A OPEN LETTER TO AARP: SENIOR CITIZENS WHO REALLY CARES?

Dear Ms. Jenkins,

My name is Harold Bell and I am a card-carrying member of AARP. There seems to be no checks and balances as it relates to senior citizens.

There are 30-50 million senior citizens (55+) on the rolls of AARP and they are being scammed by Corporate America, other small-time gangsters, and thugs 24/7. Seniors are being scammed annually to the tune of nearly 2 billion dollars. The question, does anyone really care?

I am somewhat familiar with the pros and cons of the AARP. The former AARP CEO Addison Rand’s father was my mentor back in the day when the son was at the Xerox Corporation here in DC. The son would sometimes stop in Face’s Restaurant (the home of the DC in-crowd) and have lunch with his father. I met him in passing.  His father was a street smart and no-nonsense guy. He was my checks and balances when I was a sports talk radio pioneer and personality during the 70s and 80s. You could carry his WORD to the bank. When his son took over as the CEO of AARP I took notice, “The Fat Cats kept getting fat”! 

image - 2021-06-29T122607.627
FAT CAT SMILING FACES-FORMER AARP CEO ADDISON RAND AND MENTEE, CEO JO ANN JENKINS

Things have come full circle since that time and I am now using social media as my vehicle to continue to enhance the growth of our children with my non-profit organization, Kids In Trouble, Inc (KIT). I have since added Seniors In Trouble to my portfolio. In other words, I try to be a voice for the voiceless.  There seems to be a scam around every corner when it comes to senior citizens. There are car dealerships, use car salesmen, Insurance agents, overcharges and redlining at the banks, cable companies with hidden fees and hikes, home improvements scams.

I remember seeking employment after the politicians ran me off the airwaves, I took a job as a new car saleman in Silver Spring, Md. I was fired trying protect a little old white lady from being scammed out of her great running use car. My advice, “try to sell your car on your own, the dealership would not be giving you a fair price”. When the final pitch was made by my boss, she told him what I had said! I have told some lies, but that would not be one of them.

In 2009 CBS sportscaster James Brown was named AARP’S Community Ambassador, it was then I knew the organization was heading in the wrong direction. Here is a black man who grew up in DC, but never learned how to give back to those who helped him. Despite his lack of not helping others, his former boss at the Xerox Corporation Addison Rand hired him as a reach-back Ambassador as a voice to keep senior citizens fooled and he did.

This guy never reached back to help anyone but himself. During his tour as ambassador he talked to seniors about his childhood and how he learned about giving back to the community. JB as he likes be called, encouraged senior citizens to take their life experiences and make a difference in the life of a child. His advice, “Use old school values that have contemporary applications.” He knows absolutely nothing about “Old School”. This guy would not know an “Old School” if one fell down in front of him!

He got his start in broadcasting following my lead, but he went off the beaten path when he went behind the back of black Bullets/Wizards’ color analyst Chuck Taylor. He asked star player Wes Unseld to put in a good word for him with owner Abe Polin to hire him for Chuck’s job.

He participated in my non-profit organizations Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports fund raising programs and never brought a toy or Send a kid to camp or college. When the politicians ran me off the air and my sponsors the Maryland lottery and Coca-Cola reneged on written contracts, I lost my home in foreclosure. I remember, having to chase him down for a month’s rent to keep a roof over my head. He reluctantly wrote me a check for 1,000 dollars and blamed his wife for not giving me more. It made me wonder where she was when he was spending thousands on cocaine.

Playground basketball legend Jo Jo Hunter served eighteen years in jail for armed robbery until I campaigned to get his release. He says, “JB, Bernie Bickerstaff, Spencer Haywood, Eddie Jordan, Bruce Johnson, Jim Vance were among some his biggest clients when he was slinging drugs”. Jo Jo could not believe his main man JB would turn his back on him. He refuse to answer Jo Jo’s calls and meet with him.

When I was campaigning to get NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, I invited NBA legend Sam Jones, upcoming sports talk show host, Christy Winters-Scott, Andrew Dyer, and Butch McAdams to meet James and myself for lunch. The table talk at Union Station was centered around NBA All-Star weekend in DC in 2000. I wanted to honor hometown boy, Earl Lloyd (Alexandria, Virginia).

JB agreed to co-host the tribute with Sam. Red Auerbach and Congress John Lewis were a part of the team I had asembled for the weekend tribute. James Brown was a no-show. When I called him out face to face several months later, he said, “I don’t remember making the commitment”. This the same brother that now calls himself, Rev. James Brown. The lies continue, he also lied about being a “Minority Owner” for the Washington Nationals.

As a minority owner for the Nationals, you wonder how much imput JB had when the Learner brothers, the team owners refuse to interview Frank Robinson for the job? Frank was one of the greatest players to ever play in the Major Leagues. He is still the only player in Major League history to win MVP in the American League and the National League. Frank was also had one of the games’ greatest minds. The Learners passed on hiring him. Ditto for Dusty Baker another great player they hired for peanuts. Dusty took the Nationals to two straight play-offs, never before in team history had a manager had that type of success. The learners refuse to sign him for third year and hired a hispanic, Dave Martinez to quell the cries of racism. Martinez won a World series with Dusty’s team. In the meantime, JB took on the role of the Three Monkeys!

