Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 600538 times)

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Pippen

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #90 on: October 17, 2012, 11:15:40 PM »
I read a news article about an elderly couple who spent their life savings and took out a second mortgage on their home because they fell for one of those scams. By the time their children caught on, the elderly couple were over $100,000 in debt, had a lot of "final notice" bills due, and were behind in their mortgage to the point that they nearly got foreclosed on.

This is going to make me unpopular, I fear.

I'd love to be more outraged at crooks targeting the vulnerable, but in most traditions aren't elders supposed to be wiser than younger folks? There's a certain level of "savvy" you have to have to be out there in the marketplace without supervision.

OF COURSE it's cruel and outrageous, but we all, young and old, are responsible for defending ourselves daily from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". There have always been wolves lurking around, always.

Elders in the prime of life, with no mental deficits may well be wiser.  The elderly being targeted by these creeps are NOT at their full mental capacity.  They are mentally debilitated, and as such, not capable of the reasoning to know that the plea for help/money/whatever is spurious, that the person ONLY wants their money.  When people are starting to lose cognition and memory, all kinds of things go wrong, and they are no longer wiser than even my cat!  Sometimes it takes an event to make the family aware of how the person's mentation has deteriorated.

At the point where I discovered my mother's new inability to live on her own - she had paid Vanity Fair ahead for the next 3 FULL years, because the magazine, as they so FREQUENTLY DO, sent her a bill to renew every time she paid the last bill.  She had no IDEA she'd paid it three times in 2 months...  Vanity Fair was not trying to be deceitful, that's just how most magazines do business these days.  When I get such a bill, I get annoyed and I tear it up and throw it away.  When Mom got it, she paid it.  It runs out some time next summer...  She also was subject to many UTI's, which severely impair *her* cognition.  Frighteningly so.  She sometimes can't finish a sentence because she can't remember how it started.  She lost track of her check book pretty badly.  Her handwriting deteriorated until it looked like spider on crack cocaine, and nobody could read it, let alone her.  She lost track of check numbers and dates and who she wrote the checks TO.  All this was without anybody at all trying deliberately to take advantage of her. 

Add into that mental mix somebody actively TRYING to trick an old person, and that old person is either up a creek with no paddle in sight, or if they're really lucky, they have family keeping tabs on things and the plan is discovered before it results in a damaged house or an empty bank account.  They have passed the stage of living alone safely, but nobody may yet realize that fact.

There have also been studies done that show older people are more trusting, despite the fact they have many years of experience of dealing with people who operate for their own self interest. They don't even need to be cognitively compromised in any way to be taken in.

magician5

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #91 on: October 18, 2012, 01:33:19 AM »
I read a news article about an elderly couple who spent their life savings and took out a second mortgage on their home because they fell for one of those scams. By the time their children caught on, the elderly couple were over $100,000 in debt, had a lot of "final notice" bills due, and were behind in their mortgage to the point that they nearly got foreclosed on.

This is going to make me unpopular, I fear.

I'd love to be more outraged at crooks targeting the vulnerable, but in most traditions aren't elders supposed to be wiser than younger folks? There's a certain level of "savvy" you have to have to be out there in the marketplace without supervision.

OF COURSE it's cruel and outrageous, but we all, young and old, are responsible for defending ourselves daily from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". There have always been wolves lurking around, always.

Elders in the prime of life, with no mental deficits may well be wiser.  The elderly being targeted by these creeps are NOT at their full mental capacity.  They are mentally debilitated, and as such, not capable of the reasoning to know that the plea for help/money/whatever is spurious, that the person ONLY wants their money.  When people are starting to lose cognition and memory, all kinds of things go wrong, and they are no longer wiser than even my cat!  Sometimes it takes an event to make the family aware of how the person's mentation has deteriorated.

At the point where I discovered my mother's new inability to live on her own - she had paid Vanity Fair ahead for the next 3 FULL years, because the magazine, as they so FREQUENTLY DO, sent her a bill to renew every time she paid the last bill.  She had no IDEA she'd paid it three times in 2 months...  Vanity Fair was not trying to be deceitful, that's just how most magazines do business these days.  When I get such a bill, I get annoyed and I tear it up and throw it away.  When Mom got it, she paid it.  It runs out some time next summer...  She also was subject to many UTI's, which severely impair *her* cognition.  Frighteningly so.  She sometimes can't finish a sentence because she can't remember how it started.  She lost track of her check book pretty badly.  Her handwriting deteriorated until it looked like spider on crack cocaine, and nobody could read it, let alone her.  She lost track of check numbers and dates and who she wrote the checks TO.  All this was without anybody at all trying deliberately to take advantage of her. 

Add into that mental mix somebody actively TRYING to trick an old person, and that old person is either up a creek with no paddle in sight, or if they're really lucky, they have family keeping tabs on things and the plan is discovered before it results in a damaged house or an empty bank account.  They have passed the stage of living alone safely, but nobody may yet realize that fact.

