Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Checking My Forehead!

on April 26, 2013

 

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I opened an e-mail this morning and after reading it; I rushed to the bathroom to see if the word “Stupid” had been stamped on my forehead while I slept.  Here, I’ll let you read it and see what you think!

Good day, Please we need your current home address and telephone number

to able us start sending your US$1.500,million to you as we were instructed
by
western union to be sending you $5000.00 each day till the whole amount
USD$1.500,million
but you can send only $65 for transfer charge to starting pick up day
$5000,00
is located to you,

We need your full name………….Home Address…………
Telephone number…………….
Forward your information here(westernunion806@yahoo.fr)Or call Mr
john mike
on telephone +229-9844-3783 ask them were to send the $65,00
Thanks
Mrs Susan Uda

Now, I’ve done some dumb things in my life. I’m honest about the mistakes I’ve made (getting married three times to three losers comes to mind) but at least I’m smart enough to see a scam when it gets thrown in front of my face.  But, I still have all my faculties (I think) and I trust me senses when I smell a rat.  And, of course, anybody can see that this letter was written by vermin that want to prey on the elderly.

Elderly people may not notice that the person who wrote this e-mail couldn’t construct a whole sentence together..disjointed words and stupid typing mistakes abound throughout this missive.

These scammers aren’t even imaginative enough to come up with believable names!  Yeah, I’ll be sure to call Mr. john mike and ask them where I should send a portion of my social security check.  And, I’m sure he’ll tell me politely that the only accept personal checks or debit account numbers.  Oh, and by the way, Mr. john mike needs to verify that you say who you claim to be.  So, please give him your social security number and he’ll be happy to send you that first $5,000.00.

Unfortunately, some poor old man or woman, thinking they’ve hit it big, will probably respond to this e-mail and ultimately they will have to wave good-bye to their $65.00.     If they’re lucky, that’s the only amount they’ll be out.  If they volunteer social security or bank account information, they risk losing their life’s savings.

Too many stories of our older generation being bilked for thousands of dollars are in the news way too often.  And the scammers get away with it because most likely they don’t generate these letters in the U.S. where our laws would put them behind bars.  So how can we protect our parents, our in-laws and our neighbors from these rip-off artists?

Talk to them without talking down to them.  Let them know about the rash of overseas e-mails being sent daily to our elderly citizens and get them to agree to check with someone before sending money to strangers.  And let them know that scams show up on their doorstep too.  “Contractors” troll neighborhoods looking for elderly residents than proceed to offer them discount prices to repair a roof or a driveway.  Of course, these contractors need a large deposit to schedule the work; and then they’re never seen again.

Although I haven’t reached the point where I feel I need help in recognizing a scam yet, I can’t say I will always be able to point a finger and yell “Rat!”  But, I hope if that day does come when my good sense dips down into the danger zone; someone will help me out with good sound advice.

Just saying!

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20 responses to “Checking My Forehead!

  1. 21centurymom says:

    LoL! In the last week I’ve received two text messages telling me I won a couple of million Rands … I got a Mr Adam and Mr Ryan Eric together with reference numbers (because that makes it so much more authentic …duh!)

  2. claudiabette says:

    If there were 5 more like buttons on this..I would push them. I’m so sick of scammers of any kind.

  3. Sallyann says:

    Spammers and scammers are the scurge of the internet. They should be put in a little room and made to write lines of paper with pencils !
    “I must not con”
    “I must not con”
    “I must not con” …

  4. mcwoman says:

    To tell ’em, Cranky!

  5. Yes, these schemes pray on the simple and naive. You have to figure that some people do fall for it or they wouldn’t keep this scheme up. Sad.

  6. mummyshymz says:

    Yes, I receive such emails, calls, texts on a daily basis. They don’t give up. And unfortunately I hear of elderly and not-so-elderly getting conned.

  7. For years I have wondered why, when someone turns 65 they lose their good judgment. I remember 40 years ago retirees were bilked (and continue to be bilked) by flimflam men who pretend to be bonded roofers, etc. Partly it was that the folks at the time were hard pressed to think someone could be dishonest. Also, many of them were virtually illiterate, which I discovered when I was a nursing home social worker.

    To this day, elders tend to be less well educated than we might imagine. When they have at least a high school education, they often have never developed critical thinking skills. Additionally, they often are not trained in English grammar and spell things phonetically, so glaring problems in language are not evident to them. And, sadly, everyone wants something for nothing. You see it when poor elders go to the store after they get their social security checks and blow incredible amounts on scratch cards, thinking they will cash in.

    When I commented on this on the old Eons site for boomers, I was called an elitist and an over-educated idiot. However, this over-educated idiot has never had a virus take over her computer, I don’t fall prey to greed thinking, and I’m literate enough to be able to take a critical look at unsolicited offers I receive. The judgment center of my brain is still functional. As long as there are humans we will have flimflam people. As long as people don’t use critical reasoning skills we will still have people duped.

    • Sadly, I have to agree with you. These rats sniff out those elderly folks with limited English and declining judgement skills.

      After Hurricane Charlie, Southwest Florida was covered in blue tarps on the roofs and vermin knocking on the doors of senior citizens who were desperate to repair their homes. As you can imagine, Scam Artists also flooded the area and millions were lost to criminals.

      One of their best tools they use is the loneliness that a lot of senior citizens live with. They talk with them; they spend hours courting their business. They know how to work a lonely old widow and get her to spend her hard earned money on smoke and mirrors.

  8. sheilamariegrimes says:

    No, you’re not stupid…you are wise…thanks!

  9. btg5885 says:

    Great post. My mom got a call from someone pretending to be one of her grandchildren saying they were in a car accident and needed to her wire money to them. When she fished with names, the caller would pick one and say it is That Name. My mom called me to see if one of my sons was alright and I said mom, he just left the house; he could not possibly be in an accident that far away. Fortunately, she did not send any money. But, this shit makes your blood boil.

  10. Bastet says:

    Have been hearing about this sort of thing even over here in Italy…here is a very funny blog on the same subject by Barb Taub… http://barbtaub.com/2013/02/25/thanks-for-the-2-million-mr-hague/ seems it doesn’t only happen in the States…who knows where these crooks are working from! I’ve heard about similar scams on the F.B. too…thanks for the funny and informative post.

  11. […] Cranky Caregiver wrote this fine piece (very funny too) which many of us might find useful…maybe a friendly share over the Facebook would be a good idea, it’s called, “Checking my Forehead” […]

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