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The 'friendly grandma syndrome'
Old 02-02-2015, 02:37 PM   #1
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The 'friendly grandma syndrome'

Interesting column in Dallas Morning News by Pamela Yip talks about elder financial abuse... fits my DM exactly...she's just 'too nice'...

But it’s not just seniors with cognitive decline who become victims.

“More unexpectedly, we found a significant relationship between how friendly a person was over the course of his or her life and the amount of money lost,” True Link’s report said. “We call it ‘friendly grandma syndrome.’

“You tell Mom to hang up on telemarketers, but she is just too polite to hang up on anyone, and before you know it, she’s ready to bake them cookies.”

In fact, someone described as “extremely friendly” over the course of his or her life is likely to experience four times the financial losses of someone with a more typical level of friendliness, the study found
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
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See? There really is value in curmudgeonliness.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:45 PM   #3
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:51 PM   #4
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In fact, someone described as “extremely friendly” over the course of his or her life is likely to experience four times the financial losses of someone with a more typical level of friendliness, the study found
No doubt about that, and I've posted often about seeing evidence of this with my mother, who is too polite to hang up on cold callers or shut the door on uninvited sales people. I even had a chance to get "up close and personal" with some fellows in suits that work in a nearby office of a national brokerage firm that would not stop pestering her.

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Old 02-02-2015, 03:05 PM   #5
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No doubt in my mind. When I was doing fraud investigations those were without question the most frustrating because one of the main elements needed to prosecute is a competent witness.

If the victim can't remember last Tuesday, any first-year law student could cast a reasonable doubt on their testimony. It's even more difficult if the recipient is family or long-time friend because if they claim it is a loan that makes it a civil matter unless the state can prove it was not.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:14 PM   #6
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Seen it with my DF. He mostly got hit by crap he saw on TV.
When my sister took over his bills he'd been in assisted living for several months. She added it all up and he was giving 50% of his pension and SS away. He needed that money to pay for just part of his care. We knew his need for care and the money for it was only going to increase.

Couldn't reason with him. He convinced himself the 5 year look back didn't apply to charitys. Sister finally just told him "sure were still contributing".
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:54 PM   #7
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This is my problem too. I am just way too friendly.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:14 PM   #8
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I will never be the "friendly elderly woman" type.
I'm way too cynical about the human race and damn proud of it.
My favorite explanation for poor human behavior is "People s**k". It is an all encompassing explanation that requires no detailed explanation.
I don't get bitter or angry about that. It just is.

Mr B says I'm way too cynical about people. That's like saying there's too much cheese on my pizza. Ain't never gonna happen.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:25 PM   #9
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I will never be a grandma and I sure as heck won't be friendly to people who want to sell me stuff. When I get calls about deals on insurance, etc. I always say "send me the data in writing". They never do that. Now get off my lawn!
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:01 PM   #10
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Seems like we are doomed either to turn into old grouches, or dupes. Since both extremes are available to us as we age, why not choose a middle ground?
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
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Seems like we are doomed either to turn into old grouches, or dupes. Since both extremes are available to us as we age, why not choose a middle ground?
Pretending to be a grouch (or cynic in my case) is a great filtering/defense mechanism against con artists.
If a con artist enters my personal space to try to mess with my head with the end result of lightening my pocketbook, then I consider it 100% fair game to out-con the con artist. Hee hee heeeee...
I've had fun with this game, many many times in my lifetime. Women are often considered to be easy marks when it comes to sales pitches and pathetic pleas for money, so I'm trying to even the score.
Nobody gets hurt, but I'll betcha my behavior has been discussed more than once.
I keep my money, they walk away with a good story to tell.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:01 PM   #12
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It's not all the friendly grandma's fault, either. The elderly are just besieged by con artists of every type. At least, my mother was. Thank heavens she never fell for it, but she easily could have.
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The 'friendly grandma syndrome'
Old 02-02-2015, 09:02 PM   #13
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The 'friendly grandma syndrome'

I pulled into my driveway the other day and saw my 82 year old neighbor walk briskly over to my car with a piece of paper in her hand. She told me she had gotten a voicemail on her phone from the IRS. I told her it's a scam and to not call the number back. Too late, she had already called the number back. I asked her why she didn't talk to me before she called the number back, because we have had these talks before about scams on senior citizens. She said I wasn't home to ask so she called the number. It sounds like she wised up during the call when the guy with the accent asked her what her phone number was so she hung up. I printed out a couple of articles about the IRS phone scam and gave them to her. One of the articles even had the same phone number she called in it.

