Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Scam on Seniors



We all know that seniors are ripe targets for scams. We know that scams come in many shapes and sizes. And with the increasing focus on identity theft, it becomes a little scary.  Here’s a new one for our family.

A few weeks ago Mom mentioned that an insurance man had called and made an appointment to come to her home and check over her policy. “Which policy,” I asked? “Who?”

Well, she didn’t get his name, but she thought he was from John’s office. She has an annuity with John.

“Did he say he was from John’s office?” She thought he might have.

“So why didn’t John call?”  She didn’t know, but said they were looking at everyone’s policies because the home office thought there were some problems with them.

Sounded fishy to me. He was scheduled to come by the next morning. In my usual maternal voice, I told her than under no condition was she to allow him into the house without me there. I reminded her again that she isn’t to have salespeople in or even talk to them without me. She couldn’t remember what she had told him about her policies, but I was sure it was too much. I told her to have him call me and we would schedule a time when I was there.

I told her to be away from the house the next day, and if he called back, to have him call me. He called me the next day. Unfortunately, I was on my way out. I asked him to call me back that afternoon. He didn’t.

So I called John and asked him if he had indeed sent this guy. I knew it was possible. John is aging and winding down his practice. But wouldn’t he have let us know he was sending a new employee? Wouldn’t he have called first or even brought him by the first time?

Sure enough, John knew nothing about this guy. Without a name or number, we were left with no way to follow up. But I was grateful to have caught it this time.

I wish I could get Mom to stop talking to strangers. After all, didn’t she teach me that when I was little? Now she seems willing to tell anyone anything about her business.  But I keep trying. I keep reminding her and hoping.

What do you do to try to protect your aging parents from scams?

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

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2 comment(s):

It's terrible, scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to target elders. I wish there was a concerted effort to increase police crackdown of these people.

You have a great site. Contact me if you are interested in a link exchange with my site, www.elderguru.com. Keep up the good work.

By Blogger Derrick, at 8:54 AM  

Just found your blog and I know how you feel. It is very hard to keep our parents safe these days. I have told my mom a million times not to open the door to strangers but, every time I turn around she is chatting with someone she doesn't know. Very hard!

By Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich, at 2:22 PM  

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