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Voice of the consumer: Con artists targeting the elderly

Stay safe, and alert elders you know!

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Christina, thank you. These scammers are increasing all the time. My mother is 89 years old and very sharp mentally. She started getting calls from someone pretending to be Microsoft (I think), telling her that her computer had a virus. This person told Mom that the virus could destroy all information on her computer. She told the guy, No, I'm positive it won't. He came back with even more dire consequences for her computer. Mom again said that there would be NO problem with her computer BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T HAVE ONE.

Oh Roseanne, that's so funny. Sad also - these scammers are so determined!

Just read this article. Quite scary :( 

Jason W, That IS very scary.  We moved from California (oh, how I miss the weather!) to Wisconsin about 6 months ago. We didn't get a land line here. Even when we were living in CA, we had considered dropping our land line. So that's one good thing.
But these scammers or nuisance callers are constantly on cell phones now. I just don't answer the cell phone if it's a phone number I don't recognize, or if it's from a state where I know no one. If I do answer the phone, the minute they say, "This is a courtesy call...", I hang up. Or if I know it's a scam call, I hang up. But I would expect that when threatening messages come, even if it's unlikely to occur, it WOULD SCARE people, especially senior citizens! All of these things are so out of control, and it would be great to know who we should contact if we get scamming calls.

My mother used to get those calls daily when she was alive.  Got to the point they'd have her getting her banking details & CC's out of her purse to give them over the phone.  I ended up having to step in & put a stop to that.  The worst was a dirtbag who kept calling demanding money & would only identify himself as "charity shop".  Still getting calls from the near east multiple times a day every freaking day of the week from india & pakistan calling themselves "credit card company" with fake warnings about suspicious activity and asking for the CC details.  

Unpleasant as it is you just gotta play hardball with those slimey scammers.  Use call display for sure its worth it & report to police if they persist.

And another time I got a call from another person who sounded as if he was from India. (I'm not trying to be bigoted, but I know the accent and I know many call centers are located in India. In fact, I just got a job requisition from LinkedIn for a nursing position, and the recruiter, under her picture, was from New Delhi, India). 
After grilling him a little, i then asked which ocean he worked near. I asked this because my phone said the call came from Virginia. He said, "Ma'am, I am not permitted to tell you this". I said, "You aren't permitted to tell me what ocean you are closest to?" Him: "No ma'am", 
I hung up.

Roseann Z.  that's another common tactic used by scammers.  Caller ID spoofing and very illegal.  Reminds me of 1 of those tech support scammers who called claiming to be from "homeland security" and had spoofed the caller ID to match the DHS number publicly listed in nyc.  I chewed out that $#*! since he was calling me in canada that would've netted him charges of wire fraud across not just state lines but a national border.  But impersonating a federal agency, law enforcement no less would leave him rotting in a supermax so long he'd likely never meet his grandchildren.  Perhaps that's something that at least we have in our favour,  honest people I mean, that most of these scammers are outrageously stupid no matter where they're really from.

James A., Great point! 

Speaking of scammers, I just saw an ad sent to me by another Website for a joint supplement called "Arthrozene".  It has Hyaluronic acid and collagen from chicken combs and another ingredient that is supposed to lubricate joints, prevent joint damage, and increase function. I can hardly trust these purely online sellers of miracle supplements anymore. And I don't really believe their customer reviews. All of these sites sell one bottle for $49.95, and then have discounts for 3 and 6 bottles. I know the ingredient from rooster "combs" does help knees WHEN INJECTED". I have no idea if it helps if taken orally. No one had yet reviewed this product. I have extremely painful knees, and already have had my right knee replacement done in 2011. These sites grab people with severe pain to buy their stuff, and I've been guilty of that. I just can't trust them anymore.
If the products were so WONDERFUL AND EFFECTIVE, wouldn't they be for sale in stores?

Another thing people often miss those adverts if they even bother put it in 2 point type hidden in the ad "claims not evaluated by the FDA" or whatever other medical regulator for whatever country which is something else people should check.  Lookup a list of whats approved for sale where you live.  This kinda stuff is the literal snake oil that fraud is built on.

Exactly true, James A. All of these DO have that "not approved by the FDA" and not intended to diagnose or treat a medical problem. That's the law. These types of ads are constant on the internet. They are always popping up, sent uninvited by email, as ads with games, in other sites, everywhere. And they all sound alike in their gimmicky approach. The worst ones are those who write in 2 font print that you will get auto-shipments of their supplement every month or so, and your credit card will be billed. And try to contact them!! They make their contact info so hard to find-kind of like trying to find Apple or iTunes.

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