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Letter: Scammers Target Seniors

To the Editor:

There was a recent phone scam in the Upper Valley that needs to be taken seriously. Your story in the Oct. 24 edition described an elderly woman in Lebanon who was the target of a Medicare scam aimed at gaining her personal information and possibly stealing her money. This article gained my attention because I have noticed, in the course of taking care of my own grandmother, how often the elderly are targeted. The elderly tend to be more trusting and gullible when it comes to scams.

I speak from experience. Living with my grandmother, I have noticed that she will often receive phone calls that turn out to be scams. Her phone rings at least once a day with someone on the other end trying to get her money and information. In the past, when I wasn’t living with her, there were a few instances when she was reeled into a money-grabbing scam. She ended up losing money she could have used on something more important because she fell for a scam that lured her in with the promise of winning money. A scammer can try to rip off anyone of any age, but seniors are more willing to give and less likely to suspect the person on the other end is lying. They have money saved in their bank accounts and are willing to give out their credit card or checking account number in hopes of winning a large sum of money.

When younger adults become aware of scammers, they immediately block those numbers on their cell phones to prevent them from calling again. Although some seniors have cell phones, the majority do not think to block the number. It is important to address this issue because it is affecting our friends, family and neighbors, and someone we know could become a target of a scam.

Maria Gesek



Lebanon Woman Reports Medicare Scam Aimed at Seniors

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lebanon — The person on the phone said he was from Medicare and would be sending Lebanon resident Margaret Howard a new card. But first, he wanted to verify some personal information. Howard wasn’t buying it. “When he said, ‘What is the name of your bank?’ I said, ‘This is fraud,’ and he hung up,” said Howard, a 75-year-old resident …