People have been conned, scammed, bamboozled and hustled as long as there have been confidence men, flimflam artists and snake oil salesmen. It is nothing new but it when it happens to you, it can be both costly and embarrassing.
A recent example was shared with me by my local resident scam reporter – Helen Lynch. She received another dubious telephone sales pitch (she is on somebody’s list!) this time offering her a chance to purchase a Medical card that would pay all her medical expenses – but only if she gave them her bank account information. She didn’t take the bait because she knew never to give her bank information (or her social security number) to anyone over the phone. And if it is too good to be true, it usually isn’t. (But if you ever do agree to a telemarketer’s sales pitch, it is generally not binding until you sign a written contract.)
If you want to avoid telemarketing calls, you can sign up with the Do Not Call Registry by calling toll free 1-888-382-1222 or registering online at www.donotcall.gov. Registration is free and works for both landline and cell phone numbers. There are some exceptions and some companies do not always follow the law, but if you receive telemarketing calls 31 days after registering with the National Do Not Call Registry, you can report a violation by calling the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.
Another common complaint is aggressive door-to-door salesmen particularly selling products such as security systems, magazine subscriptions, and home repair. They are pressured to sell you a product – whether you need it or not. But remember, it is YOUR decision. And you do have some legal protection. If you sign a contract and have second thoughts, you have three days to cancel for a full refund if you spent $25 or more on the product or service. (They are required to provide you with the cancellation form.) But after the three days, you are legally obligated in most cases and it may be very difficult to cancel.
If you ever have any concerns about telemarketers, door-to-door salesmen or consumer related issues, you can contact the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at the number I mentioned above or complete an online Consumer Complaint Form at http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/hotline.shtml. Always be skeptical and tenacious. You don’t want to be the prize catch of an unscrupulous telemarketer or door-to-door salesman.
Several folks have asked about the next opportunity to safely dispose of their unneeded or expired medications, and now a date has been set. On Saturday May 5th the Center will host a “Drug Take Back” event organized by YOUTHTHINK. The goal is to improve drug safety, prevent drug misuse and abuse, and protect water supplies from drug contamination. And also in May, the Center will be partnering again with YOUTHTHINK to bring to the community “Educate Before You Medicate” a program to raise awareness about medication issues particularly for older adults. Further details will be coming later this month.
It’s been a while since I shook up the grammatical pop can to challenge your brain synapses. So let’s see how well you can understand this week’s Tuesday night music announcement without those pesky self-absorbed vowels. (But I’ll leave the band names intact.) Tnght t th Cntr, th pplr Dufur Boys frm Dfr wll b plyng fr yr dncng nd lstnng plsr. Nd nxt Tsdy Martin and Friends wll b plyng ld fshn cntry nd wstrn. Th msc strts t 7:00, vryn s wlcm nd dntns re lwys pprctd.
It wasn’t “Tell Laura I love Her”, “Dead Man’s Curve” or “Leader of the Pack”, it was “Teen Angel” the 1960 teenage tragedy hit song sung by Mark Dining. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on April 28th is Robert Kruckman.) And it has been several weeks remembering past entertainers and top 40 hits, so for this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s see who knows their obscure political history. Who ran for the Republican Party nomination for President from 1944 until 1992 and is often cited as an example of a perennial candidate? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or mail it to the Center with a picture of Minnesota’s State Capital.
Well, it has been another week looking everywhere for the door that opens when the other one shuts. Until we meet again, remember to always stay on the bright side of the road.
“The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends” Unknown author