No surprise when it comes AARP and James Brown, birds of a feather flock together. Earl Lloyd was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2003 and a recent stature was erected in his honor at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in his hometown of Alexandria–no thanks to JB. He maybe fooling a whole lot of people with his lies, but the one person he is not fooling is God. There is also the Willie Wood story, but there is not enough space in this blog to chronicle all his lies.

image - 2021-02-11T005207.846
Bolling AFB Black History Month: Sam Jones, James Brown, HBell and Earl Lloyd
JB FASHION SHOW
Inside Sports/Kids In Trouble Celebrity Fashion Show: Narrators, the late Melvin Lindsey (WHUR radio), Jim Vance (tv news anchor) and James Brown (Xerox) the fashion model.

“Harold has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice.  He has always called it as he saw it.  He has been an inspiration and motivation for me and a lot of other black broadcasters.”  James Brown (NFL/CBS Sports) 

As a senior citizen I have been a victim of several scams, in 2016 I took a dental insurance policy out with Careington Dental International.  Shortly after taking the policy out, I discovered there were little or no changes in dental fees. There were several dentist offices I visited that did not honor the Careington Dental insurance plan. I immediately canceled in 2016. In 2021 while I was trying to balance my account at Industrial Bank, I noticed there was a $99.00 charged item I was not familiar with.                                          

I called my bank to question the $99.00 fee that was being deducted. It was then I discovered that Careington Dental was still deducting fees from my account. They were not only still deducting the $99.00 annual fee, but there were fees of $50.00, $149.00, $149.00, and $169.00 five different fees deducted to include $99.00. In 2017 there were no deductions? I could not hold Industrial Bank responsible, because I did not alert them relating to the cancellation.                                         

I contacted Careington about the fraudulent fees being withdrawn from my account and the Rep Ms. Carole Johnson claimed that it was not fraud, but just an honest mistake. Ms. Johnson said Careington would make my account whole again and she was sorry about the mix-up. The next correspondence was in February 2021 when I received the above mention email from Ms. Johnson. Since that February email, I have been getting the run around by Careington, and no settlement in sight.

On May 20, 2021, my wife suggested that I call AARP Fraud Watch Network for some assistance. I was skeptical, but I placed the call anyway. I got a representative named Doris and she walked me through my complaint. 

She determined that my complaint was real and promised she would have a fraud rep contact me in the next 24 hours. A rep by the name of Dan contacted me two hours later. I was encouaged, because this was really unheard of customer service.

Dan heard out my complaint and he also agreed that it sounded like a good complaint. He suggested that I write a letter to Careington and put a stamp on it and put it in the regular mail and wait for a response.

I was willing to do that until I found the smoking gun (letter) from Careington confirming my complaint and agreeing to refund me my money. 

I then reached out to Dan to let him know there was a better way with the letter, the dates of deductions, five different deductions amounts coming out of my account, despite no claims for dental work. I tried calling Dan on the same number he called, but the responding recorded message said, “A mailbox has not set up to respond to your call”??? 

Ms. Jenkins, AARP is much too big and represents too many senior citizens not to have a better line of communications for us to communicate with AARP reps. How can there be no email addresses to contact different departments of AARP? Especially, after you have made contact with a rep and he knows your story–I think email addresses are still free! 

These big corporations should not be allowed to keep scamming senior citizens without repercussions.

Ms. Jenkins it is reported you have a salary in the neighborhood of $300,000+ annually and AARP has an estimated $325 million dollars in the bank. It is estimated there are 60,000+ volunteers in your organization. There is something wrong with this picture!

Should I believe that AARP cannot afford to hire a Fraud Unit to help curtail the 2 billion dollar scams perpetrated against senior citizens annually and Dan the Volunteer is the best you can do? The lobbyist you have scattered on The Hill, whose interest do they represent, yours or senior citizens? AARP had 50 lobbyist on the Hill in 2018 at a cost of $8,290.000 per lobbyist and 30 revolvers (revolving door reps).

I am looking forward to your response and you are invited to be our guest on ZOOM SUNDAY “SPEAK THE TRUTH” on any given Sunday. We would like to clear up any misconceptions that we have as it relates to AARP’s commitment to your membership.

   

202 707 xxxx 202 707 xxxx 202 707 xxxx 941 9555 xxxx 703 780 xxxx + more???????????? These bogus AARP numbers sounds like they are for someone in the witness protection program! 

My Scam History

CAREINGTON HISTORY DEDUCTION FEES FROM MY BANK ACCOUNT!

