The trifold card looks official with its declaration that it is intended for United States Mail Recipient. On the reverse side it states, The U.S. Government, the Federal Medicare Program nor any state agency is affiliated with ... .
But there was enough government-looking verbiage that Carolyn, of Nampa, called BBB and get more information.
I didnt think there was anything wrong with it, she says. Maybe this is an interesting one for you to use to help others be aware.
The mailer, typically referred to as an insurance lead card, is sent to residents in a particular region. In this case, the company is targeting residents ages 50 to 85, claiming they may qualify for the Funeral Advantage Program underwritten by Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Co. that pays cash to the family in the event of death.
It makes a broad claim that thousands of Idaho residents have been accepted for the program that helps pay for funeral and any other final expenses. This is a solicitation for an insurance company. If you fill out the form, you allow them to contact you and make a presentation about insurance.
If you are looking for insurance, remember to look at all aspects of the plan. Determine if the proposed coverage meets your insurance needs.
Prepaying for a funeral has advantages as well as risks. If you choose to prepay, make a well-informed decision, carefully research your options and know your rights. You can always make plans in advance without prepaying. Be sure to share your specific wishes with those close to you.
BBB offers tips to consumers receiving unsolicited requests for personal information:
Be wary of providing personal information to anyone through the mail. That information can be sold and resold to other parties. The information also could be used to steal your identity.
Scrutinize carefully any mailing that appears to be from a government agency. Some private companies will use names and language that hide the true nature of their business. Look for any disclaimer, even in the fine print, indicating the mailing is not from a government agency.
If you have any question about a mailing or other solicitation, contact the BBB at (800) 218-1001 or at www.bbb.org. The BBB also offers Reliability Reports on companies.
It is sad, but scam artists frequently prey on the vulnerable. Fraudsters probably obtain the names of their victims from obituaries published online or in local newspapers.
A current insurance scam is the delinquent life insurance premium ploy. An insurance agent phones a surviving spouse with an alleged funeral home employee. The survivor is told the deceaseds life insurance premium is delinquent and $3,000 is due. The caller asks for a credit card so make a partial premium payment can be made, and tells the survivor to wire the remaining amount.
Older Americans are advised to check with www.bbb.org whenever contacted by an unknown individual or business demanding payment for an unfamiliar product or service.
Robb Hicken, 208-947-2115