Shady Marketing: Elephas Group (Final Needs Planning)


Why is this allowed to continue? Why doesn’t the government step in? These clowns send unsolicited mail in an envelope that really does look like it’s from the government of Ontario – to anyone living in Ontario not actually working for the government, that is.

(UPDATE: Elephas Responded to this post. Or rather…their lawyer sent me an email. More below)

(UPDATE 7/22/2020: Elephas released the following statement…

This June 18, 2014 post relates to a discontinued direct mailing by the Elephas Group. There was concern back in 2014 that the Elephas Group’s use of the word “Ontario” on a brown envelope was confusing recipients that the mailing came directly from a Canadian governmental agency.

There was no intent by Elephas Group to confuse the public. The use of the word “Ontario” on the envelope was reviewed by the Ministry of Government Services (MGS). Elephas used a brown envelope because it was made from recycled materials. Furthermore, the letter had the company logo and name, which indicated it was not from a government agency.

After this very first mailing, Elephas Group altered its envelope to clearly indicate the sender, as well as released the following statement to the public:

We would like to apologize for any disturbance that our advertisement may have caused. We no longer use the Canadian Flag in our advertising, nor do we plan to do so in the future. It is our understanding that no Canadian Government mail is sent third class like this piece. All Canadian Government mail is directly addressed to the recipient’s name. The inside communication displays our Elephas Group company name and logo, clearly not a Government agency. Further, our use of Ontario on the envelope was reviewed by the Ministry of Government Services (MGS). We use the brown envelope as it is made from recycled materials. The statements contained in the advertisement are correct. We believe it is important for seniors to know that the CPP death benefit may not be adequate to address the current cost of a funeral in Ontario.

Can anyone post a picture of the new envelope? Based on the wording above, it sounds as if they removed the Canadian Flag, but have kept the word “Ontario” (they didn’t say otherwise). And they only reference Elephas Group inside the envelope, and not outside. Still a misleading though quite legal marketing tactic. I would be interested in seeing these new envelopes. I’m sure that their insurance for funeral costs is legitimate and may even, indeed, help some people. But the marketing is (still) wrong, if my hunch is correct.

Dobber, 7/22, 2020)

Here is the original post from 2014 that I wrote, that is damaging their business…




Really? That’s allowed? Unfair marketing. The enclosed letter starts off:


Yeah, so uh…if you’re 83 years old, don’t worry – you’re safe!

So these clowns get thousands of people to open the letter because of the official-looking Ontario symbol, and then hook them with scare tactics and clever wording like this:

As a Canadian resident you may qualify for the Canada Pension Plan (Survivor/Funeral) benefit. But, these funds will not exceed $2500 for final expenses.

Well there you have it. Too many among the elderly…they ignore what is in the brackets there and become alarmed at how little their CPP is. Cheesy tactics from a cheesy company with a business plan/idea that obviously doesn’t cut it.

The official-looking symbol on the envelope should be banned for marketing use. Nothing portraying or hinting at coming from the government when it actually isn’t, should be allowed.

Anyway, getting this today really pissed me off. I told them as much on their ‘contact us’ form on their website.


118 thoughts on “Shady Marketing: Elephas Group (Final Needs Planning)

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  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. These types of heartless organizations have for years been employing unscrupulous tactics in there attempts to bate vulnerable seniors by hiding behind the vale of representing an arm of the Government. Shame on there immoral soles.

  2. Not only that, they’re a “BBB Accredited Business since 15/03/2005” with an A+ rating. (Only one resolved complaint registered.) Incredible! Shameful.

  3. I just received my envelope. As I have an ill relative I thought i’d pass this along to family. Because of the envelope I too assumed it was a government program.

    Really sneaky.

  4. I was concerned after reading the mail I received from the Elphas group. I thought it sounded like a “sales job” I’m not sure . I know Pre planning funerals is probably a good idea.What is the best way to go about this unpleasant task?

  5. The thing is, the plans (actually known as Purple Shield Canada) are actually excellent, but you can get them through other (and better) agents than this outfit. You do NOT want to deal with Elephas sales agents. Meet with a genuine Purple Shield professional representative.

  6. We live in a condo where most residents are elderly, and many were visibly confused with this “mail”. Not only will I send the envelope back, but there will be a caustic letter inside, and I’ll be copying my concerns to our MPP. This is a disgusting scam and the “Elephas Group” (whoever they are) should be thoroughly ashamed.

  7. It looked official until I very carefully read the letter and wondered how any of so-called $ could be effected. The paper quality did not reflect the envelope quality. Moreover, no Government logo was founds on the letter. I threw it out!

  8. Send the prepaid envelope back, filled with all other junk mail you received today. Will do two things, 1) they will have to pay additional money if you stuff it enough.
    2) they will have to open it to see if it legit, so you will be wasting THEIR TIME.
    In addition, contact your MPP and let them know you feel like you are being taken advantage of!

  9. This is Purple Shield Canada-I have previously received the same envelope from Purple Shield. They go under several business names. Now Elephas Group is sending it out-same envelope that appears as if it is from the Ontario Government.