She told me the other day she feels sorry for the home improvement guys that call her because she knows times are tough. I tried to convince her not to talk with them as they are most likely scams but she won't listen.

I tried to convince her not to answer her home phone but that was pointless. I even talked with her adult children one day just to make them aware since it's their inheritance that is going to get ripped off.

I have lived next door to her since 1989 so I know her real well. Its just sad and a little frustrating to think she might fall victim to one of these scams.


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Old 02-02-2015, 09:21 PM   #14
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I'm not likely to be the friendly grandmother. I come from b*tchy old lady stock. I get angry when I smell a scam and will sometimes let loose with the language I (unfortunately) learned from my father. The latest victim was the guy from "Windows" who called to let me know that they had detected a problem with my computer. I was home alone (no one to be shocked) and let it fly. I probably blistered the guys ears before he could hang up.

I imagine it will only get worse as my filters start failing 😁


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Old 02-03-2015, 08:40 AM   #15
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When someone manages to hook me into listening, they better get ready for a slew of skeptical (but not grouchy or hostile) questions. And you're quite right - many people are surprised, and displeased, by a logical, skeptical female who won't stop asking questions, instead of just being a nice girl and letting them run on with their pre-packaged spiel. I suspect a great deal of society's foundation is based on the convenient assumption that most women want to be liked, and are concerned with whether or not they are liked by others.

My definition of a good, and possibly trustworthy, salesperson is one who can keep up with my questions, and admit it gracefully when they don't know the answer.

OTOH...when my marbles start to go (some would say they're gone already, but that's another story), there's the answering machine. We've used one to screen calls for 25 years. Has spared us the "I'm from Microsoft, is your computer running?" calls that others complain about.

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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Pretending to be a grouch (or cynic in my case) is a great filtering/defense mechanism against con artists.
If a con artist enters my personal space to try to mess with my head with the end result of lightening my pocketbook, then I consider it 100% fair game to out-con the con artist. Hee hee heeeee...
I've had fun with this game, many many times in my lifetime. Women are often considered to be easy marks when it comes to sales pitches and pathetic pleas for money, so I'm trying to even the score.
Nobody gets hurt, but I'll betcha my behavior has been discussed more than once.
I keep my money, they walk away with a good story to tell.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:34 AM   #16
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I'm not likely to be the friendly grandmother. I come from b*tchy old lady stock. I get angry when I smell a scam and will sometimes let loose with the language I (unfortunately) learned from my father. The latest victim was the guy from "Windows" who called to let me know that they had detected a problem with my computer. I was home alone (no one to be shocked) and let it fly. I probably blistered the guys ears before he could hang up.

I imagine it will only get worse as my filters start failing 😁


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I applaud you!

I choose a slighty different tactic with the Windows guys. I'll keep talking, asking questions, even go to the machine and type as if I'm going to happily become their victim. "I'm happy to help you, what did you want me to do? I don't understand computers. What screen? Wait, my computer is not turned on. Please wait a little, I really need your help!" Begging them to waste their time. If I play long enough most hang up. The ones that don't eventually get an education in language I learned in logging, sawmills, and from former Navy and USMC folks. I often wonder how those very descriptive words translate back to their native language?
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:46 AM   #17
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I've never understood why people feel compelled to answer the door or the phone. If it's someone I don't know, I don't bother, although I may tell someone at the door to bugger off, just so they know someone is home.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:31 AM   #18
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The minute they start the sales pitch I hang up eventually they stop calling .
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:07 AM   #19
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Friendly Grandma answers the door and phone because she is lonely.

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I've never understood why people feel compelled to answer the door or the phone.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #20
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Friendly Grandma answers the door and phone because she is lonely.
That may explain some cases. She also answers the door because she was raised to see this as the polite thing to do. The men there knocking are well aware of this, so they dress well and show fine manners while very coldly attempting to exploit her financially. Same with the people calling.
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