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Solicitors target the elderly page 2
Nonprofit groups prey on the elderly

Date published: 12/28/2012


Old people have always been vulnerable. After my mother died, we discovered that she had been sending money to some TV preacher for years.

Three decades ago, an older man who lived a few miles down the road left his house to a TV preacher out in the Midwest. I suppose he felt he was buying his way into heaven.

His brother and sister-in-law, who had moved in and cared for him for five or six years, faced getting put out in the street--until they challenged the will and won.

I knew that some nonprofit groups begged older people for money, but I had no idea how prevalent this practice was until my mother-in-law moved into my house.

Maybe some of these charities are worthwhile, but I have my doubts about many of them.

Funny thing: They never send me dollar bills to try to entice me into sending them a big check. But if I ever get old, I bet they will.

If you have older relatives whose minds are beginning to go, you might want to keep an eye on what they're sending to solicitors. It could be more than you ever imagined.

And don't think the begging will end when the older person moves. The solicitors will follow an easy mark to his grave--as the TV preacher did with the fellow down the road.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com

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