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04-12-2017 07:56 PM
@drawpoker, I can see you've studied this closely and put a lot of thought into trying to determine just what made this woman an "attractive" victim for this type of lure or scam operation.
We just scratched our heads over the unusual aspects of the episode. The perpetrator had obviously figured out a plan that he thought would work to accomplish his own "ends."
I was mystified because it happened very shortly after the dinner conversation and wondered if the telephone is simply becoming the most popular instrument used to perpetrate a scam...because it can obviously be used in a variety of ways.
Your deductive reasoning makes a lot of sense. I will pass it on and see if anything comes of it. Thanks for taking the time to logically lay all of this out. Good to see you back on the discussion forums! Several long-time posters were wondering what had happened to you. I thought maybe you'd been hidden away in the "witness protection program!" <just kidding!>
04-12-2017 07:34 PM
Please follow up with your friend who had the scary experience of the attempt to lure her out of the house. Do not let her dismiss this, or allow her to think it was just something random. .
I read closely your account of this. Have your friend go back thru her memory of recent events.
What springs to mind first - Has she had some new or unfamiliar workers in her home recently, repairs, cleaning, maintenance. And they got a good look around at some of her valuables.
Has she taken any recent trips/vacations and returned home by taxi, Uber driver, airport limo, etc. And she may have made small talk about being widowed, living alone, etc. While wearing fur, diamonds, and having expensive luggage.
Did she recently visit her bank safety deposit box to retrieve jewels, gold coins, or other valuables and might have been observed leaving with a jewelry case? I can think of other scenarios, but am sure you get the general idea here.
You don't want to alarm her unnecessarily but this is too important to put aside. Does she own a handgun?
Whoever was trying to lure her out of the house was doing so because he had reason to believe he would get a good haul if he could get inside. Altho robbery was probably primary motive, sometimes these things can develop into rape, assault as well.
I would urge you to sit down with your friend a.s.a.p. and help her to rack her brains, go over her activities in the days and weeks leading up to this. Try and identify what may be behind her becoming a target. If something seems to fit, take it to the local police.
Really, pros. This sounds serious to me. There might be another attempt presented in a different manner.
04-05-2017 04:08 PM
That scam is real. One day I mistakenly answered a call without checking the number first. Someone said, "Hello, I'm Jeff. Can you hear me"? I answered, "No, I'm totally deaf ". Haven't heard from Jeff lately.
03-15-2017 07:06 PM
@retiredtraveler - That's not a bad intermediate position, between answering all calls, and avoiding any where you don't recognize the number. But when I'm at the computer, the phone is right next to me, and I just don't see any reason not to answer it, considering how infrequently I get a solicitation or unwelcome call. I also know a few people call because they need something, and just go on to the next person who can help them, and don't leave a message if you don't pick up right away. I don't want to mention specifics, but I'd rather pick up those calls.
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
03-15-2017 07:00 PM
....I was the president of a large women's group for a while, and my phone number was the primary contact, both for our members, and prospective members/attendees at events. And I periodically got calls from VIPs about the group. It would be self-defeating for me to have not answered ALL my phone calls!....".
Ok. I'll ask the obvious (to me) question. We always wait for a message if there is an unfamiliar number calling. Often, we get to the phone, wait for a message, and if someone identifies themself, and we recognize the person, we pick up the phone in the middle of the message.
Wouldn't that work for you, or is there something I'm missing?
“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
03-15-2017 12:41 PM
@Prosecco6247 - I do think that adults have to think for themselves, and a lot of generic "lists" shouldn't be presented as necessary for everyone. I'd rather pick up a call from a stranger, and be able to resolve things right away, than be playing telephone tag with them because I wouldn't answer the initial unfamiliar call.
I never felt obligated to answer every call, but I have started hanging up on the few soliciting calls I get, when it's obvious that they're taught to keep you on the phone as long as possible .. and they don't listen to any responses other than, "sure, I'll make a donation!"
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
03-15-2017 12:34 PM - edited 03-15-2017 01:42 PM
@AARPLynne I have heard of this myself and in late January I was at a dinner party where the topic of conversation turned to "annoying phone calls." A couple of people described something similar but they answered the question with a question since they didn't know the caller. In apparent frustration, the caller hung up. Then one of them described a local news article outlining the characteristics of such calls and gave tips similar to yours. The conversation became a discussion of if one should answer "anonymous" or "no information" callers. The general consensus was to allow such calls to go to message. If someone knows you, they won't mind. If someone really wants to talk with you for a particular reason, they won't mind. If they are a scammer or skip-tracer or telemarketer or a robo-call, they will either hang up immediately or you will get a clue as to who they are via the message. You are under no obligation to call them back.
I believe I read an article about the same practice in the magazine "The Consumerist." It also gave a list of tips to follow. Perhaps something like that precipitated the sudden interest.
Some older folk feel that they must answer every call...having been raised in an age where most calls were for business or from significant friends and relatives and messaging systems were not yet in general use. They find it difficult to leave a ringing phone unanswered.
I frequently receive out of state calls and sometimes don't recognize the numbers. If I am unsure, I let it wait until I have checked the number out on the net. Just type in the whole number, including area code, and a list of caller ID services will pop up and if there's a long list of complaints, you can be sure it's not an emergency call from a far-flung friend or relative. These are free but most will have an offer (for $$$) to search for other information about your caller.
The latest scam I've heard about and verified is that perpetrated on a woman who lives near me. She was asleep in bed around 10:30 at night when she got a call on her land line. Brain-foggy from sleep and unable to immediately discern the number, she answered. A "gentleman" on the other end told her that a "big dog was digging holes and tearing up her yard" and that she'd better come have a look. She tried to get more information but he was firm that she needed to see the situation for herself. She hung up, then, with the light still off, she crept up to the window to have a look...going to all four sides of the house. She saw nothing amiss. As she started moving around, her little dog alerted to something outside. Satisfying herself there was no one there, she called police. The man was not there when police arrived, but the consensus was that by making the call and implying a sense of urgency, he was trying to get the woman out of the house and into a vulnerable position. For what purpose, one could only speculate but there's no doubt it was nefarious in nature.
@ASTRAEA Intelligent adults have to figure this one out for themselves. There can be no "one size fits all" solution and tips are just that...tips for wary individuals to employ on a case by case basis as it fits their needs. Paying attention to the types of scams out there and using one's best judgment is pretty much all one can do and still be at peace with the world.
03-15-2017 11:31 AM
I've never gotten a reasonable answer, when I question the suggestions not to answer an "unfamiliar number". Aren't we all constantly bombarded with suggestions to be more social, have a network, be more active as we age? If we have many acquaintances in organizations in which we're active, and even more if we're leaders in those organizations .. how exactly are we supposed to "be familiar" with the phone numbers of all the people who might call us .. legitimately?!
I was the president of a large women's group for a while, and my phone number was the primary contact, both for our members, and prospective members/attendees at events. And I periodically got calls from VIPs about the group. It would be self-defeating for me to have not answered ALL my phone calls!
Surely there are ways to avoid scams, without being so restrictive!
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
03-15-2017 10:12 AM
The AARP Fraud Watch Network Help Line has been fielding lots of calls about the “Say Yes” scam. News reports have warned that a fraudster will call and ask a question to get the victim to say yes. The scammer records that affirmation to use it to authorize unwanted charges to a phone bill, utility bill, or even a stolen credit card.
While many people report that they are getting calls like these followed by a hang up, we have yet to encounter any victims. If you got a call like this and answered yes, don’t panic. Here are some tips about dealing with this possible scam.
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