Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

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MrBeaver
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Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by MrBeaver »

About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation. For about the last five years, I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.

I'm 39 years old.

I check my credit reports yearly, so I'm pretty sure this is not a fraud issue and just a marketing algorithm gone wild.

Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering whether having larger IRA/401k balances (~600k total, 50k-250k each individual account), paying off my mortgage, or other 'uncommon' things for someone my age is getting me classified as much older than I am in shared / partner marketing lists?

Or should I be scared and there something else I should check other than my credit reports and financial records?
mindboggling
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by mindboggling »

A free cremation? I'll take two!
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson
clip651
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by clip651 »

I regularly get telemarketing and random mailings for ethnic groups I don't belong to (e.g. clothing, hair care, political concerns marketed to certain ethnic groups). I think in my case they are just going by zip code, as my ethnic group is not the majority where I live. Targeting my area they will hit the demographic they are after more often than not. So, do you live in an area with a lot of older people?
123
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by 123 »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries...medicare supplement plan or hearing aids...
Perhaps there is another Beaver that the bulk mailers have gotton transposed or linked to your pond. While we don't get the volume you do we have gotten these things occassionally. For unknown reasons we got a binge of things for hearing aids, I filled out the requests for further information coupons enclosed with the name of the hearing aid outfit's CEO (publically traded) at the corporate office address. I've done similar things for the mortuaries. For political mail with a metered return envelope I stuff all the material back in that (removing my ID) and drop it in the mail, once in awhile I'll enclose a teabag as well. It can all turn into a fun little hobby, a game.

We don't hear from the hearing aid or mortuaries any more. The politicians never learn, there's a new crow every few years.

Depending on your area and availability of public property record details I would suspect anyone who doesn't have a mortgage on their home is going to get identified (rightly or wrongly) as elderly. Same assumption might be made if you your vehicle is over 15 years old, older folks often hold onto their vehicles a long time.
Last edited by 123 on Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by abuss368 »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation. For about the last five years, I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.

I'm 39 years old.

I check my credit reports yearly, so I'm pretty sure this is not a fraud issue and just a marketing algorithm gone wild.

Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering whether having larger IRA/401k balances (~600k total, 50k-250k each individual account), paying off my mortgage, or other 'uncommon' things for someone my age is getting me classified as much older than I am in shared / partner marketing lists?

Or should I be scared and there something else I should check other than my credit reports and financial records?
That is incredible and I am not sure what to say. I know my sister and I were receiving retirement packages from AARP years aback. Unfortunately their estimation of our ages were way off.
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dvvader
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by dvvader »

How long have you been at your current address? These offers could be targeted at previous residents, even many years later. Or did you recently get a new phone number? Do you have a common name? It could be any number of things.

I get all kinds of junk in my mail, strange phone calls, emails, etc that are clearly not applicable to me. I get AARP info packets in my mail almost weekly. I'm only 31. I find it humorous, honestly. If your credit reports are fine, I wouldn't think twice about it.
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canadianbacon
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by canadianbacon »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation.
I'm sorry, I have no advice, but this gave me a good laugh.
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Katietsu
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Katietsu »

Or maybe one of your friends filled out some marketing thing for hearing aids, medicare or who who knows what for your 30th birthday. Got your name on a list and it just self propagates. Not really theoretical to me as I had an acquaintance do this to several friends as she thought it was funny.

Not sure how many of the friends ever found out.
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AerialWombat
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by AerialWombat »

For a living, I engage in certain marketing practices that could result in the phenomenon which you describe.

Other posters have really already mentioned most of the possibles, but I'll summarize as: Do you live in area predominantly occupied by people that are elderly?

If so, it's simple geographic targeting.

If not, then consider demographic elements. Do you belong to a "non-profit" organization whose membership skews senior? If so, congrats, they sold your data to scumbags like me.

It could even boil down to something as innocuous as an organization you support. If a charity you ever donated a single shekel to skews elderly for their donor demographic, then you're on a list. A giant, frequently sold list.

I volunteer my unsavory skills to an organization that consumes half a ton of raw meat per day. That much meat is incredibly expensive. As such, we solicit anybody and everybody that has ever, in any way, supported anything remotely adjacent to animal welfare. Whether you've adopted a hamster from your local shelter, volunteered to sit on a rubber boat blockading a Japanese whaling ship, or donated $1 to the ASPCA, you're on my list, mwahahahahaha! (and thank you for feeding the tigers, lions, and bears, oh my!)
For entertainment purposes only.
notmyhand
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by notmyhand »

We get them too. All of the other houses on our block belong to retirees so I'm assuming the marketing departments are just sending them based on average demographic in the area.
jebmke
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by jebmke »

mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
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pondering
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by pondering »

My Dad, who died in 2001 is still got mail from AARP until last year.
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Pomegranate
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Pomegranate »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation. For about the last five years, I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.