  10. My wife and I BOTH have Purple Shield policies, which were recommended to us by a friend. The product is good, the company has an excellent rating, our friend’s claim was paid very quickly when his wife passed and our representative was very professional and experienced. Make sure you deal with Purple Shield directly. For their own good, it seems like they should get rid of this Elephas outfit

  11. Some of the comments posted here suggest that Purple Shield is a good organization to do business with. How can that be, if they allow there name and subsequent products to be promoted through the Elephas Group and its deceitful methods? This is no doubt a complicit relationship based on cunning and greed…and not the characteristics of organizations that I would want to entrust with my hard earned money or end of life plans.

  12. I would just throw this out normally because i realized the scam is to sell life insurance. As a life insurance broker I am embarrassed by the trickery of this letter. If you need life insurance buy it from an advisor, and get professional, honest information. Diane Rusk

  13. Why doesn’t the Ontario Government step in and do something to prevent these parasites preying on Ontario Citizens? Gutless. They seem to be serving business interests over the people’s interests. And as for the Better Business Bureau they’re a joke. Companies like the Elephas Group pay them to guarantee they’ll be given a good review. Better Business indeed. They’re as bad as the Elephas Gruop by supporting this deception and predatory practice. If I were a member of this Elephas Group I don’t know how I’d look at myself in the mirror every morning knowing that my business plan relies on taking advantage of a vulnerable group like the elderly. These people who built our Country deserve better. Thumbs down to the Elephas Group, the Ontario Government and the Better Business Bureau. And yes I did mail my provided envelope back loaded with paper clips and I certainly won’t vote for the Liberals in the next election.


  14. My wife recently passed away and we had a plan with Elephas Group. Which by the way is the same plan, with the same insurance under writer as Familysode and Purple Shield. She died in Florida and within 2 days was brought back to the funeral home. They also flew home my daughter who was with her, no headache. The claim was paid out the day after she passed in my name for the original amount plus interest after only 2 years paying. The multiple names are just to seperate the offices from one another. The company is LEGIT, the plan serves it’s purpose and our agent was great! Assurant, the underwriter has an A+ rating at the BBB since 1927. I HIGHLY recommend dealing with these guys as they’re doing a good thing. They’re form of marketing may cause questions but it’s marketing and is not illegal. I suggest everyone do a little bit more research into the plan before knocking it because if it weren’t for them I would have been in a lot of financial trouble while mourning my wife.

  15. Piss off scumbags! It’s a pity that it’s against the law to hang, draw, and quarter you.

  16. I received the Elephas Groups mailer and understood exactly what it was when I read it. My wife and I did not have adequate financial coverage of any kind to pay for final costs associated with passing away. A government licensed agent contacted us after we mailed in the information request form. He arrived at our home with the information and was very pleasant and professional to meet with. We ended up enrolling in the final needs plan and feel a lot better that this is now in place for each other and our children. We also already had some insurance, but it was not for final needs. It is to take care of the surviving spouse after the other one passes away. I am not sure why some of the comments on this website are so malicious when this company is providing a very necessary service. Perhaps they should find better things to do with their time rather then bash an “A+” rated company. Thank you, From 2 satisfied clients.

  17. I agree with all of the comments above. I have just received the mailing from the “Elephas Group”. I have not investigated the program any further, but believing it to be a scam, googled the Elephas Group and have found your comments. Beware of filling out the information request & registration section. You have just given them all of the personal information they need to apply for credit in your good name. The full date of birth is what these thieves can use along with the name and address. They can then apply for credit in your name,i.e. a new VISA card, with as high a credit limit as possible and spend your money. You of course will eventually get the bill. This is identity theft. I know from an experience I had with this 12 years ago. All these criminals need is your birth date in full. Along with your name and address which is easy enough to find.
    I agree with the above, mail the blank form back and spend a little of their money and waste a little of their time. And I will investigate further and see who this can be reported to.

  18. We received the envelope this week. My husband was quite concerned based on the printing on the front of the envelope. He thought it was from the government and that maybe our CPP benefits were being reduced. As soon as he started reading it to me I remembered receiving the same darn thing several months ago. I really like the idea of sending this back to them with other junk mail. I absolutely agree the government should do something about it. It’s as bad (well, almost) as people who walk around wearing hoodies with “POLICE” written on it. Makes me furious. But that’s another topic.

  19. My mother signed up. They took the first $120.70 payment from her bank account. It will be their last. I’m advising her it’s a scam and to stop all payments to them. Unfortunately when she lived alone in NS she had another scam company that she signed up for. I ended that when I got her moved up here in Ontario.

  20. The service isn’t being trashed at all. The service/products being sold here is irrelevant. It’s the method of marketing that is the topic of debate. If the service is great, then they should let that great service do the marketing for them. If the product is wonderful, then sell that. But don’t try to get customers by tricking them. And putting on a logo that some of the lesser educated could mistake for an official government seal is tricking them.

  21. The service/products being sold here is irrelevant to the point.

    It’s the method of marketing that is the topic of debate. If the service is great, then they should let that great service do the marketing for them. If the product is wonderful, then sell that. But don’t try to get new customers by tricking them. Putting a logo on your sales envelope that some of the lesser educated could mistake for an official government seal is blatantly tricking them. That is what is upsetting the commentators here.

