The New York Times recently published an article titled, How Deceptive Campaign Fund-Raising Ensnares Older People. The article has a Huntsville backdrop. The story involves a retired atmospheric scientist at NASA in Huntsville who passed away at age 90. Afterwards, his son Steve began sorting through his papers. That’s when Steve found 400 charges for various political fundraising campaigns. What? The charges were far beyond his father’s financial capabilities. What happened? The truth is that digital operatives use a variety of manipulative tactics to deceive potential donors, often focusing on elderly people.
It’s usually a scheme to exploit the diminished capacity of the elderly. Here is how it works. Some (usually fake) charitable organization targets an elderly person. The organization then bombards the person with calls or letters. The communications seek to scare the person into giving money. It extends far beyond politics.
We previously handled a Will Contest case in Decatur involving just this situation. A couple fake charities targeted the elderly person. These groups were very savvy. They knew his interests. And, they knew how to scare him into giving money.