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Old 06-12-2016, 11:58 AM   #21
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When my Dad was 86 he got a check in the mail with a letter from The "National Lottery". He had won $145,000 and the check was for $3650.00 that he was supposed to deposit in his bank and then pay $1920.00 for the non-resident tax to the United Kingdom.

He knew it wasn't real because "You don't get something for nothing". He took it to his bank just to have them check it out and they made a copy and reported it to the police dept.

He saved it to show to me and I handled the check. It was a real check, printed on check paper from a company in Indiana that had nothing to do with lotteries or sweepstakes. I looked up the company and it was a small local parts supplier. I suspect that someone stole their blank checks.

Anyways, it was an interesting episode and I was very proud that Dad knew it wasn't real and that he alerted the proper folks.

Scary though, as this easily could have turned into a disaster if he had deposited it and the scam artist could see his bank and account number from the deposit.

For your Mom and her phone calls, I agree that changing her number is a good idea. Unfortunately, changing your phone number takes some effort to let all the right people know, without letting all the wrong people know.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:27 PM   #22
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Before I retired I did fraud investigations and it sounds like you have done everything possible. Except change the phone number, and if you can talk her into it, have it unlisted so it won't show in the phone book or online directories, at least for a while. While I know it it a huge pita to let friends/relatives know of the change, in this case it is about the only way to get these calls to stop.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:59 PM   #23
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Some call blocking devices allow the user to specify a list of permitted incoming callers; all others are blocked. I haven't tried one (I just unplug the phone during nap time ), but this might be a better approach than changing her phone number. The key is that there needs to be someone local able/willing to setup the initial list of permitted callers, and then maintain it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:41 PM   #24
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The various solutions I thought of, all tend to fail at the inevitable "she is too polite to do that."

It's hard to imagine myself suddenly falling for these types of calls, which I currently recognize as scams, simply because I have turned 80+.

What I wonder about is, what types of scam calls will be fooling me many years from now when my marbles are rolling away?

"You have won a free, self-driving, flying car!"

"Your young-body transplant is waiting for you in Thailand! All you need to do is buy your ticket and fly to Bangkok, and your brain will be transplanted into a 22-year-old body grown from a clone of a gorgeous actress!"

"Please contribute what you can to save Earth from time-traveling robots bent on destroying humanity!"
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #25
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What I wonder about is, what types of scam calls will be fooling me many years from now when my marbles are rolling away?
By 2050 everyone here now will know the IRS agent hologram offering fresh bacon from the FIRE board just HAS to be for real.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:09 PM   #26
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My Mom had all her marbles but she was very religious so any request for donations linked to some Catholic organization ( fake or real ) was her weakness.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:15 PM   #27
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My Mom had all her marbles but she was very religious so any request for donations linked to some Catholic organization ( fake or real ) was her weakness.
+1
Another weakness was any kind of veteran's organization, no matter how absurd its name.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:22 PM   #28
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Just make it a point to watch the movie Nebraska with your mom every year.
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My Rant About Mom
Old 06-13-2016, 03:19 AM   #29
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My Rant About Mom

Loneliness drives many elders to talk on the phone and chat with these "engaging and nice people". The filters then come off. A voice. Any voice. Especially that nice mans voice is hard to resist.

Routine human interaction is necessary for life and many elder folks do not get enough of that as they age and live in rest homes nursing homes assisted living and when they live alone .

Ever watch tv during the day targeting old people - same thing - They get the geriatric to feel comfortable playing the ad over and over -- shame on colonial Penn life insurance, And the button - I've fallen and I can't get up, try proprostate if you have enlarged prostrate, get your free Medicare electric wheel chair, Diabetes test equipment free to your door....just call now. Operators are standing by. 1-800-.....

It's simple human nature. These scammers all know it. My mom lost decades of digital photos and family tree programs due to some scammers from "Microsoft in India ". once... Sadly most not backed up or saved in the cloud. That was years ago. Fortunately she did nothing else online other than email so no financials were compromised .

