Is this a scam?


Some senior citizens are getting several questionairs a week from organizations claiming to be working to “save” Social Security. They begin with a tear-jerker warning that Social Security is in danger of being lost but they are working hard with congress to preserve Social Security. This is followed by several questions, all in one way or another asking, “Do you believe Social Security should be saved?” They promise to tabulate the results and give them to congress persons. Then they ask for a donation of $15 or $18 or $19.99 to help them in their great work of saving Social Security. 

I personally have never answered one. I think of how I would respond if I were a congress person and received the summary with the questions and the tabulated responses. I would look at the name of the organization that sent it and know from the name what the responses would be. I would file it in the round file beside the desk without ever opening it. If I were a congress person, I would take personally written messages very seriously. Tabulated responses to a questionaire would be meaningless unless the questionaire were sent out by my office at my request. 

My second reason for not answering such a questionaire is that the questions are asked in such a way that the answer is a foregone conclusion. Surveys by Democrats or Republicans or independent news agencies can all have different results because of the way the questions are asked. The results can also be influenced by the audience that is targeted. 

My third reason for not responding is that the organization is an unknown entity. It is not an organization with any news coverage. It is not a known organization. The only place I see the name is on the material. Therefore, it may possibly be only one person using an organizational psuedonym, who will cash the checks and discard the surveys. As I read these surveys, it seems to me that the questions are not intended for information or opinion but as a part of the basis for the appeal for money.

Seniors trying to live on Social Security have a hard enough time making ends meet as is. They don’t need to be scammed out of their scarce resources through a scheme that purports to protect these resources. 


Storm Lake

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