    Any organization that attempts to pass itself off as an agency of the Government is not performing a Marketing function. It is attempting to deceive the public, and in so doing raises the spectre of doubt towards its overall credibility.

    SHYSTER: One who uses unscrupulous, fraudulent, or deceptive methods in business.

  23. The following decision was rendered by The Advertising Standards Council Canada

    Clause 1: Accuracy and Clarity

    Advertiser: Elephas Group
    Industry: Service
    Region: Ontario
    Media: Direct
    Complaint(s): 1
    Description: The headline of a direct mail advertisement read: “Important information about assisting one of your C.P.P benefits”. In the body copy, it was stated that “the Final Needs Planning Program is here to help supplement C.P.P. final expense
    Complaint: The complainant alleged that the advertisement was misleading because it appeared to be a program sponsored by a government agency.
    Decision: When the advertisement was viewed in its entirety, it conveyed to Council the general impression that a new benefit program was available from the government to make up for a shortfall in Canada’s pension plan. The Canadian flag pictured on the outside of the direct mail envelope, and the word “Ontario” found on the back flap, both resembled official communications from government offices. Contributing to this strong impression was the message on the envelope in large type that read: “Canada Pension Shortfall! Important Information Enclosed”. As well, nothing in the advertisement clarified the fact that the program was actually a program to sell insurance coverage. For these reasons, Council found that the advertisement was misleading, omitted relevant information in a manner that was misleading, and did not clearly and understandably state all pertinent details of the offer.
    Infraction: Clauses 1(a), (b), and (c).

    Advertiser’s Verbatim Statement: We would like to apologize for any disturbance that our advertisement may have caused. We no longer use the Canadian Flag in our advertising, nor do we plan to do so in the future. It is our understanding that no Canadian Government mail is sent third class like this piece. All Canadian Government mail is directly addressed to the recipient’s name. The inside communication displays our Elephas Group company name and logo, clearly not a Government agency. Further, our use of Ontario on the envelope was reviewed by the Ministry of Government Services (MGS). We use the brown envelope as it is made from recycled materials. The statements contained in the advertisement are correct. We believe it is important for seniors to know that the CPP death benefit may not be adequate to address the current cost of a funeral in Ontario.

    It is worth noting that the above Verbatim Statement by the Elephas Group, attempts to justify what The Advertising Standards Council of Canada has clearly deemed misleading and an infraction of its code of conduct. This suggests that the Elephas Group remains steadfast in its conviction that they have done nothing wrong. This entrenched position clearly nullifies the sincerity of the company’s apology, and implies that if it were not for the interference of the Advertising Standards Council of Canada, the Elephas Group would have continued its deceptive practices.

  24. You do not need to buy from this group. You can get Purple Shield from Purple Shield agents direct. Their mail does not look like these and is probably better policy

  25. The Advertising Standards Council of Canada rendered a decision against the Elephas Group in 2014 and found its methods misleading. The Elephas Group offered a lame duck excuse for these practices. In 2015, it continues to employ similar tactics to those that were found to be in violation of The Standards Council’s code of conduct. It is apparent that the Elaphas Group remains steadfast in its conviction that they have done nothing wrong. It is furthermore evident that the Elaphas Group holds the Advertising Council of Canada in contempt, and without jurisdiction over there continued reckless behaviour.

  26. Many area residents, and many more outside our region, have recently received a “Funeral Planning Survey” in the mail. They are usually from Purple Shield, Assurant Life of Canada, or another insurance company.

    At the bottom of the survey, you are asked to check off if you would like more information. This allows the insurance company to contact you further.

    The insurance company will arrange to meet with you to discuss funeral pre-arrangements. Although pre-arranging one’s funeral is a great idea, many people have had bad experiences with the insurance companies.

    First of all, THEY DO NOT WORK FOR A FUNERAL HOME, THEY ARE NOT CONNECTED TO A FUNERAL HOME, AND THEY ARE NOT FUNERAL DIRECTORS. These are insurance salesmen that work on commission!

    People who have met with them in the past have told us that the salesman sat down with them and asked them what they had in mind for a funeral. He gave them advice and direction (imagine, an insurance salesman guiding a family through funeral decisions!). He asked them which funeral home they wanted to use, and when the family told him which funeral home, he assured them that they work with that funeral home, and gave the impression that he was quite familiar with the practices of that funeral home. He told them what they need and don’t need, and he gave them a total price, and even included the taxes, right down to the penny, without even knowing what the funeral home charges! These were figures that he had estimated. He even included charges for costs that the funeral home does not charge for! He then sold the family an insurance policy to cover those expenses that he had made up.

    Needless to say, the family was quite upset when they contacted the funeral home, and found out that in fact the insurance company did NOT represent the funeral home in any way. The costs that he based his “sale” on did not come from the funeral home.

    The interest that the insurance policy is collecting is very low, and not likely to cover the cost of the funeral down the road, and the rate is locked in. Since they had pre-arranged all of this with an insurance company and not a funeral home, the costs are not guarenteed, and they are not protected against inflation. The penalty to cancel the insurance policy was far too steep, so the family is left with an insurance policy that, in all likelyhood, will fall short of covering the funeral expenses. So the family who thought they were doing the right thing by pre-paying their funeral expenses were quite disappointed.

