We Need to Help Our Older Community Deal With Phone Scammers

Phone Scams Prey On All Ages, But the Elderly are Most Vulnerable

One of the worst new ways that phone scammers are working is to leave strange and threatening messages.

A recording may say, “if you don’t return the call you will have to face the legal consequences.”

If you call the number back, which is something not recommended by consumer protection experts, you’re actually giving scammers potential access to your personal information. 

You are almost always being recorded on these systems. If they get you on a recording saying the word “yes”, then they can use that for you to have agreed to any number of terms and conditions or modifications to your account through simple editing.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to protect your personal information:

  • Use Caller ID to screen calls. Don’t answer unfamiliar numbers. If the call is truly important, they will leave a message. If you know nothing about the number that is calling, DO NOT CALL IT BACK.
  • If someone calls and asks “Can you hear me?”, do NOT answer “yes.” Just hang up. Scammers change their tactics as the public catches on, so be alert for other questions designed to solicit a simple “yes” answer.
  • If a number is obviously spam, make a note of the number and report it to bbb.org/scamtracker to help warn others. BBB also shares Scam Tracker information with government and law enforcement agencies, so every piece of information is helpful in tracking down scammers.
  • Consider joining the Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov) to cut down on telemarketing and sales calls. This may not help with scammers since they don’t bother to pay attention to the law, but you’ll get fewer calls overall. That may help you more quickly notice the ones that could be fraudulent.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges. It’s also a good idea to check your telephone and cell phone bills, as well.

Help Your Elders

The older generation is much more gullible to falling for spammers. It’s important to explain these facts to them and help them understand that they aren’t to trust any recorded calls and to NEVER give out any personal information to organizations they don’t know!

We make all of our aware of these kinds of tactics so that they can help monitor clients and hopefully keep them from falling into the phone scam trap.

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