Sunday, July 25, 2010

Something So Sad

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.


  1. Thats a terrible story. Someone has to inform him those are scams and he shouldn't be sending them money. It may be time that state got involved with the poor guy. I am guessing if he has any family they aren't taking care of him and someone has to.

  2. This is horrible and so upsetting. It should not be legal. I feel like the post office should have signs or verbally warn people about those scams.

    The worst part is that the man knew that it was possibly a scam, but felt that it was his only option. :(

    I am glad you were there to help him, Lana. You're a great person. Bless your heart.

  3. That is such a sad story! I'm glad to hear you were there to help him. Scams like that should be made illegal!

  4. Also, should the postmaster not say something like, don't put cash in the mail? :( Or something to discourage such actions.

  5. The Postmaster just blew it off as commonplace. It's heartbreaking to think this happens Every Day! I had no idea it happens at all!
    I asked my 94 year old Mother In Law if she ever does that and she said she does! I was shocked!

  6. my heart is breaking too.. such a shame.. but here in germany we got the same problem.. my grandfather died in february.. he was a 90 year old architect who received those letters every day!
    but he was very clever and put them into the garbage.. - i hope all of them!
    and of course we took care of him ;)
    such a sad story..
    Lana, i wish you could change the world into something good!!!!
    and i would help you if i could ..

  7. Lana, I just love you for trying to help. Even if you couldn't completely shelter him from such an unsavory situation, I appreciate you sharing this story and creating awareness amongst your readers. You're my hero! I wish that more of us could be like you and at least try to help others.

  8. This makes me so sad that the postmaster said "Don't get involved" What has happened to our society that we just "don't get involved" when someone needs help? I'm so glad you helped this one man, but Oh it breaks my heart to think of all the other people who are getting scammed every day.

  9. This is absolutely disgusting. I wasn’t aware of scams like this running through the mail and find it absolutely ridiculous that it’s legal. And even if that postmaster didn’t want to help, it was absolutely not his place to tell you not to get involved either. What a shame… It was lovely for you to step in and try to protect that man. More people need to learn to take care of each other like that – especially when it costs nothing to help. Kudos to you, Lana, for setting an example for us all.

  10. When I worked at a credit union we had the same problem. Elderly people would get letters with a huge check in the mail. The letter would say, deposit this $10,000 check and and send us $2,000 back and keep the rest. Well obviously the check would be fake so it would bounce in there account and then sending the thousands back would overdraw them. It was pitiful. We began telling them they couldn't deposit them and they would get FURIOUS. We would try to explain it to them but living on a small social security check of course thousands of dollars sounds amazing. We had to make strict rules about it b/c they were getting ripped off left and right. It was for their own good even though they would get upset. Its disgusting that ppl can do that though :(

  11. This is so sad ! That postal worker should have been shot ! The nerve of him telling you it's legal and it's not legal, and to not get involved ? What a Jerk ! Makes me wonder if he was one of the scammers !

    I hope the older gentleman went to a restaurant to eat. Poor guy, I feel bad for him loosing his home to these scammers.

  12. Thank you Lana for helping him. It's so sad that we as human beings are capable of such terrible things. =(

    I have heard about these scams a lot and it breaks my heart that we can't stop such thievery. I hope that man is all right and finds a way to save himself and his house.

  13. This is so sad Lana..Well done for doing this, these days nobody prayers for this poor man..what a blessed person you are...

  14. You did a kind and wonderful thing. Regardless of what that man does, know that you did all that you could. I hope that those scammers are taken down!!!! I will keep him -- and you -- in my thoughts and prayers!


  15. That is disgusting..scamming the elderly. Not freaking cool.

    I met a girl today at my work (I'm a cashier at a retail store part time while I'm in school) and an elderly lady was buying Dove chocolates (the ones in the bags because they were on sale) and I helped her use all her coupons at the same time (though it's confusing at times) and she got the chocolates for a good price.

    Turns out, she was buying them for her grandchildren. Then she told me she is surviving on $8,000 a year. That was the most heart breaking thing.

