Monday, July 19, 2010

Pill pushing from "Schweiz Health"

Yesterday we got a newsletter from

Schweiz Health
655 Mulberry Road
Manteno, Il 60950-990

The approach of this is to promote its pills, which promise to extend your life (I got a kick out of the picture of a gray haired guy giving a piggy back to a gray haired lady -- gosh, these pills must be great!).  These newsletters appeal to the desire to stay young -- fixing backs, relieving sluggishness, preventing colds, and feeling young.  It will only cost you $60.

This company shares an address/identity with Bio Medical Solutions, Nutricell, Threesource, and Feenix LLC.

If I interpret the websites related to this miracle drug, it is basically fish oil, like the stuff you can buy at the grocery store.  Want to try fish oil?  You can do it at a lower cost by buying it locally.

National Foundation for Cancer Research: Careful out there!

Today brought a solicitation for the "2010 Annual Fund Drive" for the National Foundation for Cancer Research.  Address:

P.O. Box 96024
Washington D.C.

Well, a check with Charity Navigator turns up interesting information: 
  • Charity Navigator rates this charity with one star.  Why?  Consider that the organization pays only about one-third for cancer research -- the rest is for administrative expenses and fundraising expenses. 
  • Take a look also at the salaries of itst administrators -- too high for what this organization does.
What is the gimmick they offer?  Free mailing labesl of course.  Well, Dad has received thousands of mailing labels from organizations like this.  They tracked his address when he moved this past year and now he has lots of address labels that we simply have to throw out.  What a waste.  Why do they do this? Because it is an attempt to make you feel guilty -- you may want to donate if they are giving you something.  Problem is, so many organizations use this approach that those on the mailing list get far too many labels.

Again, an imitation of a Social Security form -- wanting your money

Today brought a swarm of mail.  We got another appeal from "Dr. Sjuggerud" for getting Social Security benefits that we didn't know we were entitled to (and actually are not entitled to -- but it will cost us $49 to find out).

The address of this scammer:

Attn Dr. Sjuggerud
P.O. Box 925
Frederick, MD 21705-9913

Look familiar? Yep -- we get other "great" offers from this same group -- just under different names.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hampshire Laboratories: Cures for Prostate and a "Testosterone Lifter"

Ohm gosh, today we got two envelopes:

4828 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416

Wm J. Hartman
4848 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416

The first one will lift your testosterone, and the second one will keeping you from peeing all night.  This all comes from Hampshire Laboratories.  These "cures" according to the disclaimer are not "cures".  So what are they?  A waste of a lot of money.  $119.95 plus shipping for fixing your testosterone and $119.95 to fix your peeing.

So who are "Hampshire Laboratories"? and William J. Hartman? There is not much available.  Hampshire Laboratories sells herbal remedies that they claim (without evidence) fix your health problems.  The promotional materials even have reference lists that make things look very scientific.
Do these pills work? consider Antiiva, which is not necessarily safe and effective.

The tactics used in these promotions are the scare tactics used by many others:  "What the doctors won't tell you..." method of sales.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Douglass Report ... Again

These folks don'w give up.  Time to renew, again.  Since we've never subscribed, it is interesting that we keep getting the renewal notice.   This newsletter promises:
  • "CONQUER you dreaded urge to go" [Buy UroLogic for only $279.70]
  • "The truth about male menopause" [Subscribe and learn other medical news]
  • "Toe-curling, PRIMAL SCREAM SEX is yours for the taking!" [Buy Ultra Turbo HG for only $99.70]
The mailing address is the same as many other "cures", but a different "company" name:

  Real Advantage Nutrients
  P.O. Box 970
  Frederick, MD 21705-9913

The problem, of course, is that you won't know the ingredients of these pills until you receive them (and only if they feel like disclosing them), so you do not know if they are safe drugs or whether there are interactions with any other medicines.  This is an especially important issue for the elderly because they are more likely to be already taking prescriptions, and the chance of interactions is high.

A related company, NorthStar Nutrition (same address) sells Urologic -- but the link for the ingredients and dosage conveneintly do not work. [Gosh, the testimonials link does work]. Looking at other pills sites, the pills contain a "proprietary blend" of "Three-leaf caper (Opteva)(Crateva nurvala)(stem bark) Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)(herb) Silica (as colloidal anhydrous)". Got that?

FDA: Where are you?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Elite Stock Report: 273% profits in the next 60 days

Well, if you believe today's mail from the "Elite Stock Report", you are not familiar with stock returns, risks, and how stocks are marketed. Today's mailing is from the promotion company "Elite Stock Report", with "Colin McCabe", editor.

