22 05 2016

Kate’s fast talking, plus being nearly breathless from excitement made it difficult to Rock _nunderstand her over the phone. “I’ve won, I’ve won millions, enough to take care of everyone for the rest of our lives!” Something that came in the mail convinced her that she won a large sum of money and now was calling everyone she knew to celebrate also. “That’s wonderful,” I answered happy as I could for her. When the call ended Cathy and I looked at each other and sighed. The times we had received a call from Kate declaring her new fortune were many. She constantly entered contests that promised great wealth to the winners.  But Kate confused easily, and each time she received a letter from a sponsor of some game she took it to mean she had won, only to realize later she had misinterpreted, and no riches would be coming her way.

Kate’s motives for entering contests weren’t so much greed; earning a small income over her life, of course she hoped to hit it big, but she also wanted to share any winnings with her family that she loved dearly. But out of their love they saw this pattern as a problem and tried hard to convince her that she needed to stop entering sweepstakes and that they loved her without riches. Finally it appeared their efforts paid off and Kate declared she was finished with lotteries and prize programs. Or so she said. When Kate retired she talked about doing some traveling and maybe some volunteer work. Unfortunately, she did little with either plan and mostly sat in her apartment watching TV and little else, at least so everyone thought.

One afternoon a phone rang with the voice on the other end asking, “Hello, are you related to Kate? Well she’s down here with a piece of paper believing it’s a big check and demanding we cash it. Can you come down to help convince her we’re not lying to her?” The task was a big one, but her family got her loaded up in the car and headed for home. Examining what Kate was trying to cash, it did indeed look like a check; but further inspection showed it was nothing but a solicitation for money with a promise that millions would be in her future. There were other letters with the same message; “You’ve won the big cash, just send from $10 to $100 for processing and then the check will be in the mail!” Searching the apartment they found more bogus promissory letters, stacks of them stuffed in drawers and boxes. “Kate have you been sending these people money?” they asked.  She was reluctant to answer for some time, but finally turned over her bank account so they could see for themselves. The amount of withdrawals were countless, literally thousands of dollars had been taken out, all sent to these human jackals. One company even had permission to take money automatically each month. The family worked at trying to get some of her money returned, to no avail. All the different sweepstakes companies had over sea’s addresses which meant nothing legally could be done; a large portion of Kate’s retirement fund was now gone.

It’s easy to look at Kate and wonder how someone could be so foolish. But actually it happens often; con games run on the elderly run rampant here in the good old U.S. of A. She had been charmed into believing fortune waited just ahead of the next so called processing fee, so sad that her and many more learn this lesson the hard way with some left penniless. But what do we say about the perpetrators who steal from these folks? Sure we’ve all heard “Caveat Emptor,” Let the buyer beware, but I’ve wondered about these faceless people who create scams that prey on the senior citizens. What are they like? Do they have a family of their own, their own aged to care for? Is it easier to live with your deceit when you can’t see the people you’ve hurt? I agree with Billy Graham when he says this; “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

In Proverbs we read; “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”  One’s who think their wrongs will never catch up with them are sadly mistaken, my hope and prayer is one day conviction will overtake them and they will seek Grace and Mercy, before it’s too late.

As for ones like Kate who “Travel the Rock Road,” well I pray families will do all they can to protect their beloved elderly from the wolves. I know Kate’s family wished they had done something sooner, still it didn’t deter the feelings they had for this old gal. She may have found herself in financial ruin, but she never lost sight of the riches she had through the love of her family and her Lord. I know this to be true for you see Kate was the nickname of my mom.

See ya next time.




One response

23 05 2016
Beverly Crane

Omg! I did not see that ending coming. So sad the way some of these companies prey on the elderly like that. So sorry it was your mother John. Now I will confess I am still waiting for PCH to come knocking on my door. I know when my parents were alive they waited and waited as well! Have a very blessed week.

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