OUT OF BOUNDS By Geary Leason

Boy with money

Protect Yourself! Join Today!

Senior citizens seem to be easy marks for scammers and swindlers. We are constantly being warned about home repair con men, charging Taj Mahal prices for outhouse work. We spend billions on blue or purple ointments to cure our arthritis, ingrown toenails, and falling hair. We believe the ad that tells us we can have “Health Happiness thru Daily Cleansing.” We willingly part with our money to “Gain Financial Independence by Working at Home.” All you have to do is stuff two million envelopes every day for the next twenty years and you might get your “investment kit” money back.

The question that needs an answer is WHAT WERE WE THINKING when we fell for all these outright flimflams? Why are senior citizens so vulnerable to the con artists, the Ponzis that come out of the woodwork and then trundle off with suitcases filled with our money we so eagerly gave them?

Is it that we have dislodged one too many of our marbles as we have added wrinkles to our exterior? Are there wrinkles inside also especially near the cortex so that we have diminished intellectual capacity? Does this explain our gullibility? Do we really believe the guy with the pitch that shouts THAT THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE and then we hand him our retirement nestegg to get that 20% guaranteed return after only six months?

Is it that our desire that we have enough money around after retirement that we finally take our foot off of first base after a lifetime of playing it safe? Do we take chances we otherwise would not take to recapture the money we foolishly sent down some rathole that our cousin in Peoria “let” us in on?

Yes, sometimes it is even one of our very own who is part of a nefarious deception to relieve us elderly ones of some of our money. And even more disheartening is to discover that the relative you would least suspect is a key player in the duplicity. I am speaking of our grandchildren, those lovable darlings that occupy roomy spaces in our hearts.

You ask what is it that these innocent sweet kids drag us into which is so blatantly bogus, so completely corrupt? The answer, dearly kindly grandparents, is THE SCHOOL FUNDRAISER! To raise money for some school-related project, our darlings present us with the opportunity to buy a $3 dollar candle for $20; to trade our $18 for a 50-cent bag of stale popcorn; we go home with $50 worth of Cookie dough that cost Pillsbury 99 cents; we sign a check for $25 for wrapping paper that Dollar General sells for two bucks; and the killer of all – we buy magazines such as NEEDLE POINT JOURNAL or INDOOR PISTOL SHOOTING DIGEST for $40 per year that won’t even make it to the bathroom reading rack.

Then you find out that your precious grandchildren are gathering this money at the behest of the Beaver Brook Junior High who need the money to buy three new tubas for the BITING CHOMPERS MARCHING BAND – and your grandchildren can’t even play the comb.

Of the money raised only 36% trickles down to the school, with the rest of the moola going to the hired Fund Raiser. But the coup de grace is to learn that the real reason your ever-loving grandchildren are in on this scheme is to “earn” points for prizes. For just five bags of popcorn sold a kid can “win” two Glow-in-the Dark shoelaces! But the thing that really sets the kids ablaze to get out there and “sell” enough junk – IS so that they can go home with an iPAD!

I am urging all senior citizens – and especially grandparents, to join the GRANDPARENT GUARANTEED LEAGUE. This nonprofit organization works to alert their members of grandchildren (yours or someone else’s) generated frauds and ripoffs heading their way. GGL will also instruct you on “How to Just Say No!” To join, simply send $35 to GGL, P.O. Box 555, Fairfield Bay, AR 72088. Senior, you can’t lose on this deal.

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