29 September 2011

Keeping an eye on our elderly: family, friends, neighbors

Grandma Got Conned ...

My grandmother and I are fairly far apart in miles, but we keep in touch by phone.

We'll play message tag for a couple of days until we get to have a voice to voice, so to speak.  Last weekend and week went about typical.  She called over the weekend, but I was unable to respond to her call until that following Tuesday.

We caught up on the latest happenings, the family gossip, and her very busy schedule.  We were going through our closing "routine" - it takes about three or so times to say goodbye as we think up things we didn't mention earlier in the conversation, when her comments made all the hairs on my body stand on end.

"I got a phone call from a man today, from Medicare.  He told me they were re-issuing cards and he needed by bank account and routing number."  I laughed, "Well, you didn't give him anything, did you?"  Ha, ha, I hear about these phone calls all the time.  Surely *MY* grandmother wouldn't fall for such, would she?

Yep ... hook, line, and sinker.  She continued, "I kept telling him I didn't think I should be giving him this information."  But he was a smooth customer, giving her the phone number for Medicare to call back and double check after their conversation was complete.  She handed over all of her important information, including her social security number, I later learned.

I would love to find her caller and wring his neck.  But for a while, I was also tempted to wring my grandmother's.  How dare she fall for this!  She owns her own business (has for years), is a active 80+, and lives alone in her own house.

She should be smarter than this rang from all quarters of the family for several days.  And I am reminded, once again, of what these confidence men (conmen) are looking for: lonely elderly who grew up in a very different environment and will respond to the authority that comes through a phone line.

It has been a wake up call to me.  Even my family is not safe from these idiotic a$$es out to make a quick buck.

The good news is that grandma got right on the ball after I told her she probably lost all the money in that account.  First, she called Medicare, who set her straighter than I (apparently).  Then she called the banks.  That next morning she had a hold on her account ASAP and closed it.

She did not lose any money, but the stress and sleeplessness have definitely taken their toll.  She keeps asking, "Why won't the cops or the government do anything about this?" 

My answer does not please her, since this is a "damage-less" crime, it is low on the totem pole of things-to-do. 

I wonder, who else is on my list of "double check to make sure they aren't succumbing to smooth taking telephone callers?"

Grandma is doing better, but it will be some months before she can shake off the pall of this experience.  She is also doing well with the good-natured ribbing she constantly gets from the family.  Though she is not too keen on coughing up a "saver's fee" for my intervention!  :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Yours faithfully,