Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grandparent scam!

Recently, well maybe about two years ago I met a couple who got ripped off by this scam. Sorry that this post is so negative today but the gravity of it is so scary it is worth the space to hopefully help someone who may ever encounter this one.
These people were always the sweetest couple coming into the bank. They retired and truly enjoyed their time by flying around the country visiting their children and grandchildren. They were patient, loved people, and proud of their offspring. Five of their grandchildren were in college and doing very well. They made very little income for the time being, students usually are. This is the grandparents story:
Late one night the phone rang, a young man was on the other end, sobbing. In the background was a bunch of traffic noise and it sounded like it was raining. He said "this is your grandson John. I'm on my way back to school and I was in an accident. Mom and Dad aren't home and I need help." You could only imagine the fright this put into their minds! He said he was fine, but his car was totaled and needed to get back to school about 100 miles away. He said he was told by a cop on the scene there was a Western Union Office just down the road and the cop would bring him there. He said about $2000 would help a lot till mom and dad got home.
You guessed it, the money is gone, grandson never called and they didn't call their son first. These are intelligent people who ran a lucrative construction company until their son took it over 10 years ago. They were ashamed they were fooled. However I reassured them they weren't the only ones taken by this scam which only made them cry! They teared up, fighting back tears they said they felt really bad for all those taken advantage of!
That's the way these people are! They live very comfortably in a very nice home in a wealthy neighborhood. They have a house keeper and a handy man that comes to their home. They have a summer getaway and a winter retreat home. They travel twice a year abroad.
I asked them if it would make them feel better if I try to get the word out to the world about their story leaving all personal details out. Of course they emphatically said yes. So now that I don't work for that or any other financial institution here it is for your consideration.
 Next time I'll tell you about the scam involving my own mother. She of course had me as her guidance and I stopped it from creating a nightmare for her.
See you next time and stay safe!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Retirement Dreams are slowly coming into focus

Retirement and all it has to offer is really starting to come into clear focus
My three sons; I didn’t do it, I don’t know and Not me are out of the house. When they lived here several phenomena of the non-paranormal  kind frequently happened:
All 5 rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom ran out all at once, but only totally ran out on me!?
The paper towel dispenser only housed the empty cardboard tube holder.
The new gallon of window cleaner was used by someone in a week. All the windows were still dirty!
Spots, splashes, furniture moved, dust, dirt, oil spots in the driveway and cars disappearing for seemingly no reason, happened all the time. And no one in this house did it!
Anything in any drawer magically finds its way to another drawer, sometimes even to a cupboard.
Today my only problems that remain are;
The electrical cord for the vacuum is never long enough!
Stuff still finds its way to the wrong place.
The dogs need to go out more often.
The answering machine fills up really fast.
Power outages actually affect ALL the clocks in my house.
I miss Not Me, I Didn’t and I don’t know.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Insurance, home, auto and recreational vehicles

I have just been reminded I should talk about insurance and what to look out for! This was also reinforced by the latest offer of providing me with a lower rate. After years in the financial field that offered everything, I've learned all that I know from the financiers point of view. For these reasons offering me a 3% lower rate than the insurance company I have doesn't make me jump ship!
Use the Better Business Bureau site as a tool to make your final decision.
While an insurance company may have excellent customer service scores, you have to take into account ambient knowledge to make sure you choose the right one.
Is it worth the 3% decrease to find out later you have been dropped for having too many claims? No one can stop nasty storm damage. But it has been known to happen. I know that both St Farm and Travelers have nasty business practices. Sure they can promise lower costs but it's how they can afford to do that that counts.

State Farm has been known to haunt people for money due to incomplete police reporting at an accident site and for poor investigation techniques landing them in trouble with Attorney General's consumers offices across the country.
I am tired of virtually every type of business luring in people with discount plans knowing the rates will be going up in three months.
What about all your insurance policies on what you own? Combine them and get a discount, that's what they all do anyway. And the safe driver check? Most insurance companies give you a safe driver discount, if you want that in the form of a check it will cost you a service fee.
These tips are brought to you by someone who's witnessed these and many other poor service techniques from the inside! Be wary, be safe!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Empty bank accounts

Three people around our neighborhood are out of work that I know of. Retirement is a dream from their past that will be hard to fulfill. Count me in the mix and that makes four. Two have very young children at home. The other was trying to set up her retirement before she lost her job last October. She is a single woman who's son is raised. But she is the sole provider of all her income. I guess we are the luckiest among the unemployed. Our children are raised and vacation property has been paid for. Our biggest problem is when and if we will be retired. The little old lady next door cannot afford to replace her windows, pay someone to shovel her walkways and since the television switchover she can't watch TV anymore. Times are just too tough to be excited about retiring. We're going to need part time jobs to survive.