I'm 39 years old.

I check my credit reports yearly, so I'm pretty sure this is not a fraud issue and just a marketing algorithm gone wild.

Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering whether having larger IRA/401k balances (~600k total, 50k-250k each individual account), paying off my mortgage, or other 'uncommon' things for someone my age is getting me classified as much older than I am in shared / partner marketing lists?

Or should I be scared and there something else I should check other than my credit reports and financial records?
I typically take the pictures of the most ‘mismatched’ ads and lough with friends. IG keeps trying to sell me 50k+ watches (I don’t use any), Youtube advises me on second stroke (luckily didn’t have the first one), getting same ‘free cremation’ scum, FB shows me makeup add and ‘rent some heavy industrial equipment’ at the same time :mrgreen:
Summing up - I think AI era is too far way keeping in mind modern state of algorithms :sharebeer
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pondering
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by pondering »

Pomegranate wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:49 am
I typically take the pictures of the most ‘mismatched’ ads and lough with friends. IG keeps trying to sell me 50k+ watches (I don’t use any), Youtube advises me on second stroke (luckily didn’t have the first one), getting same ‘free cremation’ scum, FB shows me makeup add and ‘rent some heavy industrial equipment’ at the same time :mrgreen:
Summing up - I think AI era is too far way keeping in mind modern state of algorithms :sharebeer
I’ve tried to train the algorithms to show me ads on topics I’m interested in with some success.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

It could be that you are maintaining good digital hygiene, and the marketers haven't figured you out. If so, congratulations! If you use Duck Duck Go instead of google the ads don't follow you as well. I was delighted when Twitter asked me if I had registered to vote - it means they don't know I've been voting regularly for 40 years.
Jags4186
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Jags4186 »

My father and I have the same name. When he turned 65 I started getting AARP, hearing aid, Medicare supplemental insurance, and guaranteed life insurance brochures on the regular. He’s since passed away. I still get the mail. Think about him every time someone wants me to take part of a hearing aid study.
Escapevelocity
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Escapevelocity »

The free cremation promo is priceless!
mindboggling
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by mindboggling »

jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:38 am
mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
And make mine extra-crispy...
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson
Paddygirl
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Paddygirl »

I got a chuckle out of this post! Thanks!
is50xenough
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by is50xenough »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation. For about the last five years, I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.

I'm 39 years old.

I check my credit reports yearly, so I'm pretty sure this is not a fraud issue and just a marketing algorithm gone wild.

Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering whether having larger IRA/401k balances (~600k total, 50k-250k each individual account), paying off my mortgage, or other 'uncommon' things for someone my age is getting me classified as much older than I am in shared / partner marketing lists?

Or should I be scared and there something else I should check other than my credit reports and financial records?
Think of all the years practice you will have avoiding scams targeting the elderly!
is50xenough
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by is50xenough »

jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:38 am
mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
Now that burns me up
surveyor
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by surveyor »

When I was 25 a younger friend signed me up for AARP. The gift that keeps on giving.
30west
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by 30west »

Have you tried to Google your name? I have and i am amazed how much personal information is floating around out there. In my case, my address, dob, phone number are correct. But there could be an older version of you, real or imagined out there.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Kenkat »

AerialWombat wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:51 pm For a living, I engage in certain marketing practices that could result in the phenomenon which you describe.

Other posters have really already mentioned most of the possibles, but I'll summarize as: Do you live in area predominantly occupied by people that are elderly?

If so, it's simple geographic targeting.

If not, then consider demographic elements. Do you belong to a "non-profit" organization whose membership skews senior? If so, congrats, they sold your data to scumbags like me.

It could even boil down to something as innocuous as an organization you support. If a charity you ever donated a single shekel to skews elderly for their donor demographic, then you're on a list. A giant, frequently sold list.

I volunteer my unsavory skills to an organization that consumes half a ton of raw meat per day. That much meat is incredibly expensive. As such, we solicit anybody and everybody that has ever, in any way, supported anything remotely adjacent to animal welfare. Whether you've adopted a hamster from your local shelter, volunteered to sit on a rubber boat blockading a Japanese whaling ship, or donated $1 to the ASPCA, you're on my list, mwahahahahaha! (and thank you for feeding the tigers, lions, and bears, oh my!)
Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. At least you don’t run an actively managed mutual fund or sell insurance for a living! :twisted:
EnjoyIt
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by EnjoyIt »

AerialWombat wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:51 pm For a living, I engage in certain marketing practices that could result in the phenomenon which you describe.