    We hear these stories far too often.

    Pre-arranging one’s funeral is a great idea, and should leave the family with the peace of mind knowing that everything is looked after. Pre-paying one’s funeral is also part of smart estate planning.

    Pre-arranging one’s funeral should always be done through a funeral home. That way a licenced Funeral Director can offer you options and advice, and answer any question that you might have.

    Pre-paying through a funeral home offers benefits that an insurance company cannot. For example, if you pre-pay through our funeral home, the costs are guarenteed, meaning they will never cost you any more, regardless of inflation or what interest rate your investment carries. And the interest rate that the funeral home obtains for your investment is always much higher than what an insurance policy will give you. And, of course, the investment is always yours, meaning you can redeem your invesment at anytime, without the steep penalties associated with cancelling an insurance policy.

    And the peace of mind knowing that it was all looked after by the funeral home who will be honouring you wishes someday, not a commissions salesman from Toronto.

    If you wish to have more information on pre-arranging your funeral, please contact the funeral home, either in person, by phone, or email. One of our funeral directors would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.

    You may wish to sit down and discuss your wishes with us, or we can send you home with a pre-arrangement booklet that you can go over with your family at home on your own time.

    But please, be very careful who you trust your funeral with, and your money.

  27. I checked the Elephas Group and also FNPP which was on the address envelope. The FNPP stands for First Nations Policying Policy and First Nations Programs and Partnership. What does that have to do with funeral costs?? When they kept using the word “may” that caught my eye….immediately casting doubt on this letter – a generic envelope….
    which came to me with just the number of my address on it. The wording of the whole thing and the scare tactics they use turned me right off. The Elephas group as said above should be ashamed, and stop scamming people. How would YOU like to be treated the way you treat others guys??

  28. I rec’d this in the mail. Thought I would check on-line. Thanks for the heads up.

  29. Anyone that receives this, should stuff the envelope as full of junk mail as possible, and mail it back.

    They have to pay the return postage..

  30. I’m glad that I found this site. I have been livid since I received the letter that appeared to be a Gov. of Ontario letter today. It still has the red Maple Leaf and ONTARIO in the left corner with no return address. I feared a scam even before I read it to the small print at the very bottom on the back of the page, “Not affiliated or endorsed by any government program.” I knew even before I searched the address that they are a small strip mall unit in Vaughan. How sad that they haven’t stopped their scam tactics yet

  31. Like many senior citizens commenting here, I am helpless to understand what the Elephas Group is offering. Nor am I able to ask for help. I, too, am doomed to be duped.

  32. I received this yesterday and thought the same thing as others. I intend to register a complaint (yet again) with Advertising Standards Canada, and suggest that others do as well. I am concerned for those receiving that do not have the experience or understanding that will fall for this misleading advertising.

  33. I too have received their mailings in the past, and usually just threw them out. But when my aunt died last year, we found out that she had a plan with Elephas Group/Purple Shield. To our surprise, the plan fully paid for her funeral within hours of her passing and the representatives we dealt with were just amazing. None of us knew she had taken out a plan with Elephas group, but we are really glad she did. I fully understand the hesitation some feel about their marketing tactics, but they are offering a good and necessary service. Sincerely, a happy nephew.

  34. I have never contacted the Elphas Group. But we came home from holidays to find phone calls from them. There was also a letter in our door saying they will be back to make a delivery attempt? Their address us in Vaughan Ontario? How do they find people?

  35. As always its buyer be ware especially if you are a senior as I am !! At this point in life we all know it is time to do something ,but what? I say see your local funeral home they are more than happy to discuss this subject with you and you will have a good idea of the actual cost . I government gave us a great tool to help with savings for this its called ,get this a TFSA . Assume that $2500.00 is in there and make your deposits ,it will grow say $1200.00 a year or whatever! Take control DON’T GET SCAMMED !!!

  36. I just received the same notice and the red maple leaf is still on the envelope. I contacted our Pension Manager and he directed me to the site. Yes unscrupulous.

  37. I just received the same mailing and the Elephas group are still using the red maple leaf and are still saying “IMPORTANT INFORMATOIN FOR ONTARIO RESIDENTS”. I was sure that it was something from the Ontario Government that I needed to know. This kind of advertising is very unscrupulous and misleading! They should be stopped before vulnerable people become prey to this ‘scare tactic’!

  38. They lost me right from the start with their envelope appearing as if it’s from the Ontario government. I’ve read some of the other reply’s and wouldn’t be surprised if some of the more favorable ones are planted by their own people. I’m filing it under “G” or sending their envelope back empty.

  39. Just recieved two envelope of elephas group lucky that I’ look in the website another scam and there’s another one the mail same thing as this one but I’ have feeling its’ a scam thank you that I’ Google this one and yes it’s a scam.

  40. If you want to stop these people, send back the reply with nothing filled out. Cost them about $2 each time one is sent back. If 100,000 people do this, they will be out of business in no time.

  41. Thanks Tony G…….I was just going to mail the empty envelope but decided to send the blank application back with writing in big letters NO THANK$.

