Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Discusses abuses and issues in financial planning, including questionable compensation practices, bogus institutes and accreditations, bad products, annuity abuse, inappropriate life insurance sales, living trust mills, and related misconduct. Also answers questions about usually legitimate but developing areas such as life insurance premium financing, life settlements, charitable gifting strategies, etc. Includes discussion of asset protection scams.
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Kestrel
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Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby Kestrel » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:17 am

Yesterday's mail had a new iteration of an old scam. It came in a plain white #10 envelope with my name and address printed by a laser printer, no return address and a Forever Stamp that did not have a postmark stamped on it (happens sometimes with presorted mail) so I don't know where it was mailed from or when. I was bored. I opened it instead of chucking it in the recycle bin.

Inside was what appears to be a page torn from a newspaper called Financial News dated a week ago Sunday. The headline article is an advertisement for a book entitled "Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement" by Benjamin Greenhill. To claim your free copy "just call this automated, toll free hotline now at 800-xxx-xxxx." Someone on Amazon is selling the same book: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Stress-Fr ... 0983082065, but folks will sell everything there. I did notice that, unlike every other newspaper ad I've ever seen in real papers, this "article" was NOT flagged as an ad.

A yellow post-it was attached with a handwritten note. The handwriting screamed "young female":

<my first name>,
Thought you'd be interested!
-- J

The back side of the newspaper appears to be a list of current Mutual Fund prices with "closing prices for yesterday's trading", but the print is pretty low-resolution. For shits and grins I looked up a few of the fund families listed and discovered that, (1) many of the fund families no longer exist under those names, and (2) most of the funds listed no longer exist under those names either. Surprise, surprise.

I typed the book title and author's name into a Google search. Nothing much came up, but I did find several other websites selling used copies of the book, a listing at 800notes.com with people flagging the offer as a scam (everyone gets the same post-it note from the female named "J"), and one legitimate-appearing financial planner's website quoting from the book.

So.... mystery envelope with anonymous personalized message, fake newspaper clipping, anonymous phone line... I'm guessing they're trolling for SUCKER information. Yeppur, just call the number, record your personal information, and sign yourself right up!

No, I didn't call the number. But I may squirt the stamp with lighter fluid to float it off the envelope so I can re-use it. No cancellation mark means it's still OK, right?
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rogfulton
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby rogfulton » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:46 pm

Kestrel wrote:But I may squirt the stamp with lighter fluid to float it off the envelope so I can re-use it. No cancellation mark means it's still OK, right?


If the stamp separates instead of completely floating off or if the stamp is designated as bulk mail, USPS could get very cross with you. :naughty: Technically, you are not allowed to reuse stamps. In fact, I was told by a Post Office employee a number of years ago that if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them. Many of the newer stamps won't soak off intact.

:whistle:
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby JamesVincent » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:24 pm

rogfulton wrote:If the stamp separates instead of completely floating off or if the stamp is designated as bulk mail, USPS could get very cross with you. :naughty: Technically, you are not allowed to reuse stamps. In fact, I was told by a Post Office employee a number of years ago that if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them. Many of the newer stamps won't soak off intact.

:whistle:


IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!!!
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The Observer
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby The Observer » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:56 pm

rogfulton wrote:
Kestrel wrote:But I may squirt the stamp with lighter fluid to float it off the envelope so I can re-use it. No cancellation mark means it's still OK, right?


If the stamp separates instead of completely floating off or if the stamp is designated as bulk mail, USPS could get very cross with you. :naughty: Technically, you are not allowed to reuse stamps. In fact, I was told by a Post Office employee a number of years ago that if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them. Many of the newer stamps won't soak off intact.

:whistle:


Guess I will have to forget basing my stress-free retirement plan on recycling uncancelled postal stamps.
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Gregg
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby Gregg » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:55 pm

if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them.


If you take them to the Post Office they will replace them, though.
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby rogfulton » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:46 pm

Gregg wrote:
if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them.


If you take them to the Post Office they will replace them, though.

Not at my Post Office, even for stamps currently in use.
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- President Theodore Roosevelt

Judge Roy Bean
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Re: Secrets of a Stress Free Retirement

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:26 pm

rogfulton wrote:
Gregg wrote:
if you were to find a cache of lick-and-stick stamps that had stuck together and you soaked them apart, it would be illegal to use them.


If you take them to the Post Office they will replace them, though.

Not at my Post Office, even for stamps currently in use.


Contact the Postal Regulatory Commission if they won't. I think there is still a 12-month limit and you can't trade things like different denominations. I've been through this before when a relative's field-trailer mobile construction office was sorted out after his death and a number of coils of stamps had dampened in the humidity of Houston's environs. I also remember the limit at that time was $100.
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