Those Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
By Richard P. Holm, MD
The phone rang, and I answered it because the call was from a nearby community. No big surprise that the caller was obviously not from anywhere near, and the caller was asking for a donation for some organization in which I had no interest. I said, in a kindly tone, “No thank you,” and hung up. They will never end the call. YOU MUST HANG UP.
Financial abuse by telephone or internet has been called “the crime of the 21st century.” People of all ages are at risk, but scammers commonly target the elderly. Those of us past 65 are more often home to answer the phone, are apt to stay on the line longer and are less likely to report a crime. Making all of this worse, telemarketing crime is challenging to prosecute and, therefore, inviting to criminals.
There are plenty of bad guys out there. The National Council on Aging has written a compendium of common fraudulent traps that can result from telephone calls or internet messages. Here are some:
Take home message: Don’t respond to calls or emails from strangers selling or pushing you into something. Don’t donate to causes that you didn’t initiate. Beware of scammers. In a kindly tone, say, “No thank you,” and JUST HANG UP.
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