Fair enough. It's a frightening issue any way you look at it.

I'm 63, 11 years after a stroke, and I have family members telling me that practically everything I decide, or say, or remember, all (in my opinion) with crystal clarity, is wrong or inaccurate or nonsensical. I mostly think they're just saying these things for their own convenience or to get their way ... but then again, with so many people saying I'm a jack*ss, maybe I should be looking for a saddle. There are SO MANY hooks to hang their opinions on (the age, the stroke, etc).

Surely I ain't what I "used to was", I already know without being told that I don't drive as well as I once did and in a few years I'm going to need to decide when to either retire from driving gracefully, or fight like a wounded tiger to hold onto the car keys. I hope I have the sense to know what's wise.

That's the still-walking-around elder's dilemma ... is it me, or are they just saying that? I've always said that the answer to that sort of either/or question is usually "both".

BUT STILL in response to the previous poster's issue about the elders who got into thousands of dollars in debt to pay magazine scammers, you'd wish some third party or family member had had some oversight and called "shenanigans" a lot earlier. What other wolves are lined up right outside these old folks' door, and who will protect them?

Minmom3, my sincere sympathy to you for being in the difficult and heartbreaking position you described.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 12:19:37 PM by magician5 »
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zyrs

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #92 on: October 18, 2012, 02:14:30 AM »
About a year after the War in Iraq started I received a letter purporting to be from a US military person wanting to involve me in a scheme to smuggle some of Saddam's gold out of the country.  Instead of being full of typos, it was in perfect English, although very stilted.

It had the normal 419 dreck - they had been assured of my discretion by someone important and only wanted a bunch of money from me in order to ship the gold...

It just didn't seem like a good idea.   


glinda

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #93 on: October 18, 2012, 06:25:26 AM »
My dad was trying to sell a pool table on kijiji and had a the "I'll send you extra money to pay for the shipping and you send it to my representative" tried on him.

Thankfully, not only did he find it strange that someone in England (we're in Canada) would want to pay to ship a 6 x 12 antique pool table there but he also doesn't have a Paypal account.

He forwarded me the emails and I confirmed it was a scam.

The best part were the threatening emails from PayPal with an originating email of someweirdname@gmail. Because I'm sure paypal's legal department uses google mail.

(Please excuse any weird formatting - first time posting from my phone)

cabbageweevil

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #94 on: October 18, 2012, 07:54:02 AM »
The most ambitious / outrageous scam that I have ever heard of, has to be one which has been perpetrated on occasion, for many centuries past, by Gypsies. (Would emphasise that I harbour no hostility toward Gypsies / Romanies: am just, for interest’s sake, telling about stuff which people sometimes do.)

This manoeuvre is called, in the Romany language, “hokkani boro” – the great trick. It involves convincing the “mark” that their financial wealth is, “in whatever way”, possessed / contaminated by evil; and that great misfortune will come to them, if they don’t let the scammer deploy Gypsy powers / wisdom, to cleanse their money from the evil that besets it. The “mark” is told to convert all their money into cash, make it up into a parcel, and hand same over to the scammer, for the necessary rites to be performed.  The scammer returns an identical-looking parcel – containing, of course, torn-up newspaper or the equivalent. Strict instructions have been given, that the victim must not open or in any way tamper with the parcel until such-and-such a time-interval has gone by, as that will undo the spell...

Part of me, considers this a diabolical thing to do. With another part, I feel a little bit of sneaking admiration for the sheer ingenuity and audacity involved in bringing off such a feat; plus – other than in the case of confused old folk, or others who are clinically “cognitively compromised” as Pippen puts it – a bit of the sentiment that Darwin is in the picture here: anyone dim enough to fall for such a preposterous yarn, maybe deserves to lose their life savings.
 

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #95 on: October 18, 2012, 08:02:30 AM »
My friend got a really good one the other day.  An email from a 'concerned party', warning her about all of the email scams out there, so if she just sent them her information, they'd make sure she didn't get scammed by those other guys.

We were laughing so hard we almost wet ourselves.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #96 on: October 18, 2012, 08:59:10 AM »
Got an e-mail from TD Bank last night, saying my information had been compromised.  Considering recent news, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Except for the fact that I don't have a TD Bank account.

The number of people who've fallen for this type is astounding.  People, your bank will not email you!

I love when either my Dad or me gets the call from the Windows computer folks that your computer has been compromised and you have to do all these various things.  Dad doesn't have a computer and I have a Mac.
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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #97 on: October 18, 2012, 09:36:53 AM »
When I was in New Orleans, I was sorely tempted to try the cup-and-ball game. Not because I thought it was possible to win anything, but I was interested in watching the way the scam went down. If I hadn't been on my own, I would have tried, but I was worried about making myself a target for something worse if I drew attention to myself as a mark.
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squashedfrog

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #98 on: October 18, 2012, 10:19:39 AM »
Got an e-mail from TD Bank last night, saying my information had been compromised.  Considering recent news, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Except for the fact that I don't have a TD Bank account.