Other posters have really already mentioned most of the possibles, but I'll summarize as: Do you live in area predominantly occupied by people that are elderly?

If so, it's simple geographic targeting.

If not, then consider demographic elements. Do you belong to a "non-profit" organization whose membership skews senior? If so, congrats, they sold your data to scumbags like me.

It could even boil down to something as innocuous as an organization you support. If a charity you ever donated a single shekel to skews elderly for their donor demographic, then you're on a list. A giant, frequently sold list.

I volunteer my unsavory skills to an organization that consumes half a ton of raw meat per day. That much meat is incredibly expensive. As such, we solicit anybody and everybody that has ever, in any way, supported anything remotely adjacent to animal welfare. Whether you've adopted a hamster from your local shelter, volunteered to sit on a rubber boat blockading a Japanese whaling ship, or donated $1 to the ASPCA, you're on my list, mwahahahahaha! (and thank you for feeding the tigers, lions, and bears, oh my!)
It took me a while but. . . Do you volunteer for the zoo?
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Doom&Gloom »

mindboggling wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:57 am
jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:38 am
mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
And make mine extra-crispy...
I'll take several.
Christmas is right around the corner and re-gifting these coupons rather than buying cheap gifts would save me a few bucks.
flyfishers83
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by flyfishers83 »

I also have gotten solicitations which are probably more appropriate for those 30+ years older than me. It seems like mine and my father's info have gotten intertwined. The solicitations seem to come in waves.

My wife also gets materials in Spanish. I assume that's due to her name and/or extended family, but she doesn't speak Spanish.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by whodidntante »

I was invited to play golf recently. While I am terrible at the game, it was the kind of invitation that you need to accept for political reasons. The place sold ads on the scorecard and in the clubhouse. They were all for shall we say, post-life services.
coalcracker
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by coalcracker »

You should see my junk email :shock:
BH_RedRan
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by BH_RedRan »

Can anyone really "win" a cremation?
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by texascrane »

I’ve started getting ads from my bank for financial products aimed at new grads. It really makes me scratch my head. Presumably they know how old I am. My oldest is just starting elementary school and while I don’t keep most of my cash there, my income flows through that account. I can’t figure out how they pegged me as a new grad.
10YearPlan
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by 10YearPlan »

Agree that you need to do some googling of your name. I have a name that is pretty close to (but not identical) my mom's name and our credit reports and google histories were (and to some degree still are) intertwined. I realized that when I went to buy my first new car and they pulled my credit report and it was SPECTACULAR because I had 20+ years of good mortgage payments and credit card payments that were not mine showing up on my report. I told the car dealership that it was not right and they didn't care and sold me the car anyway. :) I was able to fix the credit report but it took a a while and I still receive old people mailings all the time. Now that I am rapidly approaching actually being eligible for such mailings, they have slowed down by a lot. lol
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by SmileyFace »

I get targeted email campaigns all the time (Political, Car dealerships, a religion org, etc.) from a specific city I have nothing to do with but using my real name. All I can think of is that someone once inadvertently used an incorrect email address that has the same name as me and now I am getting all their SPAM. I verified that the name/email-address combination is on a marketing list, listing me living in this city/state where I don't reside.
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petercooperjr
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by petercooperjr »

When I check out on Amazon, they sometimes try to upsell me on their "Amazon Prime for Students", though I graduated from college 15 years ago. Now, I did buy the occasional textbook from them back when I was in college, but you'd think at some point they would have figured out that I'm not a student and haven't bought textbooks in a long time.

The algorithms out there are really (surprisingly) good, but it's still really easy to confuse them.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by DesertDiva »

BH_RedRan wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:59 pm Can anyone really "win" a cremation?
I've heard of an undertaker who offers a "walk-in special". :P
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by InMyDreams »

AerialWombat wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:51 pm
... Do you belong to a "non-profit" organization whose membership skews senior? If so, congrats, they sold your data to scumbags like me.

It could even boil down to something as innocuous as an organization you support. If a charity you ever donated a single shekel to skews elderly for their donor demographic, then you're on a list. A giant, frequently sold list.
...
Yes, this is why I always check privacy policy for organizations that I give to, but most often give thru Network For Good. And to the organization that I wanted to give to, but had asked NFG not to accept donations on their behalf - too bad.
Pomegranate
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Pomegranate »

BTW is anybody else getting tons of political ad in the mail? Cannot recall a single piece of paper in 2016 but last few months I've been grabbing 20-30 of this crap weekly! They keep talking about going green and climate change but bombard me with hard copies of some nonsense :oops: Not even sure that such papers are recyclable :annoyed
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