  42. Got mine in the mail yesterday. I was just about to sign up. Yikes, glad I came across this blog first. Thank you

  43. It is human nature to want to complain about what one perceives as an injustice. However, “Dobber’s Take” offers no more than a sounding board, and does nothing to address the issue. Come on people lets get serious.There are numerous resources available to those who, instead of pissing into the wind, want to take concrete action to see The Elephas Group called out and penalized for its unscrupulous behavior. The following are but two organizations that are in a position to bring pressure to bear on this companies nefarious activities. Why not direct your concerns where it could do some good!

    – Financial Services Commission of Ontario

    – Advertising Standards Canada (ASC)
    How to Submit a Complaint:

    How to Submit a Complaint

    ASC accepts consumer complaints about advertising by email, mail or fax.

    If you have a concern about an ad you see or hear currently running in Canadian media, you can submit a complaint to ASC. To allow ASC to communicate your precise concern to the involved advertiser, complaints must be received in writing. We encourage you to submit complaints through our Online Complaint Submission Form, or you can mail or fax them to ASC.

    To submit a complaint by email, go to the below web site:

    Note re Confidentiality: Please note that your complaint and all correspondence between you and ASC about the complaint is confidential.

  44. This kind of mail is unconscionable as it is designed to worry and deceive. Searched on Assurant Solutions Complaints and got an ear full of complaints. Both companies walk the fine line of using deceptive practices. The Better Business Bureau isn’t much better as they rely on dues from business to stay in business. Guess who’s side they lean to.

  45. Still with the red maple leaf, and large-lettered Ontario on the recycled-paper envelope and a BIG red stamped “SECOND REQUEST” for further confusion factor. Rear of envelope shows “FNPP” which is also the name on the return envelope. Great start to 2017, NOT! Being relatively young I do read the fine print and figured it out quickly. The blaze of anger was just as fast. Bloody deceptive, deceitful twerps…

  46. My envelope even had “Second Request” stamped on the envelope in red, making it look like a collection letter or something urgent from the government. I wouldn’t touch a company with such slimy marketing practices.

  47. just got our envelope, with a prepaid envelope to FNPP in Concord, Ontario however there was no letter in it at all

  48. You are oh so corect people lake thay should be shot and pissed on and not necessarily in that order and that would iclude people who are letting them get away with it.

  49. One way to stop these scammers. Cut the letter up in small peaces, then put it in the self addressed envelope. Mail it back to them so they pay the postage.

  50. Highly unethical advertising that should come with a million dollar fine!!!

  51. Thank you everybody for your comments as it made me aware of this scam. Shame on that company for being so dishonest and taking advantage of people. I have included the blank application to the self posted envelope and will mail it back to them.

  52. Hello my name is Todd
    I am interested in the scan regarding Final Need Planning.
    I was about to write then a letter, thanking them for how quickly they expedited my father’s claim.what speed me was your link. I was looking for there web site when I saw this.
    I did find it odd that they called us a requested a thank you letter.
    Please explain before I sign my wife and I . Up

  53. Who is the owner of this company? I took out a plan with Purple Shield 18 years ago. A financial planner at that time cancelled it for me. Now in order to get it back I have to furnish the account number.
    Funny, they can find the cancellation data by my social insurance number – but can’t find a way to bridge the payments to finish paying for the package. I, only, had five (5) payments left to complete paying for the whole plan.
    To whom could I direct this injustice?
    I would appreciate someone getting back to me by my email at

  54. I recieved this package last week. I left them a message and someone came to my door at 9pm last night. Of course i didnt open the door.for safety reasons. The proceed to leave a sticky note,that i found at 7am. Who conducts business at 9pm. Glad to see your info.

  55. I smelled scam as soon I I saw the envelope and especially after opening it. The really clever part of the scam was delivering it at the very same time as one from Service Canada that was regarding pension payments. I gotta hand it to these filthy low down scammers. They are rather clever but not as clever as me.

  56. Be smart and return their envelope stuffed with other junk mail, or garbage it.
    I’m 67 and I just purchased a legitimate policy for $25 000 for only $125.00/month through Manulife, a well known legal and secure insurance company.

  57. I agree, very misleading letter and very official “Canadian governmen looking” envelope it came in. I wish there was a way to attach a photo of the one I just received today. Same colour, size and similar Canadian maple leaf graphic used on government letters you might receive from revenue Canada or another government agency. Even the text on the envelope suggests states that this is “IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ONTARIO RESIDENTS”. The truth is, on first glance, when I took it out of my p.o. box, I thought it could be a government letter, and if I knew what it was from the beginning, I would’ve tossed it in the trash with the rest of the flyers and junk mail, which in fact is where it finally ended up. The fact remains that this insurance ad is very misleading and this company and all of its affiliates should be ashamed of this form of advertising. An elderly person without many years left could very easily be confused with the wording of the letter. The government should get involved and put a stop to this but people also have to take responsibility and constantly be on the lookout for deceptive and misleading advertising such as this.

  58. still at it in November 2017 – just got it in the mail and thought I would look it up to see just what exactly it is. Thanks for this thread!

