Monday, November 29, 2021

Don’t Fall for the Rip-Off, No Matter How Authentic It Appears

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond

Photos by Jory Westberry | Ironically, this marketing packet arrived in the mail recently, and the name of the company caught my eye along with the logo, the phone numbers are different, and the locations of the companies are in two different states. Hmm…

Starting in September of 2012, I started receiving “official” Premium Reminder Notices from Protective Life Insurance. The first one stopped me in my tracks. With no recollection of ever having signed up for this life insurance policy, I was nonetheless impressed at the professional layout of the letter, along with the printed and addressed return envelope that accompanied the Premium Notice. 

The notice read, “This Premium Reminder is being sent to you at your request. Please submit your Premium Payment as soon as possible. You may call for assistance or change of address.” 

Here was the shocker, however. The premium payment was an outrageous $3618.48. Wouldn’t that make you question the Premium Reminder Notice especially at that price? On the other hand, it looked “official,” including a section to complete, cut off and return with my payment. On the Premium Notice and the tear-off receipt, there were policy numbers listed, which looked official. The due date for payment was 9/11/12. 

So, I did nothing. I waited and assumed that there would be another reminder of my “late” premium payment, IF in fact I had signed up for this insurance, but there was no further correspondence. I started a folder called “Potential Scam” and filed the first Premium Reminder Notice from 2012 and waited. Nothing happened. 

In 2013, another “official” Premium Reminder notice arrived with the identical formatsame policy number, same amount for the insurance payment and the same due date, except it was 9/11/13. When I compared this letter to the 2012 letter in my Scam folder, it was identical. They both had a Preparation Date on them of 8/24/12 and 8/24/13 respectfully. 

Fast forward to 2014, the same exact Premium Reminder Notice arrived at the same time of year. And furthermore, I received identical notices to pay my “so-called” premium in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020and I never paid anything into that premium in any year, but the notices keep coming and they’re all in the Scam file. Does that tell you something? 

I have no idea where these “premiums” originated and why I was the recipient, except that now I must be part of the older, more susceptible population. We have to look out for each other! If an official-looking premium notice is sent to elders that aren’t in tune with their finances or used to paying their bills without questioning them, they could be caught in a scam like this one. When they receive the first, second, third and seventh Premium Reminder Notice year after year, it tends to look legit and familiar. Obviously, this scam is effective, or they wouldn’t keep sending the letters. It disgusts me that there are those who are determined to abuse the elderly, which is the main reason I’m writing about this experience. 

My mother was taken in by more than one scam and spent countless hours reading cards from people who called her by name and sent photos of their “fake” children and family, and she dutifully sent them money. More on that topic in another article. Check the photos of this scam, read your mail carefully and don’t fall for the Rip-Off.


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