Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


583 The Con (part2)

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

Last episode I talked about the old fashioned con or scam. The very same week I received a letter from a loyal listener with a tale of another scam that is worth of sharing. This concerns an older woman and a con man. He likes to focus through establishing a romantic relationship and then taking every cent he can from his victim. Each of us could find ourselves in the role of victim, or child, or friend of the victim.

My listener friend sent me a link to an article in a publication entitled “Retirement Journey's” by Ted Carr. He tells the story of a woman named Rita who receives a phone call telling her that she has won a lottery that entitles her to 2.2 million dollars and a new Mercedes. (She really hadn't entered any lottery but she easily blocked that little bit of information out of her mind. The reward was too great to let a little detail stop her.)

The scam calls himself Richard and calls two or three times a day to keep her informed. Then he asked for a $200 to cover processing fees. She complies.

Then Richard asked for $10,000 to cover part payment on taxes due on her winnings. She sells some stock and sends $9000.

Around this time family members get wind of what is happening and warn their mother that she is being scammed. She ignores the warning and continues in conversation with Richard. They cut her land line phone and even take her cell phone. They give her a new land line with a new number and then she quickly gives Richard the scammer the new number. More money is requested and some is sent.

It is at this point that the family decides to take more stringent action. They have a trust document drawn up that puts most of their mothers assets in control of the children. They left the mother with a checking account which was limited to the deposit of her social security checks. In this way their mother retains some control over her money but the scammer will not be able to lay assault to her major assets.

Needless to say Rita never got her millions and she never got her Mercedes.

It is hard to deal with a con artist or scammer. They can be relentless and unforgiving. We can only be alert and ready to act if and when we become the victim or know someone who is.

I get these calls all the time. Maybe five or six a day plus daily emails. You probably do also. Usually my phone tells me in big red letters that it is probably a SCAM. If I don't know the number calling or the name of the person calling I will let it go to voice message. If it is scam looking I can easily delete it. If it is a scam they usually will not leave a message. Anyone I know or any one who is legitimate will leave a brief message and a call back number. Perhaps this isn't the best way to avoid a scam but it works for me. The ones that arrive in the mail are usually easy to spot. They promise you something for nothing. Those are always junked instantly. The old saying that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is not true. It isn't worth taking a chance.

I am not an expert in avoiding being taken advantage of but I have avoid all the scams or cons so far in life. It isn't an issue to take lightly as it seems to be universal in distribution. They will come after each and all. Avoiding scams is sort of like maintaining freedom. It requires eternal vigilance. We need to watch out for ourselves and for those we love.

This is Retirement Talk

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