  59. Ok, so many comments since 2015 and besides those who mentioned it is Purple Shield which I almost registered to, by the way, a few years ago before moving elsewhere and then other expenses taking precedence at the time, I don’t see much help more than bashing these companies. So, if these are scammers and the government payout ( Just checked the Canada Gov. website to confirm) it’s no more than $2,500.00, what are you folks who may not be able to afford an expensive funeral expecting to do? I mean, I guess there may be something out there that is at least half-decent huh?

  60. The company may be half-decent, or even great. But the discussion is about their deceptive marketing. If the product is great, market on that strength. The bashing refers to soliciting using official government-looking envelopes that would deceive the naive

  61. It is human nature to want to complain about what one perceives as an injustice. However, “Dobber’s Take” offers no more than a sounding board, and does nothing to address the issue. Come on people lets get serious.There are numerous resources available to those who, instead of pissing into the wind, want to take concrete action to see The Elephas Group called out and penalized for its unscrupulous behavior. The following is butone of several organizations that are in a position to bring pressure to bear on this companies nefarious activities. Why not direct your concerns where it could do some good!
    – Financial Services Commission of Ontario

  62. DOBBER/ if your site wants to truly perform a useful service, other than a sounding board, why don’t you forward these concerns to a governing body like the Financial Services Commission of Ontario at ( ) where they have the teeth to take action against this type of misleading advertising. All these complainants are obviously frustrated with the nefarious marketing ploys of the Elephas Group and are looking to your report as a vehicle to a solution. The Dobber Report would then take on a more responsible role and elevate its status to that of a productive resource where legitimate concerns can not only be voiced, but channelled to the appropriate authorities.The Dobber Report would then become a part of the solution, as opposed to turning a deaf ear to the problem.

  63. Received one of these in the mail and I thought
    It was legit from the Government. Then I looked it up on the web. Thank goodness I tore it up.

  64. The use of such deceptive advertising does not engender trust in their integrity nor their product.

  65. I just received the same letter today. Obviously, there is no stopping this scam and yes, the red maple is still on the envelope. My wife thought that this was a new free government program from our free spending Liberal friend since we are getting into election season.

    I was suspicious at the wording of the letter and so I went to the website. Lord oh behold, I could qualify for as little as $5.00 a month.

    What will they think of next to pry our hard earn money.

  66. Guess who is going to receive a prepaid letter full of rocks!

    Reported to BBB
    Reported to Canada Fraud

  67. I just received a different version of this today and now it doesn’t mention Elphas Group anywhere, so looks even more like it comes from the government now. But it’s them… same scare tactic on the envelope stating “Shortfall to Canada Pension.” The form actually states as a reason why you “must complete this form” as: “we sent you a request to complete a form.” Seriously??? I think many elderly will be fooled by this, and maybe even many middle-aged people. If I had to look at it twice and really look it over, especially now that it has removed the Elphas Group name, it is even more deceiving. I assume, from all the previous comments, that complaints have been made to the government, but doesn’t look it’s doing much. I am going to send this form to my MPP and try anyway. This really disgusts me.

  68. I read all comments and “Googled” the company: Sent the form back commenting taht they should be indicating this is NOT a gov’t sponsored program and that they are asking for all my personal details but do not offer ANY company information aside from a rather cryptic address on the return envelope.

  69. Yes, its still going on in June 2018. I had to really look at letter to realize it wasn’t from the government. It is more than obvious they are predators. I’ll mail the empty envelope back,.

  70. Received letter today. The envelope has changed slightly but is still easily misconstrued as coming from government agency. As suggested I packed envelope with expired coupons and other valuable goodies. Return address: B.Fife , Mayberry NC
    Anyone defending this company must work for them.

  71. Received letter this week. “SHORTFALL TO CANADA PENSION” on the front of the envelope is misleadingTthe form is well crafted not to mention insurance. Thanks to sites like this, one can research their validity. For those who aren’t internet savvy, ask a friend or someone in an organization to which you belong. The government isn’t going to protect you from everything you receive in the mail. Be in control. Be vigilant.

  72. Bottom-feeding scum sent me one today too. I will be reporting them to the Life Insurance Council, the Better Business Bureau and the Ontario Gov’t.

  73. Too many of these scams going on. I got caught in one that used all the Rogers’ info and looked legit to me. Glad I checked in on this one first. Thanks.

  74. The government response was a joke. They make it really arduous to filea complaint and if you do they make sure you know how busy they are. They shouldnt be the industry watchdog of the civil servants are too busy to care.

  75. The government response was a joke. They make it really arduous to filea complaint and if you do they make sure you know how busy they are. They shouldnt be the industry watchdog of the civil servants are too busy to care.

  76. I agree, these shouldn’t be allowed. Although look at the BBB site , it shows an A+ rating.

  77. Thanks everyone for your replies. Checked it myself as I am so guarded with all these scams going around. Bullocks to them . Linda

  78. I too checked online. Thought it was a scam. I agree they shouldn’t be allowed to try to disguise themselves as from the government. I will mail empty envelope as this will cost them. Thanks for comments

  79. thank you for the post….I just got this letter today and I was hopeful, so good to know they are scamming

  80. That is very correct. I glad you sent that out.

    I, by the way, do work for the provincial government. There is nothing I can do about it either. Interestingly, my envelope looks different than yours. Mine does not imply that it is from the Ontario government, but it does look very official. I know that since it isn’t even addressed to me, it is just bulk admail, that it is some corporate advert. I’m not even opening mine.