Don't blame mom ..go visit mom.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:14 AM   #30
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I agree with this. She needs a new number. You might want to look into setting alerts on all her accounts that will contact you every time a transaction is in process and there is still time to stop it.
Good idea on the account alerts. I'll look into that today. Thanks Michael.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:16 AM   #31
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Would any of the services in this Kiplinger article from January help? Block that Pitch by Kaitlin Pitsker Block Unwanted Sales Calls and Texts-Kiplinger
Thanks for the article Katiek. She's on the Do Not Call registries, but some if the other suggestions particularly on call blocking are worth pursuing.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:18 AM   #32
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Contact your states Dept of Aging. One thing that helped my mother in law was speaking with someone their own generation. Don't ask me why, I make a suggestion, nothing. Someone from her senior center says the same darn thing and a light bulb goes on. Also they have resources to get those phone calls stopped or at least tracked. Good luck
Yep. I hear you on the "deaf ears" thing. But I would think a police detective would be believable.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:19 AM   #33
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Before I retired I did fraud investigations and it sounds like you have done everything possible. Except change the phone number, and if you can talk her into it, have it unlisted so it won't show in the phone book or online directories, at least for a while. While I know it it a huge pita to let friends/relatives know of the change, in this case it is about the only way to get these calls to stop.
I'm going to try the call block route first and if not successful will push for a number change
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:22 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by socca View Post
Some call blocking devices allow the user to specify a list of permitted incoming callers; all others are blocked. I haven't tried one (I just unplug the phone during nap time ), but this might be a better approach than changing her phone number. The key is that there needs to be someone local able/willing to setup the initial list of permitted callers, and then maintain it.
I am local (25 minutes away), so it's possible. I need to be sensitive however to riding roughshod over her independence. dD passed away 6 years ago and she has done a great job of adjusting after 86 years of never living alone.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:23 AM   #35
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Just make it a point to watch the movie Nebraska with your mom every year.
I'm not familiar with that movie. I'll google it.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:26 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by papadad111 View Post
Loneliness drives many elders to talk on the phone and chat with these "engaging and nice people". The filters then come off. A voice. Any voice. Especially that nice mans voice is hard to resist. Routine human interaction is necessary for life and many elder folks do not get enough of that as they age and live in rest homes nursing homes assisted living and when they live alone . Ever watch tv during the day targeting old people - same thing - They get the geriatric to feel comfortable playing the ad over and over -- shame on colonial Penn life insurance, And the button - I've fallen and I can't get up, try proprostate if you have enlarged prostrate, get your free Medicare electric wheel chair, Diabetes test equipment free to your door....just call now. Operators are standing by. 1-800-..... It's simple human nature. These scammers all know it. My mom lost decades of digital photos and family tree programs due to some scammers from "Microsoft in India ". once... Sadly most not backed up or saved in the cloud. That was years ago. Fortunately she did nothing else online other than email so no financials were compromised . Don't blame mom ..go visit mom.
You're right -Don't blame Mom. She has been a wonderful mother to me. I do visit often and call daily. Now she's the one that needs protection. Now the child becomes the parent.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:29 AM   #37
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll update y'all if any Nigerian Princes show up at her door.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:43 AM   #38
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Have your mom screen her calls with a combination of caller ID and her answering machine. Whenever we get a call, we let the phone ring a minimum of 4 times, this allows us to glance at the caller ID to see if they are familiar numbers. However, these scammers are professional, so sometimes the numbers are disguised. It also allows the answering machine to pick up at 5 rings, which is a usually longer time a scammer wants to invest, and usually hangs up. If a legitimate call, they start to leave a message, and you can then pick up.

It took at least 3 months of discipline to allow this to work. We use two phone lines, one personal, the other for the rentals.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:44 AM   #39
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I have Ooma which has the option of using community blacklists (blocks known telemarketers) and you can block additional numbers through their website (just click on the phone number in the call list). You could monitor who's calling and block unwanted callers. It might be an option (just transfer current phone - takes a few weeks).
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:55 AM   #40
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Back a few years ago, one of our clients who was a lonely widow got tangled up in these. I helped her son, who lived on the other side of the country, with keeping tabs on her account. One thing we were able to spot is small debits, like around $10-20, that indicated she'd been hooked by a new scammer. He closed her local bank account, automated her bills so he could pay online, and changed her phone number a couple of times.

She was bored and lonely, though, so soon enough she'd get hooked again.
He also changed her mailing address to some kind of mail forwarding service that would go through it and toss the solicitations before sending the real mail to her at home.

It was frustrating and she would get mad at me for monitoring her accounts and notifying the son when the small charges showed up. No win situation for all. You have my sympathy on this, for sure.
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