Who’s Calling, Please?

June 8, 2012

Telephone Exchange

Reports of telephone scams continue to be on the rise.  Sadly, Houston’s senior population is being targeted by these scam operations.

It is important to remind our seniors that credit card companies and financial institutions will not be calling to confirm confidential information such as account numbers, social security numbers, or passwords.

A local Houston family was attempting to assure their aging father that he most likely had not won a car and that he should not wire the income tax money to the rewarding company.  The gentleman had received a call informing him that he was the winner of a new car, but in order to receive the prize he would need to wire several thousand dollars to the out-of-state contact.  Fortunately, his daughter was able to research the incident and assist her father in making a smart decision not to forward the funds.

A chatty telephone call is a gateway into an isolated senior’s home.  A friendly voice and an understanding tone can cause the most wary of us to open up and share confidential information.  In order to lessen the opportunity for telephone scams, consider stopping the calls before they enter the home by participating in the nation’s Do Not Call Registry.

The Do Not Call Registry is an option that helps limit the number of unsolicited incoming calls.

  1. Register by calling 1-888-382-1222 and follow the prompts.
  2. Register online at http://www.donotcall.gov.  If you register online, expect a confirmation email that must the verified in order to register the telephone number that you wish to block.
  3. If your phone number has been on the registry for at least 31 days, and a telemarketer calls, report your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.  Be prepared to provide the date of the call, the phone number and the name of the company that phoned you.

Remember that scams and crimes of opportunity are not against seniors, only.  Purse snatchers and identity thieves thrive on open invitations such as mail left on car seats, purses unattended in shopping carts or beneath airline seats, and in offices where wallets or purses may be left unattended inside unlocked drawers.

Do you have a tip on how to beat scammers?  If so, please share with our readers.

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11201 Richmond Ave # 110 Houston, TX 77082-2670 Call 832.379.4700 for at home senior care you can trust.