The basic story seemed plausible enough: a Chicago woman’s grandson got on the phone and said that he was in jail because he caused a car accident because he was texting while driving. Kids today definitely do that, right? The problem was that the “grandson” was an impostor, there was no accident, and he didn’t have a lawyer who was collecting iTunes gift cards to cover his bail. [More]
Counterfeit currency operates on the “hot potato” principle. Like the children’s game, the last person caught with the object loses. Once you accept counterfeit cash–even if it’s from a financial institution–it’s yours. This made for a very disappointing birthday gift for a 14-year-old from his grandmother. [More]
Visiting nurses can make the lives of their patients easier and healthier, but “stopping scamsters who prey on the elderly” isn’t in their job description. Yet that’s exactly what two visiting nurses in Connecticut did in the last few weeks, both on their own time and while they were working. They weren’t afraid to butt in and save the near-victims thousands of dollars. [More]
One might think that a recently-widowed 82-year-old woman moving in with her grandson in another state would be have a valid reason for AT&T to waive the early termination fee on her phone and Internet package. Not so! Reader Chris is the grandson in this situation, and he helped his grandmother get the $150 ETF waived. AT&T has finally cooperated: they think. [More]
Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to? [More]
What does it take for an airline to retain customers these days? Here’s a tip: given the graying of America, try not treating elderly people with medical emergencies like crap. Livejournal user urzepatriz details how American Airlines added insult to his or her grandfather’s injury. Literally. By bumping him to coach on a cross-country flight after an injury sustained during the trip required major surgery and left him unable to bend his knee.
The BBB has issued a warning about a distressing telephone scam that’s increasing in popularity. The target? Grandparents. Scammers based in Canada are thought to be randomly dialing US phone numbers until they reach someone who sounds like a senior citizen. They then pose as a grandchild who has been in a car accident and needs emergency money.
Cablevision is trying to scare consumers into signing up for basic cable service ahead of the planned transition to digital television. After February 17, 2009, consumers will need a $60 converter box to receive television signals over-the-air. The transition to digital will significantly improve the quality of over-the-air television, but that isn’t stopping Cablevision from funding a scare-mongering campaign to rustle up new business.