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PATRICIA DROWN, San Clemente
If you are over the age of 60 and you own a phone, you have undoubtedly been the target a robocall “from Social Security” saying that your account is in trouble. I speak from experience. First, let me assure you that this is not how the Social Security administration operates. But if you are an older person, living alone and perhaps a bit intimidated by how fast the world is moving, it can scare you.
Not telling people, however, is a very big mistake.
And there are many such calls. I had just finished a lecture on fraud at a community center, and as the group headed off for punch and cookies, one lady stayed behind. She looked worried. I asked if there was something she wanted to talk about. Yes, there was. A phone caller had scammed her out of all her savings with a credit-card offer. The tough part—and this is especially true for some seniors—was that she did not want to tell anyone and look vulnerable and silly. That was of greater concern to her than the loss of her funds.
I explained to her that these callers are well-trained and have no conscience. They work out of phone bank farms, making hundreds of calls each day and playing the odds. She was no match. Hearing those words did not bring her money back, but it did restore some self-respect.
No matter what your age and how savvy you are, if the phone rings and you do not know the number, let it go to voicemail.
The phone has no constitutional right to be answered, but you have the right to protect yourself. Case closed.