FEB 11, 2021 CAREINGTON FEES NCID04232601484 $99.00

JAN 08, 2020 CAREINGTON FEES NClD006326011484 $99.00

 JAN 14, 2019 CAREINGTON FEES NClD1432601484 $50.00 

   JAN 07, 2019 CAREINGTON FEES NCID00432601484 $149.00

  JAN 08, 2018 CAREINGTON FEES NClD005326011484 $149.00 

JAN 2017 CAREINGTON FEES NO DEDUCTIONS????????

DEC 16, 2016 CAREINGTON INTER CAREINGTON M8797702829 $169.00

FIVE DIFFERENT DEDUCTION FEES AND ONE NO DEDUCTION FEE??

———- Original Message ———-

From: member@careington.com

To: HKBELL82@COMCAST.NET

Date: 02/05/2021 9:16 AM

Subject: Cancel Confirmation- With Refund

  02/05/2021

  Harold Bell

Member ID: 32601484

Dear Harold Bell,

Your membership has been canceled with an effective date of 01/01/2021 per your request. You have been refunded, minus your processing fee, per your plan’s Terms and Conditions. You may call our Member Services at 1-800-290-0523 with any other questions concerning your account.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and we value your business.

Sincerely, Rep Carole Johnson

Barbra L. Falsoa

Chief Executive Officer

Enrollment OperationsCAREINGTON International Corporation

1 866 929 1853  

  CAREINGTON INTERNATIONAL CORP 7400 Gaylord Pkwy Frisco, TX 75034  

  CAREINGTON WITHDRAWALS INDUSTRIAL BANK OF WASHINGTON, DC:  

  January 7, 2021–$99.00 / January 8, 2020–$99.00  

  January 7, 2019–$50 / January 14, 2019–$149.00  

  January 8, 2018–$149.00 / December 30, 2016

GEICO AUTO INSURANCE

In August 2020 after a ten year association, I cancelled my auto insurance policy with corporate giant, Geico Auto Insurance Company. The reason, Geico for some reason unknown to me, were not able to withdrawn my monthly insurance premium from my Industrial Bank account. On several ocassions I connected the bank manager and Geico Customer Service reps, but still they could not figure out the problem.

In the meantime, Geico gave up on trying to with drawing my premium from my bank account and my premium went from $102.43 to 143.00. This was a blow financially to me and my wife trying to survive on social security I cancelled my Geico auto insurance in August after 10+ years accident free and signed with Kemper Insurance on August 5, 2020.

Shortly there after I would receive a notice from a bill collector representing Geico Insurance claiming I had a past due balance of $143.00. I immediately called Geico Customer Service about their claim. I was advised by Geico Customer Service to have Kemper email them documents proving I had coverage during the month of August. The documentation was provided by Kemper that I was covered in August, but the past due claims kept showing up in my mail box.

I contacted Geico Supervisor Andrew Duran whom I had met when a deer crossed in front of my vehicle in broad daylight in Bowie, Maryland. There was a dispute with the autor repair shop relating to timely repairs that were taking much too long. Mr. Duran came out to intervene. I was impressed with his professionlism. We later had several telephone conversations relating to the withdrawal on my monthly car insurance payments. He turned it over to a subordinate and the issue was never resolved. Instead of paying almost $50 dollars more for car insurance I cancelled. I have the same $500 dollar deductible and plus home insurance for less than $100.00.

I turned to Mr. Duran to investigate the $143.00 past due claim, but after several weeks of reaching out I have not received a response. My Kemper agent Sharon Till reached out also and received the same non-response. Geico and Mr. Duran are now a part of this scamming process.

I am apalled that Corporate Giants like Careington Dental, Geico, and cable companies can be involved in scamming millions of senior citizens while AARP stands on the sidelines and act like “The Three Little Monkeys”, they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil? In the meantime, AARP represents in the vicinity of close to 50 million senior citizens (over 55) who are the victims of scams costing them nealy 2 billion dollars annually!

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins has a six figure salary 300 thousand dollars+ a year. AARP has 1.697 billion dollars in the bank and claim they have 1.696 billion dollars in expenses leaving them with a billion dollars to hire a paid fraud department. Something is wrong with this picture! Corporate America is allowed to stick up Senior Citizens up without a gun and AARP driving the get away car. When do senior citizens say, “Enough is enough”?

Sincerely,

Harold Bell

Kids In Trouble, Inc.

240-334-7174

Author’s Note: Thanks to Black Men in America’s CEO Gary Johnson through some last minute research that I had overlooked, he found a weekly podcast titled “The Perfect Scam” the podcast tells the stories of people who find themselves the target of a scam. Host Bob Sullivan introduces listeners to those who have experienced scams first hand, as well as professional con artists and leading experts who pull back the curtain on how scammers operate. https://www.aarp.org/podcasts/the-perfect-scam/?intcmp=AE-SCM-FRD-SUBNAV-TPS. AARP rep Dan never mention the podcast and neither did the rep that referred me to him–something is wrong with this picture! How is a podcast sponsored by AARP and their reps don’t have a clue?

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