We still have a home phone to screen unknown callers. If I recognize the voice or the caller identifies himself, I will pick up before the caller hangs up. This has been a good system. Most of our friends and family’s calls are answered.
Today my curiosity got the best of me. As the phone rang, I picked up the receiver.
A slight pause. Then the pitch started.
“Congratulations! you have won an adjustable bed.”
Not bothering to say goodbye, I hung up the phone.
I started to think of the number of junk emails that I delete regularly.
Pitches of morning stretches , endurance training and relaxation for health have been replaced with gummies to give relief from arthritic pain , better brain function and lowering cholesterol . When did the ads for a better sex life change to living longer?
Peppered in the notes are offers for free samples for such needed items as wrinkle creams and salves. Instead of gutter guards for the home.
I wonder if anyone reads these come ons ?
Then I remember that the targeted group includes older single people. The welcome sound of a live voice on the other end of the line, may fool older person’s with the start of dementia to think they may know the caller. Often a senior may talk to this stranger because they are bored.
Friends have told horror stories of large checks written with their spouse’s signature on the check. When asked about the check, they may have no memory of the event.
Aside from taking all checks and access to internet buying away from our love ones , what can we do? It depends on your ability to talk and trust your partner. Talk about pitches as they happen so each of you are aware of the calls. Monitor each other with questions about the transaction and the result.
The reality is all of us are mentally slowing down as we age. The new callers are quick to pick up on a lonely person or a person that is not hearing as well on the phone. They may even resource to pretending to know you or your spouse.
Though our training is to be polite, it is best to hang up on such callers. Talking only encourages more return calls. If the caller wants to get credit card information, hang up. After, check with the business to see if they really work at the business.
My husband’s Mother was fooled by a young man pretending to be her grandson. He requested money and told her not to tell my husband. That sent up alarms in our minds.
So be smart. Don’t answer the phone until you are sure of the person on the other end.
The phone rings with a cheerful note.
Hoping to hear a familiar voice,
you pick up the phone.
Instead a robotic voice asks for funds.
Sighing, you hang up.
When was the last time I had a friend call?
Picking up the phone, I place a call from my phone book.