Watchdog Nation’s oldest citizen celebrates her 100th birthday

Of all the people Watchdog Nation has tried to help in the past several years, Ruth Wingfield is our favorite.

Today, she celebrates her 100th birthday. That officially makes her the oldest citizen of Watchdog Nation in the world today.

Dave Lieber's Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong

I know she’s a citizen of Watchdog Nation because whenever she gets angry at someone trying to rip her off, her first instinct, after calling me, is to demand: “WHO REGULATES YOU? I’M GOING TO FILE A COMPLAINT.”

Dave Lieber's Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong

I met her in 2008 when Cigna, her health insurance company, did her a big bowl of wrong. She wrote a $4.80 check she owed them. But then, at 98 years old, she put the decimal point in the wrong place. She wrote the check for $480. And when she complained later, the company refused to give her the money back. They said it could take a month or more.

Here’s the story I told earlier of how she got her back money.

At the time, she couldn’t remember my name was Watchdog, so she called me “Dogpatch Guy” — and I put that in the story.  For weeks afterward,  people called me “Dogpatch Guy.”

“I put you on the map,” she jokes.

Anyway, she’s been ripped off before, and she doesn’t like it. Somebody cashed out one of her insurance policies years ago (without her knowledge), and the agent involved was fired. She also got angry after she received a free cell phone but later learned she had to pay large bills. She also bought a phone for hard-of-hearing adults that turned out to be a dud, too. So she’s real suspicious.

Maybe that’s why she’s lived to be 100.

In the video box at the top of this post, shot on her birthday, she tells about her latest escapade.


Dave Lieber's Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong

Ruth Wingfield, 100, and the dude she calls "Dogpatch Guy"


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Final note: Wingfield was an outstanding semi-pro women’s basketball player in the 1930s. She played with the legendary Hazel Scott. Last week, Nancy Lieberman, probably the greatest American woman’s basketball player alive today, presented Wingfield with a cake and an autographed basketball.

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Dave Lieber, The Watchdog columnist for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is the founder of Watchdog Nation. The new 2010 edition of his book, Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong, is out. Revised and expanded, the book won two national book awards in 2009 for social change. Twitter @DaveLieber

Dave Lieber book that won two national awards for social change.

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Comments

  1. Kelly Pace Bradley says:

    I loved it when Ruth wheeled away saying YOU ARE A GOOD GUY! What wisdom she has at 100 years of age.