Scam Artists

We’ve all had them call us – I’m not talking about phone calls from friends and family, but calls from telemarketers and scam artists.  Sometimes it’s the loud blast from a cruise ship tearing into your ear, and other times it’s just ominous silence.  Either way, my usual repertoire is to either hang up without saying anything, or requesting that I be placed on their ‘no call list’.  I’m not sure if this is right tact, but it seems to be working – we’re getting fewer calls. 

Now if I could only figure out how to block text messages on my cell phone….

A few days ago, a new scam was brought to my attention.  This scam has been used with some success, and it’s targeting seniors.  It all starts when a grandparent gets a call from someone they believe to be their grandchild.  The ‘grandchild’ is usually calling from a noisy location, which makes it difficult to communicate and makes it easier for them to convince the senior they really are their loved one.  The ‘grandchild’ then says he has been arrested for a minor offence and is being held in a Canadian jail, with bail posted at several thousand dollars.  The grandparents, being the loving and caring people that they are, immediately wire their ‘grandchild’ the money.

You can probably see where this is going – the ‘grandchild’ is a fake and the money is never seen again. 

There have been several cases in the States where grandparents have been duped out of tens of thousands of dollars.  It’s had a far reaching effect, as even our jail here in Vancouver has fielded calls from worried relatives who eventually find out their ‘grandchild’ has never graced the cells of our jail.

These scam artists will stop at nothing to get their paws on your money, so treat EVERY request for funds with a little bit of scepticism. 

Thanks to Ray for sending me a link to a great blog out of Wisconsin.  Onconto County Commission on Aging’s Blog is “intended to keep seniors up-to-date on current programs, scams, press releases and recalls.”  While most of the information is more suited to local residents of the Onconto County, there are still some very valuable tips for our Canadians and it’s worth a look.

If anyone has a good link to such a Canadian site, please let me know.


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