OP, is this just an observation or is there something you want to change? I am delighted not to get bombarded with ads and followed online by marketers trying to custom fit the ads I see. But it seems some people like the personal touch aspect of digital stalking.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by jebmke »

is50xenough wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:12 am
jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:38 am
mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
Now that burns me up
It's a dry heat.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by BuddyJet »

jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:24 pm
is50xenough wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:12 am
jebmke wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:38 am
mindboggling wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm A free cremation? I'll take two!
You get what you pay for. :P
Now that burns me up
It's a dry heat.
I’ll finally have a smokin’ hot bod
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
Oregano
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Oregano »

I'm 41 but have been getting AARP and hearing aid mailings for many years. I have also gotten emails addressed to my Dad, who doesn't have an email address. I suspect that somewhere along the way, some marketing group decided to attach my Dad to my email address because we used to have the same mailing address (no surprise there!) and then someone decided if my email is his, then they better send some actual mail to me, too.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by atikovi »

MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.
Look on the bright side if any offers are for something you need and they give you a senior discount.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

AerialWombat wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:51 pm
I volunteer my unsavory skills to an organization that consumes half a ton of raw meat per day. That much meat is incredibly expensive. As such, we solicit anybody and everybody that has ever, in any way, supported anything remotely adjacent to animal welfare. Whether you've adopted a hamster from your local shelter, volunteered to sit on a rubber boat blockading a Japanese whaling ship, or donated $1 to the ASPCA, you're on my list, mwahahahahaha! (and thank you for feeding the tigers, lions, and bears, oh my!)
Hey! I pay to keep a Fur Coat at the local zoo (well, me and a bunch of other people - we share). My Fur Coat had a cub last year - cutest little Fur Coat I've ever seen! Thank you for helping keep all the Fur Coats happy and healthy.

(I adopted the Fur Coat (leopard) many years ago (it's changed over the years a lioness, a snow leopard, a tiger) back during a trendy time for wearing a fur coat in the winter. I thought I was rather clever - I got an Exotic Fur Coat and I kept it at the local zoo.)
Pinotage
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Pinotage »

This happens more often than you’d think.

I used to know a guy who thought he was 35, turns out he was 90. Talk about waiting too long to retire. :D
finite_difference
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by finite_difference »

It looks like if your home is paid off, there’s an ~ 85% chance you’re over 55?

That might be why.
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by willthrill81 »

abuss368 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:27 pm
MrBeaver wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:47 pm About 10 years ago, I started getting bulk mailings from mortuaries asking me to return a card for a chance to win a free cremation. For about the last five years, I've been getting more mail announcing that I'm turning 65 and should sign up for their medicare supplement plan or hearing aids. At this point, I probably get 2-4 of these every week.

I'm 39 years old.

I check my credit reports yearly, so I'm pretty sure this is not a fraud issue and just a marketing algorithm gone wild.

Has anyone had similar experiences? I'm wondering whether having larger IRA/401k balances (~600k total, 50k-250k each individual account), paying off my mortgage, or other 'uncommon' things for someone my age is getting me classified as much older than I am in shared / partner marketing lists?

Or should I be scared and there something else I should check other than my credit reports and financial records?
That is incredible and I am not sure what to say. I know my sister and I were receiving retirement packages from AARP years aback. Unfortunately their estimation of our ages were way off.
I'm still in my 30s and have received at least one AARP letter.
“Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
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dodecahedron
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by dodecahedron »

My older daughter, who has not lived here since she went off to college 15 years ago, still gets marketing mail addressed to her here at my home for the most unlikely stuff, e.g., dog food (when neither she nor anyone else in our family has ever had a dog nor any type of four-legged pet. My late husband did once have a fish!)

She also gets marketing mail addressed to her at my home which presumes she is the homeowner (e.g., offering her HELOCs or home improvements of various sorts.) It is public record that I am the homeowners (and my last name is different from hers.)

I, on the other hand, do not get marketing junk mail of most sorts addressed to me because I turned it off using info on the FTC opt out website.

Unfortunately, a few pieces of junk mail directed to a non-existent someone who is sort of but not quite me arrive through my mail slot. (Mail is addressed to my first_name + late_husband's_last_name. Since I have never used his last name and have used my maiden name throughout my life, that person does not exist, so I don't know that I can turn off mail to her.)

Occasionally also, I get junk mail addressed to my late mother-in-law, who died almost 20 years ago. She always lived in another state, but my husband was her executor and had her mail forwarded here after her death. Once or twice, I have even gotten junk mail addressed to my late father-in-law, who died almost 60 years ago.
Flyer24
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Re: Marketers think I'm elderly. I'm not.

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic is not going anywhere. Thread has run its course.
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