There’s a whole swath of companies that sell “health products” and quasi-political organizations that spend a lot of money making more money by targeting older adults in the USA.
I know this because my 87-year-old father-in-law gets approximately a pound of mail from these groups every day.
With few exceptions, his junk mail has these characteristics:
- Most of the text is all caps.
- The graphic design is poor or nonexistent.
- The copywriting is done by someone who hasn’t quite finished high school.
- The political organizations strongly emphasize the urgency of their cause – over and over and over within each piece.
- The political organizations fan the flames on any fear that may be lurking in the back of the recipients’ minds.
- The political organizations ask for money.
- The health products are not scientifically proven.
- The health products are not approved by the FDA.
- Most of the health products promise to reverse the effects of aging.
The worst part of this is that many older adults living on their own do not have the discrimination to identify a scam. So they give – or buy.
The best tip I can provide to combat this scourge is that when there’s a post-paid envelope in their mailing, return the part of the mailing with the addressee’s info on it in the post-paid envelope with this message: “TAKE ME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST.” That way, they will pay double to not get any business. (And they only understand text that’s in all caps.)