Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Scamming Season

This seems to be the Scam Season around here.  We've been warned many times about various scams, most notably lately the one where the caller claims to be from the IRS and tells the called person that unless an amount owed to the IRS immediately, a marshal will be sent to make an arrest.  Naturally, there's a way to meet a deadline.  Pay with a loaded debit card.

We've been told literally hundreds of times that the no government agency makes calls demanding money or other information.  If you get such a call, just hang up.  Don't get cute and engage the caller in can bet the caller is "cuter" than you.  Just hang up.

My wife is among those who have received the call.  Sandra just hung up.

That scam is just one of many making the rounds.  The elderly apparently are the principal target of the scammers.  We weren't brought up in a scamming age and were taught to be polite on the phone and not hanging up on people.  It's a hard good trait to break.  I have broken it and I hope other folk in our age group (closer to 80 than 75) will also break it.

I got another phone call today that I'd bet is very high among the scammers.  When I answered the phone, the voice said, "You or someone at this phone number called to inquire about getting a back brace and left a message to return the call."  No one in this household ever made such a call.  I must admit I was tempted to engage the caller to explain just that, but didn't.  Don't let yourself get wrapped up in such a call.

We have a rule in hour house:  Don't do any telephone business we did not originate.  It seems to work for us.  Someone once told me I was missing out on a lot of good deals with that rule.  I responded that I've more likely saved a lot more money.

If I had accepted all those cruise trips I've hung up on, I might be the most traveled old guy around.

And then there's Bridget.  She used to be Rachel.  I think Bridget has a secret crush on me.  She calls sometimes three or four times a day.  I do feel sorry, though, for one resident right here in Scarborough.  Bridget has confiscated her phone number trying to fool me into thinking it's a neighbor calling, but I don't know the person and when I see that number, after the first time I answered it and was told it was Bridget, I now know instantly I don't need to pay more for my credit card.

Remember, you don't have to be polite to scammers, just hang up.


No comments: