My Dad got rattled by a telephone call that was a scam, but he thought it was for real.

Started by

So he called me in a panic. This evening Dad [94] got a telephone call saying that someone saw his car go up to a bank and the person driving his car robbed the bank. Dad said he doesn't own a car. The caller then hung up.

But Dad was rattled, as Dad wanted me to find out who had bought his car.... well, his car was donated to a charity a couple of months ago and auctioned off probably for scrap as the car wasn't in good shape. Plus that has no baring on this, as who would know he used to own that car in the first place. I told Dad I still have his license plates, and the State knows the car was "sold" months ago. So don't worry.

Dad was still worried, and I don't blame him, if I got such a call I would be upset, too. Dad asked how did they get his telephone number. I asked Dad, did they call you by your name.... no... then this was a random call by a scammer. I bet if they had hooked Dad to believing this, then would ask for money to keep quiet.

I also finally got into my Dad's email, couldn't believe all the scams that came through. I can see how elders could get caught up in some of these things. Especially ones that pretend to be a bank or credit card.


These scammers are persistent! My dad has a Caption Call phone because of his poor hearing. I have programmed the phone with everyone's name and number that may call him. He doesn't answer if he doesn't know the caller and I check his messages daily. Last year dad made a $25 donation to a charity (scam) and they sold his name and number. Now he is bombarded with calls from these vultures.
Sounds like a potential blackmail scam. I.e., car was used in commission of a crime but the caller will keep quiet for $x hush money. It amazes me what some of these criminals come up with.

That might be a new one. Perhaps the free vacation, free money from Nigeria, indigent grandchild, payday loans, alleged IRS criminal action, and who knows what else are being replaced by someone with more nefarious intents, if that's possible.
I got the IRS scam call - "Jordan" left a message. I was gleeful when I called him back and screamed at him that he was going to h$ll for scamming old people. He hung up on me. But it gave me great personal satisfaction. I reported it on the federal site, but those scammers change their numbers so often, I know it won't do any good. It's just so sad that people fall for that stuff.
ARRGH.....truly one of my "hot" buttons....scammers in general but esp. scammers preying on Seniors. sorry....
My Mom was able to stay, w/CG assistance in her condo until almost 91 YO (she's 94 YO now in ALF) but she was getting these calls several years before she had to leave her condo.
She still gets these calls. We (sibs) stay at the condo when visiting Mom and I am constantly amazed when I'm there at the number of "scam" calls. What's worse, now being an election year, are the number of political calls....and these people start at 7AM!!!
Mom's got these "talking" phones....they robotically read out the caller ID info and then any message..... I am on the best day crabby before my coffee.....can't tell you how P.O'd I am when I'm trying to take my first sip and plan a "busy" day dealing w/Mom'affairs only to be assaulted by the robo message from some politico....
Up North we have Amber Alerts for missing children....every time I drive to Mom's, I-75 is full of Silver Alerts for missing elders....SW FL is the elder scammers' paradise....
My mother refused to get new hearing aids for several years - didn't want to spend the money because "I'll be dead soon". It drove my brother crazy - trying to have a conversation with her. I just got use to practically yelling when I visited. Anyhow - in hind sight it was a blessing in disguise as she could never hear anyone on the phone and would get mad and hang up on everyone. Probably saved her a small fortune from phone scams.
A few weeks ago, a scammer called my dad and told him that a new company was taking over his telephone service. Dad believed him, for the duration of the phone call, at least, and allowed the scammer to set up a new account for him. That shouldn't have been possible, because the account wasn't in Dad's name. It took hours of telephone time for my husband to resolve the problem. Are others here familiar with the term "shadow work"? Usually it refers to the work that used to be provided by stores, companies, and so on, that now has been shifted to the consumer. But it seems to me that there is lots of caregiving shadow work (e.g., resolving telephone scams, waiting at the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, talking to doctor's offices about the results of bloodwork). It doesn't count as direct caregiving, but it certainly takes up lots of time and energy.
I was fortunate that my mom was always had a suspicious nature, even when people she knew were friendlier than usual she always wondered what they were after! lol
My aunt was always sending money off to one of those TV religious programs. She thought they had a personal relationship with her because the form letters for donations were set up to look like personal letters, with her name included in the body of the text. (rolling my eyes)
Cwillie - my mom was so convinced that the charity requests were written personally to her. Because the letter started off with "Dear Sap" - not really "Sap" but you know what I mean. Anyhow - they'd throw in a pic of the animal or child and my mother was convinced THAT was her animal/child - the one she personally saved. My mom was an exceptional smart woman - well educated, but nothing I said or did could convince her otherwise. The part that really got me was that mom had been so tight with her money all her life - Depression era scarred. In stead of "pinching her pennies" I always said mom could make a dime scream. Yet there she was, writting upwards of forty checks a month to these charities. My mom even sent money to a pig "sanctuary". Really?!!!
My sig other ran into a scam that at first he thought was real.... he got a text saying it was from Verizon and that his account was credited by $400.00. In the text there were links he could click on, but on his flip phone he can't do that. Thank goodness otherwise he might have got into that link.

Lo and behold I got a regular email saying Verizon and had a different dollar amount. Got to admit, the email looked legit, but it did lack certain information that a legit email would contain.

So, anyway, before of that if you see something similar. The red flag for me is to look at the returning email address, usually it doesn't sound correct.
We get the calls from the "FBI' or IRS... always some man named "John" with a very heavy accent... not to offend anyone. I let one go on and on one day,, then I told him he was no more from the the IRS than I was michelle Obama.. OMG he cused me out.. threatened me.. you name it! Got my jollies for the day.. but I can see where they scare people.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support