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.

 

About The Author Staff

comments (2)

  • true crimes are the above mentioned not ladders on pu trucks

  • Sadly after many years of seniors being warned of these kinds of scans, there are still people being taken in by them. I get these robots calls daily, everything from Social Security, The FBI and the Sheriff’s department charity scam.

    Once in awhile I have answered the call just to hear the latest version. They can sound very official and once they have you on the phone, they can become very aggressive. They do their best to intimidate you. However once they figure out you are playing with them, they hang up.

    My phone provider does a good job identifying these calls as scams and eventually all phone providers are supposed to identify these calls. Of course, once that becomes universal, the scammers will figure out how to beat the system!

    We are often the victims of our own fears, greed or guilt. That will always make us vulnerable.

comments (2)

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