Today I saw something so sad I just had to blog about it.
I was running my usual errands which included shipping prizes from my contests out so I was at my local Post Office. There was this pitiful looking elderly gentleman there looking lost and confused.
Well, as you all know me... Always wanting to help and thinking I can save the world
(I can't) and help my fellow man, I asked him if he needed help with something as he was mumbling and seemed very distraught.
He took my offer of help.
He asked me what the envelope he held in his hands said.
I peered at his writing so shaky and small in the corner of the tattered and worn envelope. It said simply "$20" in a scraggly script.
What did that mean? This man looked like he hadn't eaten in days and seemed so frail and my heart just lurched for him. He had a stack of cash he was pulling out and envelopes all written with an amount in the corners of each. He was trying to decipher what amounts went in which envelopes.
My first reaction was "No! Don't send cash through the mail!"
Was he sending the last of his Social Security check to a family member?
Upon further inspection, I saw that these envelopes were not just envelopes of cash he was sending to a long lost relative or friend, but to those creepy scam places that say "Send me $20.00 and I will send you a $1,000,000.00.
I was mortified.
Here was a poor aged person with nothing giving these low lifes all he had to give and in return he was to only sit home and wait for all that imaginary cash to come rolling in.
We all know that will NEVER happen.
I felt the need to do something! Stop this!
A small crowd was gathering. He was getting so upset. He wanted to keep stuffing cash into envelopes. Everyone was telling me to make him understand.
I told him
"This is a scam.
You can't give your money to these people.
They are feeding off your hopes and your dreams.
You are not going to win anything or be sent anything.
His response... "I have to TRY. I need food. I am about to lose my house and they send me these letters everyday so it must be real.
I WILL win."
By now the Postmaster had come to investigate. He told me not to get involved.
Not get involved????
He said it happens everyday and it's legal! Senior citizens getting scammed by the bottom feeders in society.
By now the poor older man was about in tears trying to figure out HOW much to send each envelope of money to these scum-suckers.
He wouldn't listen. I decided I would scam the scammers.
He asked me how much for the next envelope? I told him.
I began pulling out five dollar bills and helping him stuff those into the envelopes that said $20 or $50. He was not going to be denied the chance to "win."
By the end of it he had sent out far less than his thieves were asking him to send them.
I took the rest of his cash and pressed it into his hand and made him promise me he would use it towards food for himself.
He said he would.
I hope he does.
I pray he does.
I think from now on... I may have to hang out in Post Offices all over the country to stop this from happening. The elderly are getting suckered while the thieves sit and watch the cash flow in.
How can we NOT get involved. Our elderly are the forgotten ones. They deserve better.
So Very Sad.