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March 02, 2008

Scamming Disadvantaged Seniors-Even in Parade Magazine!

I received a call this morning from a friend who was concerned about his dad. His dad happens to be in his late seventies and is on medication for memory loss. He called his son this morning (Sunday morning) and told him about free Amish electric heaters advertised in the Parade magazine insert that comes in the Sunday morning paper. "Free", I said to my friend? "Yes free Mark", my friend said.

When I heard that four letter word free, my antenna went on high alert. I told my friend I would do some research and call him back. I pulled the Parade out of my Sunday paper and began to thumb through it. I flipped though several pages and there it was In bold print, "Amish man's new miracle idea helps home heat bills hit rock bottom". I proceeded to read the slick two page add. It was littered with words and phrases that were very compelling such as free, giving away, miracle, everyone is getting one, so real it fools everybody, giving heaters away. You get the picture!

Speaking of the picture, you can't miss the 6" x 6" picture of an Amish man in a straw hat shaking the hand of a Heat Surge official. What a job title that is! And talk about a contradiction, the add goes on to state, "And here's the best part. Readers who beat the 48-hour order deadline are getting their imported hi-tech miracle heaters free when encased in the real Amish built solid wood fireplace mantles". For some reason, I had great difficulty reconciling that the Amish man's miracle idea was an imported hi-tech heater!

To make a long story short, as you proceed through the second page of the the add it tells you with written words that you are paying two hundred and ninety eight dollars for the solid wood mantle! OH-but the heater is free! I relayed all of my incite to my friend to compare notes. Unfortunately, his dad had already made the call for two free heaters that went on his Discover Card for $700.00! Of course, they were quick to take his credit card number, but were not there to rescind the order.

The add may have been legal, but it was clearly aimed at taking advantage of unsuspecting  or disdvantaged seniors who were thinking they were getting something for free.  Which in my opinion, is a scam.


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I saw that same ad! I knew something was fishy, but I couldn't believe the Amish would try and pull the wool over our eyes.

Live and learn.

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