Seniors, Beware Of Mailings Offering Benefits Information

By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor

SeniorMailingsNoAddressWebAnyone over 50 is probably used to getting mail advertising “free” dinners or other inducements to come hear a sales pitch for investment products, time shares or other services.

Less obvious are a rash of mailings that St. Louis area residents received lately, offering information on government benefits such as Medicare or Social Security. The mailings asked recipients to provide names, birthdates and phone numbers and return a postage-paid card.

One mailing didn’t identify the sender at all. Another listed an insurance agent as the sender, but in very small print near the bottom of the postcard.

Better Business Bureau has seen similar mailings before, and nearly all are sent by salespeople who want to sell products such as insurance to the recipients in their homes. BBB believes the mailers have the capacity to mislead and advises consumers against returning the cards.

Information about government benefits is readily available on the Internet or by phone. Seniors without computers may be able to get help accessing Medicare or Social Security online at local libraries.

BBB press release has tips for consumers who receive unsolicited mailings offering free publications, information or gifts.

For more BBB news, go to our website or follow BBB on Facebook or Twitter.

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