Thursday, 27 October 2016

Good Heavens, I Think the Plumber Stole My Purse!

Beware the Scheming Scammer Scumbag

If there’s one thing that really gives me the irrits as I support my elderly clients in their homes, it’s finding out about all the dirty rotten Scammers who make a living from deceiving and then stealing, from this innocent and vulnerable slice of the neighbourhood populace.

And unfortunately, it’s more prevalent than we’d ever want to believe.

So I thought I’d compile a few of my thoughts on these scamming scumbags (scummers?) and their reprehensible tactics, in the hope that it might make us all more aware in the future.

And also because it just makes me so cross!

Scams on the Elderly
Shirley, the sweetest Scam-buster you'll ever meet!

(From a Scammer's perspective)

  • Old people, after working all their lives, have got lots of spare money just sitting around idle in bank accounts or stuffed under mattresses, that they will never use.
  • Old people have nothing else to spend their money on because they’re OLD which means they can’t go out anywhere as they're too weak and feeble... plus they don’t have a social life anyway because all their friends are dead already.
  • Old people are easy to fool because they were born in an era when folk had faith in one another; the War was on and they were all in the same boat having to go without butter and nylon stockings, with only sawdust sausages and lumpy porridge (with bits in it) to eat.  Meaning... these deviants know exactly how to say all the right things to stir heart-strings and appeal to the good nature and emotional side of unsuspecting trust-filled older adults.
  • Non-English speaking Seniors are especially easy to rip off as they just nod and say yes to anything. The fact that they only partially understand what the Scammer is saying is still not as horrific as appearing stupid or risking being declared ‘un-Australian’.
  • Widowed elders living alone are easy to take advantage of because it was their deceased spouse who looked after the finances.  Being left to manage the bank accounts without instruction means they will just blindly write cheques willy-nilly for any Tom, Dick or Scam-artist.
  • Old people suffer extreme loneliness and so having a “nice man” chatting to them on the phone or at the front door is welcome relief in an otherwise long day of empty nothingness.  Some fraudsters can develop quite the relationship with their elderly targets before their ulterior motive rears its ugly head.  

I know, truly despicable.


These so-called 'people' are sleazy con-artists who sneak around suburbs, waiting and watching so they can latch onto unsuspecting older adults whom they discover are living alone and who are potentially far too trusting for their own good (indeed, the world has become a horrid place).

Often these swindlers pose as tradesmen who roam about knocking on doors offering to clear overgrown gardens, re-surface driveways, fix Grannie’s roof tiles or whatever other maintenance work THEY deem is required.

Scamming elderly with fake services
Beware the dodgy no-name handyman...

Scammers can also appear as random door-knocking Do-Gooders.  Seemingly representing legitimate sectors of the community, they present at people's front doors to collect donations for alleged charities or ‘worthy causes’. 

Reminds me of the time my own grandmother got approached by an awful religious mob once.

Three of them, all in smart suits, clutching Bibles under their wings and looking very church-like, showed up one morning on her front porch to tell her the error of her evil ways and how she could fix it.  And although she politely attempted to shut the door and say "thank you, but I'm not interested"... Mr Pushy swiftly slipped his foot into the crack, so she couldn’t close it.

Poor Grandma!

Basically, she had no choice but to 'invite' them in for tea and cake.  Whereby she got stuck for over an hour hearing their full spiel on why she should join their ranks - or at least hand over a mighty sum of money to save her from being sent to damnation for eternity.

Thankfully, she managed to stay strong (although shaking inside, she admitted to us later) and they left frowny-faced and empty-handed.

Makes you feel sick, doesn't it.

It gave us a heck of a fright at the time too.  The obvious concern that something really nasty could've happened to Grandma, but also the thought that they might actually be imposters come to scope out her house for a burglary later.

With so much to lose, you just can't be too cautious.

So we immediately leapt into action by installing a security alarm and fixing a new deadlock thingy to her door so that if it happened again - which it did (these heartless weasels are relentless) then at least she would be safe.

No more sticking anything into MY grandmother's crack again - much to their disappointment!

Monsters, the lot of ‘em.


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