  81. Four years later and they’re still doing it! My mom got one of these in the mail and I thought I’d investigate since it looked somewhat fishy.
    I especially love the part where they say in answer to why you should fill out this form, because they asked you to. 🙄
    Thanks for the rant. ☺️

  82. Shut them down. This is a borderline scam. What they are telling us is not untrue, their method of solicitation however is questionable. Vulnerable people in situations where they are faced with death or the inability to pay for final wishes are the fishes these low grades are trolling for and hoping to net. Unfortunately this is capitalism, Be warned – throw the ;letter out.

  83. I couldn’t agree with you more. These types of heartless organizations have for years been employing unscrupulous tactics in there attempts to bate vulnerable seniors by hiding behind the vale of representing an arm of the Government. Shame on there immoral soles.

  84. thanks for the above comments. Just received mine in the mail today and did a google search which I would say the majority of elderly probably wouldn’t. I love the idea of sending it back with no information in the pre-paid envelope. I am doing that today. This stuff needs to stop!

  85. I received same scam letter included in same envelope with my OAS information + SIN # …I have called service ontario …they agreed highly questionable but didn’t sound like they are going to investigate …

  86. I just got this letter in the mail today, 5 years after you got your letter. It got sent to everyone in my apartment building (which just so happens to be half retirement home).

    On the front of my envelope it says, “SHORTFALL TO CANADA PENSION – IMPORTANT INFORMATION ENCLOSED”. They have also removed the Canadian leaf symbol and changed it to the Elephas Group logo on the back of the envelope. The backside also says,


    ✓ important information enclosed
    ✓ fill in the request form inside and return in the enclosed envelope
    ✓ register now there is no obligation
    ✓ we are family owned and operated”

    So I opened the envelope for my own amusement and at the top it says, “Canadian Residents Born After 1938” with a bunch of crap that I saw through, but I know that most of the elderly people in my building won’t see through.

    I sent this “Elephas Group” an email telling them I am interested in their Final Needs Planning Program and I’m going to have some fun with them. I want to see how they proceed.

    But I’m also going to make a sign and put it in the front lobby of my building letting the elderly residents know that this letter they got is a scam.

    I know you wrote this blog entry 5 years ago and I have no idea if you will ever see my comment but I just wanted to let you and anyone else who is trying to find more information out about this Elephas Group know that these scammers are still at it, and to not give them any of your important information.

    Thank you.

  87. I agree completely! I received this in the mail yesterday and it does look official while providing no information! It certainly should be illegal. It makes me wonder too why such scam artists aren’t prosecuted for using official looking logos and documents. Thanks for your post!

  88. Pretty much figured it was a scam when I read…….Your form will then be processed and your package will be arranged to be given to you personally.

    Scam, Scam, SCAM!!

  89. They are doing it again! We received these documents in the mail yesterday in Perth and I found it so upsetting. Have sent an email to our local paper, the OPP and will send it to them in their self addressed envelope as well. I hope no seniors are duped by this but how can they not be – it is so well disguised.

  90. Sorry for the long note coming up. I filed a complaint with Ad Standards ( and this is part of their reply. Perhaps worth sending to your local paper.

    Standards Council met in October 2018, to consider similar complaints regarding this specific
    advertisement. Council found that the advertisement was misleading, omitted relevant details of the
    offer and did not clearly and understandably state all pertinent details, contrary to clauses 1(a), (b) and (c) of the Code. When, as in this case, an advertisement is found to contravene the Code, the advertiser is requested to permanently withdraw or appropriately amend the advertising.

    Based on your recent complaint, we have contacted the advertiser to advise whether the complained-of advertisement will be permanently withdrawn as per Council’s request. Please note that the Code provides that in the exceptional circumstance where an advertiser fails to voluntarily comply with a decision of Council, Ad Standards is directed to advise the Competition Bureau, the federal government agency responsible for administering the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act, of the advertiser’s failure to comply with a decision of Council. The Code also provides Ad Standards with the ability to publicize and identify the advertising in question and the advertiser who has violated the Code.

  91. Scammy Elephas Group letter in brown envelope with “Shortfall to Canada Pension” subject, arrived at our condo complex here in Oakville…a complex that is populated by hundreds of elders. So they are still at it in March 2019. Thanks for the mailback tip of a spoiled form…that will cost them time and money.

  92. I see this goes back some time, and still nothing has been done. These shifty, immoral swine have been at this for a long time, and am guessing they trick enough people to make it profitable, or they simply wouldn’t do it. Why why why do our elected officials do nothing? Good for you Tree for taking action, if more of us did it, then the gov’t wouldn’t be able to ignore us, the tax payers from whom they get their pay and pensions. I get that they are limited in what they can do unless they actually bring in legislation so these clowns (and others like them) cannot mimic gov’t letters, but then to see they have an A+ rating at the BBB? So, the BBB has lost it’s ability to have any teeth. Great. Or am I being too harsh? After all, they’ve only been at it for what, 5 yrs, and that’s going back only as far as this blog registered the first complaint, so I guess I’m being a little harsh. Ya right. Funny enough, they sent one to my wife, whos a pensioner, but not to me, who not yet hit the Golden Years. Tell me they are not targeting the elderly. Immoral dogs.

