A couple of years ago, I answered a phone call at my house about a past due credit card account of my father’s from over 20 years ago. The caller has some information correct, but mixed other things up with one of my brothers’ name and address. In trying to figure out what the call was about, they asked for immediate payment of $1700. I said I would do some research and call them back. It sounded legitimate, but fishy none the less. This was before Google would have told me who the caller was by putting the number into the search bar to find out quickly. What I did find out, was that it was a SCAM and this company preyed on old files of credit card users and used scare tactics on folks older than eighty years old. You can also use WhoCalledMe.com.

I also learned that there was a statute of limitations on some forms of debt, so I called back and said I was going to  report them if they called again. They called the next day and I told them once again, NO money was coming their way and to leave us alone. I did report them, by the way.

Our personal information is out there on the web for practically anyone to see. There are also lots of people who are NOT NICE, I can guarantee you that. Protecting one’s identity is important, but the scammers can be one step ahead of many, namely senior citizens.

This past week another family member was the victim of fraud by phone. The folks on the line sound nice and friendly, use your first name and seem to be very helpful with their offers. NEVER give out your credit card info, your date of birth, your social security number. In fact, putting your phone number on the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY is a good idea. I’m not sure what it prevents, but it might stop somebody. 

Another way to stop some of the annoying and potentially costly calls is to use a BLOCK THIS NUMBER feature on your phone account. I was able to log into Comcast and see who was calling, where they were calling from and how long the calls were in length. After blocking the ANONYMOUS numbers, the calls decreased, but a few snuck through the system.
I put an app on my iPhone that allows me to see who is calling on my relative’s landline number. It gives me a first look to see who is calling and I can intercept it before it rings at the residence. Check with your service provider/phone company to see what they offer customers.

My advice is to remind everyone, young and old, if you don’t know the caller, HANG UP. There are just too many people trying to take advantage these days. Caller ID is great for those who know how to use it, but for some seniors, it’s like teaching a dog a new trick, nearly impossible, so others need to watch out for them. My newest pet peeve is the amount of calls that come from all sorts of charities asking for money. NO! I will give at the end of the year or in ways that does not involve solicitation by phone! Remember, if you don’t know them, HANG UP! Hello?