My mother has Alzheimer's and has a lot of care during the day at her home. She still answers every phone call she gets and it is usually just another scammer asking for her credit card or trying to sell her something for her home. I like her having a phone still in her home, but I'm thinking it's time to change her phone number and start over fresh. She cannot use a cell phone either. Any suggestions?

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Buy a phone with a built in smart call blocker. Your phone will not ring unless the phone number of the person calling is in your phone's directory or in your allow list. Otherwise the caller will be told they are being blocked and they can record their name if they wish to speak to you. Only then will your phone ring, and you will hear the recording, then you can answer or decline. Spam callers never record their name since most of them are robocalls anyway.

We've had these phones for months now and they're wonderful! Now when the phone rings I know it's actually legitimate. We were getting 3 or 4 spam calls a day which was infuriating, despite being on the Do Not Call Registry.
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A few more thoughts after reading Alva's comments:

If you haven't done it yet, put fraud alerts, or better yet, credit freezes (can't remember the right terminology now) on her credit profile.
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Kepill, others have similar problems; there are a lot of threads on this subject:

These other posts might offer some suggestions for your mother's situation.

If the phone number is changed, scammers will still find  a way to get it.

I'd be leery of removing a phone entirely b/c of emergencies.    Does she have life alert pendant or device?   If not, and if she's alone and needs help, how could she call for help?  

Something you could try is false information:    e.g., tape a little card on the phone with a fake credit card number, or all of the same number, or even letters.   

I used to, and occasionally get calls with a real live person on the other end; these are typically computer scams, trying to get access to my computer.  So now I ask what a computer is, then tell them I don't have one, that I communicate with friends by carrier pigeons.    That usually causes a pause on their end.   Unfortunately I usually start laughing so they know I'm jerking them around.  

But the number of computer calls has drastically diminished.  

A relative has a good retort for those annoying back brace calls.   She said she only has one pain, in her butt, and it's caused by YOU (the caller).  

Unfortunately, these vermin a like a plague; even if you get rid of one, there are more hiding in the wings.   

One poster who hasn't been here for years had a good solution.   Her mother also had dementia, if I remember correctly.   But her mother was feisty, so she had her mother answer the calls and give the caller a real "run for his/her money", asking all sorts of irrelevant questions.
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The charge card should not now be in her control. The bad thing is that they can access accounts as well, and today will go so far as to send a driver to take her to buy gift cards to send them. She may be in a very unsafe state if she has still got control of her financial at this point.
You may need to consider financial POA now and control of her account with her having a spending account that is all hers. Buying things for the home is one thing, but this is a 100,000 swoop in often enough. Current AARP paper is all about the scams and how intricate they can be. They have a good website with information on scams.
No matter what you do with the phone numbers, the scams will continue to come.
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kepill, you don't give enough info in your post, like: what state do you live in, what phone service company does she have, do you live near your mom, how old is she, how advanced is her dementia, why do you like her to have a phone? It may be time to have all her calls diverted to your phone. That's what I've done with my MIL. As her ALZ advances she eventually won't be using a phone even to answer your calls, so prepare for this eventuality. You should talk to both the landline company and your mobile company to see what can be safely arranged. Just changing to a new number will only solve the problem temporarily.
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kepill2 Apr 2020
Thank you for your reply. I live in a different city, but my brother lives near my mother, for now, she talks to everyone who calls her and promises to send them money and of course she forgets in 2 minutes that anyone called. I would like the idea of having her calls diverted to my cell but not now. She is probably about a year away from having to leave her home , so for now she has a caregiver 5 hours a day and my brother visits a lot. She sometimes does remember how to use the landline phone to call my brother, but that's about it. But he calls her every morning to see how she is. I guess that is why we haven't had the calls forwarded to me. She has verizon, so I think I will call them now. Thank you!
Try a service like Nomorobo. I had it on my mother's landline. It may at least stop robocalls.

Midkid- never, never return the call. That just marks you as a 'live' number and the number will be resold to other scammers. When you got a call from your own number, the scammer was using a "spoofer" program. They can make the call look like it's coming from anyone- the local police, your grandchild or a government agency. It should be illegal.

If you get a call don't trust the caller ID. If they say it is the local police, hang up and call your local police department ...and not on any number given to you by the person on the phone call either. People are running these scams from JAIL! Incarcerated people are calling using these spoofing tactics. It's crazy.
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Try working with the phone company, and see if you can get an 'interception' that will state to all callers that this # does not accept calls from telemarketers. Then, it says "If you know this person, press 2 and your call will be forwarded'. My neighbors have had this on their home line for years and they said it really, really cut down on the robocalls.

I don't know if that is still available--theses scammers have zero soul and can figure out out how to circumvent everything.

SOME callers have a 'call back' feature. I call them back and get a recording saying if I want my number removed it will be so. I have no idea if it actually works. But sometimes I'll sit down and call back ALL the telemarketers and try to do this.

I actually got a call from my own number once. They'd actually 'hacked' my landline. I have no idea how.

My mom (age 90) has had a cell phone for the last 10 years. She has no clue how to use it. So it sits on her nightstand all day and night. I have reminded her more than 50 times that she can have her landline reconnected and she doesn't. She just likes to complain.

If someone really needs to talk to her, they know to call YB with whom she lives and he'll get the message to her.
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