How do you break it to senior citizens gently that scams really are scams?

I need to know how to be tactful in explaining to a senior citizen relative that a "really great job idea" is in fact N-O-T . Its a really major scam called the tracer scam. Its not illegal but it is $59 out of my pocket to get a list of names from HUD you could get for FREE. And they offer you NO technical support for that fee. So if the HUD client gets feels ripped off BY YOU they can sue you... But how do you explain all of the technical details here when they don't want to wear their hearing aid, always say "HUH?" every other word, always claim you are trying to "put them down", claim they are jealous of your "smarts" when I am just average at best, etc.

All so annoying and such a total waste of valuable time. I feel like I'm being set up for failure. So how do I control my personal angst and explain this stuff effectively and with tact? Maybe its just not possible. Aaaarggggh!!!


So far as of 3:04 PM EST 7/20/07 all good answers. Especially liked the "wait till they are rested" one. That's key with this particular senior citizen who always overworks herself in the garden (at 83 years old). And offers this fundamentally worthless stuff breathless on the phone as if its was some great revelation. Just hate to burst her bubble after so much enthusiasm to help me. Veiled recompense for a perceived failed functional nurturing? (yes she's my mom!)

But all were equally informative. Try sending me more suggestions on senior-citizen sensitivity. I'm a guy in my fifties and I really lack that due to becoming so jaded and seemingly callous toward seniors lately. Alzheimer's will do that to you... however she's not there YET! Thank God!

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    You don't need TACT, you need FACT! Take the dear senior to the nearest computer and show him or her the facts from the websites listed below.

    From the website - "Any claim by an individual or firm that they are authorized by HUD, contracted with HUD or acting on HUD's behalf to do so is fraudulent. HUD has no "Refund Tracer Program.""

    "If you are approached by a "HUD Tracer" offering to get such a refund for you in return for a fee, you need to know that you can get the money yourself, free of charge, directly from HUD/FHA."

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is difficult especially if they are excited about an issue.

    I suggest you attempt to tell them when they are resting and not doing anything else.

    If you explain how worried you are and show them the info they can get for free online then maybe they will take notice of you.

    Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    A letter thoughtfully written will do wonders. The elders love letters and keeps them focused on the matter at hand which is the story they are reading.

  • Lola
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    cool down a little bit and stop pulling your hair out of frustration. explain again when you have gathered your wits. you have to show them love to trust your every word.

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