The return address on the envelope is:

Elite Stock Report
3120 25th Street South #347
Fargo, North Dakot 58103

But if you subscribe, you send your check for $999 to:

Elite Stock Report Order Processing Center #678
Box 8000
Sumas, Washington 98295

This newsletter is promoting oil and gas exploration stocks traded on the OTC Bulletin Board.  The warning signs:
  • Promoting stocks on the Bulletin Board
  • The "Elite Stock Report" is paid $300,000 by an email spammer, Emma Marketing Services, to promote the stock (it's in the small, gray print).
  • This newsletter promotes nothing but penny stocks.  If it's a penny stock, it's a loser's game.
  • The "promoter" is just that -- he is not a registered representative or an analyst.  Just a guy with a newsletter and a P.O. Box, who will cash your check.
Check out:
  1. An example of one of their touts:
  2. Check out one investigation of the "editor" Colin McCabe. And another one, which located its "headquarters" in a P.O. Box at the UPS store.
  3. When you subscribe, you are sending your check to a business called LetterLock.  This is an all-purpose anonymous drop-off location, conveniently on the U.S.-Canadian border.
  4. The general disclaimer should warn you that you are being sold a bill of goods.
  5. The stock, which is likely really Tuffnell Ltd (not Tuffnell Exploration), is a penny stock, that doesn't have any prospects.  Take a look at its stock price movements and financial statements.
  6. The major holder of this stock is George Dory (who is the Director, President, Secretary and Treasurer), and the Tuffnell is incorporated in Nevada by one of the many registered agents, Val-U-Corp, who serve as the registered agent (a.k.a. fronts) for 4,337 companies, mostly "blank check" companies.
  7. The company being touted, Tuffnell, according to its auditors "As discussed in Note 1 to the financial statements, the Company's absence of significant revenues, recurring losses from operations, and its need for additional financing in order to fund its projected loss in 2010 raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. The 2009 financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty" [from its most recent 10-K report].
Be careful out there. If it is too good to be true, it's a con.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens

Today's mail brought the solicitation from the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens:
Police Survivors Fund
6350 Horizon Drive
Titusville, FL 32780-8002

The request is for a "gift of $40, $60, $80 or more" that is a renewal. But, of course, we have never donated to this fund, so it isn't really a renewal. But it is an attempt to get money from the elderly who believe in paying what is due on renewals of any tyep.

So who is the AFP & CC?  We've seen them before: This is the organization that solicits quit frequenty to supposedly provide funding for surviving family members of fallen police officers.

How much do they provide?  According to Charity Navigator, :

Program expenses = 64%
Administrative expenses = 7.4%
Fundraising expenses = 28.5%

That leaves 0.1% for the survivors.

This is a well-orchestrated method of extracting funds from the elderly, most of whom would like to support our police force and believe that they are doing some good.  Unfortunately, this is not an organization that does anyone any good -- except the fundraisers.  So sad.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Senior Citizens League

We received an envelope today from "The Senior Citizens League" with a return address of Washington, DC 20090-7173.   Inside was a newsletter with an imitation post-it note, asking us to sign the "local area petition" to get Congress to pass the Emergency Social Security COLA so that folks receiving Social Security will receive $70 more every month.

Apparently, this organization is promoting getting the COLA adjustment for Social Security, even though the automatic COLA does not apply because there has not been inflation.  You don't get a COLA adjustment in any year where it is not necessary because here was not inflation.  This is a formula that has been in effect since 1975. [ The good news is that when we had deflation, social security payments were not lowered.]

And what do they really want?  $10 mailed to:
  TSCL Local Area Coordinator
  P.O. Box 97173
  Washington, DC 20090-7173

The plea for money is customized for our local community, which is pretty slick. But there is no "local" chapter here, so it is just a ploy to make it seem more legitimate.

A few warning signs:
  • They state that the "donation" is not tax deductible.  This should raise a caution flag.
  • They use "scare mailing" to solicit funds. See:
  • This is the same group that sends out solicitations for "donations" for the "Notch" issue. See: and
  • This organization has been associated with previous scams. See 
  • The original corporation, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Inc., was incorporated in Colorado as a nonprofit organization.
  • For the BBB report:  You will see that they raised $9 million through these mailings.
The use of scare tactics and misleading statements to raise "donations" (that are not tax deductible) is simply trying to take advantage of the elderly.  At $10 a piece, they got money from 900,000 elderly in 2008 (primarily from their Notch scare newsletter).