  16. I am so glad you were there Lana...I would have done the same...and I would have given that postal worker a good talking too...travesty...god love you Lana *hug* sandy

  17. Oh Lana! That made me cry :( I am like you, always trying to save the world eventhough we cant, and that simply upsets me. That is so disheartening, I cannot believe things like this happen to the elderly in this country! I am so glad you helped that poor man!

  18. Lana "Well done you", there was a women in the UK, who ended up dead due to these kind of scams, as she was sending money, and not looking after herself. Hopefully this gentlemen will remember your words next time and think twice about sending anything. U sooooooooo did the right thing.

    AKA FABeauty

  19. Bless you Lana! The older I grow, the more I think it's these kind of right actions, in helping others, that really matters in the end!

    How disappointing that the Postmaster just didn't care and treated you as if you were doing something wrong!

    It would be a wonderful thing if a bill were drafted and passed in Congress to put an end to these scams that take advantage of the most vulnerable people. I would think there could be bipartisan agreement on such a thing.

  20. That is just sickening. Preying upon the elderly like that. They are so trusting and have no idea about these things. In their day, they didn't have all these schemes. I'm so glad you helped him but I really wish he had a family member that knew what was going on. Poor old soul is probably all alone. Doesn't this just tick you off that people can get away with these things?

  21. I know a woman who told me recently that she was pretty sure she was about to win a million dollars and I thought she was joking. She wasnt. She even said, "I'm going to give you some because you've been so good to me," and I was so sad tohave to explain to her that she was being scammed. She has been getting these publishers clearing house offers and has spent hundreds of dollars only recently (the last 7-9 months) in an effort to keep in the running. I explained to her that if a company can get your ear, they can get your money. That's what I've heard all my life. This woman I was talkng about is still stunned that she isnt "in the running" even though I explained to her about the thousands of people who get the same "hooks" she has been getting. It's so sad. My first thought though Lana, was that the postman could easily keep the old guys cash. Dont know if I'm overly suspicious or not but honestly who would know. So so sad.

  22. @mrsjustheretolearn:
    What a sad tale. How desperate must our elderly be to be hooked in so easily by these scammers. How do people sleep at night? It's awful. And, these are just the stories we KNOW about. how many more are out there doing without to win that "BIG PRIZE"

  23. Disgusting!! I can't even wrap my head around this whole thing. People can be so cruel. When someone told me about this, I was heartbroken. The world needs more great and kind hearted people like yourself, Lana!!

  24. When I lived w/ my beloved Dad at the end of his life, when he was all eaten alive by Alzheimer's, he had already lost several thousand to phone scammers, so I had to take to walking around the house with the cordless phones in my pocket. One day, when the callers were really heavy, I gave a warning to the nurse who came in to relieve me for four hours - she had to wrestle it away from him, and he got mad and hit her, but she was like, "You ain't losing my salary and your food, to these idiots!" He thought they were his friends. His mind was GONE. Ah, Lana, you did good, but its so, so hard when they get like this. The only person he thought was stealing from him, was me, his only child, and when he was able to maintain himself for so long, he convinced people that I was the bad guy, so when I did take care of him, I had to save every receipt, because people were literally threatening to take me to court for elder abuse. Jeannee, one of your YouTube subbies


  25. Jeannee~
    What a heartbreaking story of your Dear Dad. Just broke my heart. It was gut wrenching enough to see a perfect stranger get scammed but a loved one? Horrible.
    His mind may have been gone but his heart loved you and trusted you.
    Hugs and Blessings~

  26. This is sad that people would do something like that to someone who has nothing. I think that what you did was great Lana!

  27. OMG you're the sweetest thing! <3

  28. Oh my gosh!! ahhh! How can people just watch them get scammed! I mean, I know it's their job to not interfere, but how can you just sit back and let them get hurt!

  29. I would of tried to stop him... that's such a sad story and damn those people who like to scam! Don't they have anything better to do!? One day, karma will hit them back in the face.. and how is it legal!?


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