  93. While Ad Standards ( works at snail pace to shut these types of outfits down, vulnerable people, especially seniors will continue to be scammed. I received mine yesterday too, but with so much information on the web, I tracked this information and thankfully. I would have otherwise throw it in the waste, however, I am mailing it back unfilled as others have suggested. It’s a pain to be constantly vigilant about things we received in the mail, but informing your elder folks to consult you first may just be the thing to nip it in the bud.

  94. My mom and her friend seen this and filled it out thinking it was from the government. When she found out it was a private company she invited the guy over to talk as she wants to plan out her arrangements ahead of time as she knows an unexpected death can be hard on family not to mention last min decisions they gouge you as they know your mind is not in the right place and limited time to shop around. She said it seemed to good to be true so sent me to look into it before going further. Thanks for everyone who is commenting about it.. saved my mom from being the next one in line to fall for scam. They told her it’s a 15 year pay off plan but if you die in 5 years before its payed off you will still get it all paid for as if you finished your payment of 15 years. And they help make all arrangements and fill out all documents so family members dont have to. She didnt sign anything.. told him she wanted to get her family to Google it to make sure it’s legit first.

  95. I just got this official looking letter in the mail. I was going to toss it but decided to read it.
    Words such as “grateful, peace of mind, excess money back, “ caught my eye.
    It was very vague and doesn’t explain that it’s really just another SELL .
    I went on line to check out the company.
    Buyer beware. It’s not a government benefit.

  96. You guys are all insane. Yes their marketing isn’t exactly the most transparent…but the product isn’t a scam at all. Speak to your local funeral homes and you will see that they work with Assurant Life of Canada (the insurance provider) and they also sell the exact same plans. There is a big difference between acting poorly when you market and being a scam.

  97. Is this a real scam or you think it is. My husbands friend says he had a salesman come to their door about two years ago, from Elephas a Company. Him and his wife both signed up. They take it out of their bank account every month but have never received any official documents from this company. I said I think it is a scam but I wasn’t sure.

  98. Put a few pizza coupons in the return envelope and mail it. They may get a bit hungry waiting for the next scam.

  99. Yes, the word “scam” may not be the accurate descriptive. But then again, neither is calling all the commenters “insane”. It seems like you are stuck on the semantics, and not on what Elphas is doing. You know that they know what they are doing: hiding their product inside an official-looking, government-looking envelope and form and misleading some people into thinking that they have to sign up.

  100. Rec’d one of these today and although they have changed their envelope markings from “Ontario” on the back and a “maple leaf” on the front, it still says “SHORTFALL TO CANADA PENSION”. The envelope now says “Elephas Group” on the back with an elephant head and an elephant head where the stamp should be on the front. Still the SOS on the inside. Complete and utter garbage!

  101. My mother got roped into this as well and now I’m trying to figure out how to cancel. For a $10,000 policy value, she’ll end up paying almost $17,000 in premiums over 10 years. She lives in an independent senior living building where you have to buzz a resident to get in. There is a sign that clearly states “No Solicitors”. Somehow this guy Jordan Steinburg got in and went door to door. My elderly mother who had just lost her husband by the way, got taken in hook line and sinker. Absolutely shameful and disgusting. Elephas Group you should be ashamed!!!

  102. It’s unfortunate that Dobb’s and the many here have such criticism for a company that helps people get their affairs in order for end of life expenses and other stressful situations during a difficult time. I have no battle with The Elephas Groups method of getting ones attention and no battle with Dobbs.
    Just stating the truth.
    My wife and I both have their Final Needs Planning Program and we see the value in it. If you have not educated yourself on what they provide then you’re probably missing out on a service that everyone needs.
    At least we know that when we pass away, our Elephas Group Policy will provide funding to pay for end of life expenses along with guidance, compassion and personal services no other insurance company provides.
    These nice people at The Elephas Group do not deserve the negative comments over something as trivial as their brown envelope mailer with OUR flag on it. The people The Elephas Group employ are mothers and fathers with decent morals and families like most of you here.
    They’re good people with no malicious intent.

  103. Fair statement and I agree with you – they do provide a service. The point of the post was their underhanded method in getting people to notice what it is they are offering. Slapping a maple leaf on the envelope and telling them they are in some sort of trouble if they don’t read this? “Shortfall to Canadian Pension!” The entire point of the post is – if what they are offering is great, then let it stand on its own merit. No need to fool people. No need to sign people up because they fear their pension is in trouble and they trust that the government is behind this letter. It’s disgusting. Not speaking to the product, only the marketing.

  104. Thank you for your reply Mr. Dobbs. Personally, I read the envelope and the letter and did not get any vibe that it was a government advertisement.
    Many things come on brown envelopes. I do suggest that people read the content and understand it before trashing this company. Additionally, nobody is holding a gun to anyones head to sign up or schedule an appointment with the agents of Elephas. By the way, our insurance agent from Elephas was a Funeral Director also and proved it. The service is excellent!

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