avenue, place, circle, street, highway, parkway, etc.". This step can be very revealing. Some guides recommend changing the spelling of your name, but this can lead to duplicate mailings.

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