Robo-calls and other telemarketing schemes a serious problem for our elderly.

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Today "Microsoft Windows" called my mother's telephone. Both she and I picked up the phones. I listened to see how she would handle it. The call was a voice-activated tape recording. I had hoped my mother would hang up, but she didn't. First, she couldn't hear what was said. Second, she was absolutely confused. I see this a lot when she gets telemarketing calls -- all scams. We get several calls a day from various telemarketers/scammers. I am starting to see her phone as a serious problem. I would love to rip it from the wall, but she needs it to talk to other people. I've heard that AT&T is offering $50K to someone who can come up with something to detect robocalls. I hope they find something soon. I would definitely subscribe to it.

Of course, then the scammers would find some way to work around the robocall detector.

23 Comments

You know what I would love to have? Something that would send a pulse over the wire to disable the network calling. That would be super-hero cool.
How about a phone that would only accept incoming and/or outgoing calls to pre-programmed numbers? That would solve a lot of issues and still allow seniors to talk to friends and family, and I think it is certainly within the scope of modern technology. I assume once our loved ones reach this stage we would want to handle all their business/doctors type calls ourselves anyway.
We do have cell phones that will do that, but I don't know about other phones. My mother has to have one that amplifies. When I bought her a new phone, it had to be like her old phone, because I knew she would have problems learning a new model. I wonder if AT&T (our provider) has something that could do incoming call filtering. That would work, since I could give the doctors and businesses my cell number.
One problem I could see having a phone that would accept only calls from certain numbers is that some doctor offices the Staff will use their own cellphones to call us to remind of a doctor appointment, or an automatic calling service that does the reminding which is sometimes is an 800's type number.

My Dad got that IRS scam call where he was told he owes the IRS money, pay now or get arrested.... he said he told them to call his Accountant, to which the caller hung up.

Oh, one thing I noticed with a landline if someone is hard of hearing do not pick up an extension as that makes the call faint sounding. That happens whenever I call my parents house and Dad answers... I then want to talk to Mom, so Dad goes looking for her... she goes to her own phone and keeps saying "hello" over and over until Dad hangs up his phone, then Mom can hear me better.
Good news to Jessie and others, the $50,000 was awarded and the solution implemented. Sign up at nomorobo The phone rings once and the system intercepts about 97% of the calls. We LOVE it for ourselves. At first read it didn't seem like my phone qualified but I went thru all the sign on procedures and it is working great. 8 months and counting here. AND I enrolled my MIL as well.
i strongly conferred with my senators office on the matter . for those who wont even try that step , your part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution .
the representatives cant read your mind , you have to talk to them .
i just wrote to the indiana atty general two days ago because my mortgage holder has been assessing random late fees to my mortgage because forced insurance is keeping me in arrears . id been assured that there would be no fees as long as i kept overpaying my mortgage to cover the annual forced insurance cost . i was lied to and stolen from . if the atty general cant get it fixed at least the bank will stop viewing me as a brain dead patsy .
your representative ( theoretically ) work for you . ive never hesitated hooking up with them ..
I just tried to sign up for Nomorobo for my mother's traditional landline, but was told that AT&T doesn't support it yet. Maybe they will soon. What carrier do you use, geewiz? I wonder if AT&T issued the $50K reward this week because they didn't want to buy Nomorobo, but get their own. The $50K was on the news yesterday, so I assumed it was a recent offer. (Could be wrong here)
I have this problem with my dad. The telemarketers, mostly dubious charities, get him on the phone and you would think he's talking to an old friend. And now he is giving his credit card number over the phone. I am going to try a call blocker (hqtelecom) on my next visit. It can be programed with a "white list" that only allows numbers or area codes that you program into the device . It's very small and my dad won't even notice it pluged into the phone jack. With dads dementia progressing these snakes could take him for every last cent.
I hope it works, Windy. It's sad that there are so many parasites and predators in society who have no respect at all. They know the elderly are easy targets.
My Mom also had a problem with telemarketers and scammers. She is an easy mark as she has dementia. The problem is less now as she is physically not able to get to the phone as easy. I always offer "I'll get it" and she agrees and I am not nice to the callers. She is on a no call list but they still get through. We talked to the phone company and they helped as much as they could and we also reported a couple incidents to the police. We also took Mom's credit card from her wallet and her checkbook and locked them up for safety so she wouldn't lose or misuse them accidentally.
The problem that to me is even worse than the telemarketers and scammers is the junk mail requesting donations from seniors. My Mom who we never thought would fall for a scam was sending money all the time to these "political, charitable organizations out to save the world". When my brother and I found out we decided it was time for us to get involved in handling Mom's finances. Mom is on a opt out list for the junk mail but the stuff still gets through. Once we took over and they quit getting the dollars the requests slowed. One of the techniques I discovered that these folks use is to send out a request for a donation routinely about every two weeks. Long enough time for an elder to forget that they'd already sent a donation.
These people that scam the elderly are pure evil !! I would encourage every family member of an elderly person to pay attention. My Mom never gave any large contribution, usually $5 to $15 dollars, but when she was doing that every two weeks to many "charities" it added up.

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