The number of people who've fallen for this type is astounding.  People, your bank will not email you!

I love when either my Dad or me gets the call from the Windows computer folks that your computer has been compromised and you have to do all these various things.  Dad doesn't have a computer and I have a Mac.

yeah I love those ones too, especially where I tell them my husband works for the police in the special branch of internet fraud (made up!) and demand their name, to see how fast they put the phone down.

audhs

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #99 on: October 18, 2012, 11:45:04 AM »
I had 2 separate people try to scam me in one day a few years ago.

Guy one come up to me and my mother in a parking lot telling us that the pay machines aren't working so he is a rep from the parking company and we need to pay him $30 to park and then he'll refund the difference in cost when we leave.     I smiled and said oh ok, but you don't mind if I just go over and check the machine for a minute to see if it's working.   He then mumbles something about oh well I think they might have fixed that one already and took off. ::) 

the funny thing is earlier that week I'd actually seen a news mag show about people who were doing this exact scam in the UK - except they were doing a much better job of it, they had fake ID's and clipboards very offical looking, this guy looked well homeless.

The second guy comes up to us in the same parking lot when we are getting back into our car to leave.  He has a sob story about leaving all his money on public trasportation and needing to get a grayhound to his sisters in city 2 hours away.    I was very helpful and gave him about 3 or 4 different ideas of what he could do.  He finally left annoyed because not one of those suggestions involved me giving him money.  - ok I admit I knew he was scaming me and I was stringing him along on purpose.

The bad thing my mother after he left, was seriously concered that we should have given him something poor guy.  I had to convince her that it was a scam.  I'm still not sure she believed me.

audhs

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #100 on: October 18, 2012, 11:53:45 AM »
Oh my DH and I also got a letter in the mail last year saying a man with our last name died while visiting China, he was very rich and had no family so we could claim the money as next of kin.   We just had to do x and y and share the money with this person.  So easy.

It may have been a more convincing scam if our last name wasn't so rediculously common. That and if a friend of a friend hadn't gotten the same letter just the week before.

staceym

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #101 on: October 18, 2012, 11:59:41 AM »
Got an e-mail from TD Bank last night, saying my information had been compromised.  Considering recent news, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Except for the fact that I don't have a TD Bank account.

The number of people who've fallen for this type is astounding.  People, your bank will not email you!

this reminds me of the email I received at work aout 3 years ago..from the IRS  ::)

the email looked totally official and I believe it said that I owed back taxes on unclaimed income (I can't really remember the wording) and I was to log on to the link provided (for some reason I can't remember).

Well at first I went  :o  but then after a few seconds I realized that my job is my only source of income and I surely claim that and secondly how would the IRS know my work email address?

then I went to the actual IRS website and right on the homepage they have a blurb about this scam.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #102 on: October 18, 2012, 12:51:29 PM »
Back in the 1980s, we had a whole office full of gullible people assist two guys to pull of a pretty outrageous one.

The guys show up and announce that they have arrived to fix the copier. No one wonders about the lack of a uniform or name tag. No one asks to see an ID or a work order. No one calls out "hey! who called the copier repair people?" No one even says "I didn't know the copier was down.What's wrong with it?"

After a bit of tinkering, the "repair guys" announce that they have to take the copier back to the shop. They ask for help getting the copier into their car. A car, literally. Not a van with a company logo on it. An unmarked sedan. Helpful employees help the repair guys cram the copier into the back seat. No one asks for a receipt.

Only after the sedan had driven off did it occur to them that something isn't right here.

There is a sequel, however. About 6 months later, the real copier service guy was called to fix a copy at a church. The service guy recognized the serial number. The church had found a newspaper ad for a used copier and were delighted with how cheap it was.  The two thieves were never caught; the office got the copier back and the church was out of luck. (The office was a government agency, so by law couldn't let the church keep the copier or donate money to them.)

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ACBNYC

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #103 on: October 18, 2012, 01:14:30 PM »
Got an e-mail from TD Bank last night, saying my information had been compromised.  Considering recent news, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Except for the fact that I don't have a TD Bank account.

The number of people who've fallen for this type is astounding.  People, your bank will not email you!

I love when either my Dad or me gets the call from the Windows computer folks that your computer has been compromised and you have to do all these various things.  Dad doesn't have a computer and I have a Mac.

I get this from "Bank of America" all of the time, and I do not have a BoA account. My actual bank *does* email me--to say thing like I have a new message in message center, or my deposit statement is online, but what they won't do is ask me for personal information like account numbers or my password!

pwv

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #104 on: October 18, 2012, 03:11:44 PM »
One time I got 6 or 7 emails at the same time, from all different banks stating my account was in jeopardy or something like that.  Only thing was I had never heard of most of the banks, let alone had an account with any of them.  They went straight to trash.