Once again this morning I received a call from a scammer telling me that I was about to receive a new Medicare card and asking for personal information to verify my identity. He had an Indian accent and was quite persistent until I accused him of scamming. Then he hung up. Here are the facts about this scam:
Medicare does not place such calls. The number was identified on my Caller ID as
PROMIN MTR W 786-358-6691. If you have any doubt about a number you can simply Google it and find out what other callers have experienced.
They prey on seniors because we are—for the most part—trusting, polite, and compliant. I am beginning to lose my patience with these scammers and starting to use rude language. Being suspicious is the only way to protect yourself.
I'm a senior, but I'm not trusting. I learned to be wary long before I became 71.
I am polite, but I'm getting over that.
My way of avoiding the cons is just not answer any number that I don't have in my phone. I look the number up on the web in case it's someone I want to talk to, but it never is. If it's a legitimate call, they will leave a message. The cons never do.
I do that too, but my son lives in Europe and uses a service that places calls through a number of different US numbers.
The guy on this number called back again a few hours later, but hung up when I answered. I will give them another earful if they call again. I have re-registered with the National Do Not Call list, but everyone ignores it.
We get them all the time during the day down here in NC. I try to interject the word "terrorist" about 30 times a minute when I start feeding them. The word occurring that many times should get noticed by some government surveillance system employee who is looking for a career enhancing project. )
Be careful with that plan. You'd probably get an NSA employee so ambitious he would enlist the help of a phone scammer to testify you were a terrorist.
Yet another positive for the atheist. :)
"Terrorist? For who? I'm an atheist."
It's gotten so bad I've thought about giving up the land line. I haven't had many calls on the cell phone yet, but the home phone has become really awful. Everyone calls for money for charity and political causes. My inbox is full of e-mails. When I check out at the supermarket, they want a contribution for breast cancer, prostate cancer. The causes are all fine, but I resent being solicited when I am shopping. It's turning me into a curmudgeon.
Around here, the supermarkets harass people to give also, and I hate it. Mostly to give to the Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah. I don't know if the mormon church is affiliated with it anymore or not, but either way, I resent it.
I now do almost all my grocery shopping at Winco Foods, an employee owned company that do not allow solicitations of any kind on their property, and I don't remember them ever asking for any kind of contribution at the check-out counter.
The strange thing is that the store has a sign that says people soliciting outslde the store—like the Salvation Army at Christmas— do not have the store's approval to do so, but inside the store at the cash register it's a different story.
It seems to me that there is a deliberate element of intimidation at work when the cashier asks if you want to donate to breast cancer and you have to say no with all the people in line behind you listening, so I always tell them, "No, it's a fine cause, but I've chosen other charities." I hope it encourages others to find the courage to say no. I have no objection to the cause itself, just to the practice of solicitation at the checkout counter. One cashier told me that she hates to ask people for contributions, but the store makes her do it.
I agree that it's much worst at the cash register. The A-holes are counting on us feeling ashamed to say no.
It's good that you encourage others to say no, but we shouldn't have to explain why we say no, and we shouldn't have to say yes or no. We shouldn't be harassed at all.
I'm going to try to send letters of complaint to the manager and owner of the next store that does that to me. Also, the charity. I'll probably complain to the clerk also. Loud enough that others in line can hear me.
Allan, I just would like to clarify. When you said "the store has a sign", you don't mean Winco Foods do you?
I like that answer Patricia.
I haven't seen the bucket brigade around here yet, but I dislike the firemen that stand with their big boots trying to make me feel guilty for not giving to whatever cause they are soliciting for.
I don't give to them, the cashier, the phone solicitor, or e-mail solicitor, because before I give, I want to have good evidence that most of the money goes to the needy, and those needy are worthy.