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Old 08-07-14, 08:00 PM  
PrairieGem
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
I recently heard that the elderly are more likely to fall prey to scams like this because the part of the brain that governs credulity (the tendency to believe or disbelieve something) degrades as we age. A 2012 study at the University of Iowa is discussed in this article: http://now.uiowa.edu/2012/08/why-are...rs-explain-why

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...The ventromedial prefrontal cortex begins to deteriorate as people reach age 60 and older, although the onset and the pace of deterioration varies, says Daniel Tranel, neurology and psychology professor at the UI and corresponding author on the paper. He thinks the finding will enable doctors, caregivers, and relatives to be more understanding of decision making by the elderly.

“And maybe protective,” Tranel adds. “Instead of saying, ‘How would you do something silly and transparently stupid,’ people may have a better appreciation of the fact that older people have lost the biological mechanism that allows them to see the disadvantageous nature of their decisions.”
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Old 08-07-14, 09:53 PM  
gmfreund
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Originally Posted by PrairieGem View Post
I recently heard that the elderly are more likely to fall prey to scams like this because the part of the brain that governs credulity (the tendency to believe or disbelieve something) degrades as we age. A 2012 study at the University of Iowa is discussed in this article: http://now.uiowa.edu/2012/08/why-are...rs-explain-why
We all want to think that we will grow older and we won't change at all . . . I'm sure that the con men rely on that.
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Old 08-07-14, 10:17 PM  
Eibhinn
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
The key to the pretend Microsoft scammers is to sound confused and tell them that you run Linux on your machine and aren't sure how they got your number. Once they think they're dealing with a Linux user, they immediately hang up.

Someone once managed to hack into my Gmail account and started chatting with my sister. They were smart enough to look in our chat history and used opening lines and nicknames that were very characteristic of our conversations, so they were able to fool her for a minute or two. Even when they asked her to wire money, she was going to do so without question until they made a grammatical error. Thank goodness I'm a pedantic grammar fiend, because that caused her to ask the scammer, who she still thought was me, whether or not they were drunk (which probably reflects pretty poorly on me, given this was the middle of the afternoon). When they assured her that, no, they were not drunk, my sister thought, "well, sober Eibhinn doesn't make simple grammatical errors" and strung the scammer along while calling me on the phone and informing me, "I'm currently chatting with a scam artist who has hacked your email account." I then changed all of my passwords while she played dumb with them about how, exactly, wiring money works, and we researched how to boot someone from an account and did so as she kept them busy. I'm pretty lucky that my sister kept her wits about her and helped me through that, as I didn't have any more problems as a result.
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Old 08-08-14, 12:46 AM  
FitBoop
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There are various lists that you can add yourself or a parent to, which will help ward off some of the calls. This is a good one to start with. Here is some information.

Occasionally, a brazen scammer will ignore the do not call list, but it does significantly cut down on the calls.

There are also lists to get on in order to stop junk mail and to stop credit and insurance offers.

Since I've gotten on the lists, I no longer get swamped with junk mail.
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Old 08-08-14, 12:07 PM  
gmfreund
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I got an email today from an acquaintance who was mugged in Hong Kong . . .

You know, if some of these email scammers would just figure out proper punctuation and grammar they might actually get farther.

In any case, they obviously got hold of her account because I've received the email at work and at home. Hopefully no one falls for it.
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Old 08-08-14, 09:41 PM  
Eibhinn
 
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Originally Posted by FitBoop View Post
There are various lists that you can add yourself or a parent to, which will help ward off some of the calls.
Do note that the Canadian equivalent of the American do not call list is worse than useless, since it only really has regulatory teeth within Canada, and nearly all of our scammy spammy calls originate in the US and Asia. Even worse, because the list was publically available (so companies would ostensibly know who NOT to call) a bunch of really sleazy outfits used the do not call list as a source of active phone numbers, so people who add their number to the list typically get MORE calls than before. So if you are in Canada, don't add your name to the do not call list. Instead tell each caller individually to remove you from their lists - if they're not scammers, they will. If they are scammers, there's really nothing you can do.
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Old 08-09-14, 06:34 AM  
ddj
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Originally Posted by Eibhinn View Post
Do note that the Canadian equivalent of the American do not call list is worse than useless, since it only really has regulatory teeth within Canada, and nearly all of our scammy spammy calls originate in the US and Asia. Even worse, because the list was publically available (so companies would ostensibly know who NOT to call) a bunch of really sleazy outfits used the do not call list as a source of active phone numbers, so people who add their number to the list typically get MORE calls than before. So if you are in Canada, don't add your name to the do not call list. Instead tell each caller individually to remove you from their lists - if they're not scammers, they will. If they are scammers, there's really nothing you can do.
I'm in the U.S. and the do not call list has been useless. We still get a ridiculous number of calls. We just have to use caller ID to screen them and still one gets by us occasionally.

I don't know that it can really be stopped or prevented. I don't think there's any way to keep up with all of them.
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Old 08-09-14, 07:50 AM  
pumptmuscle
 
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I'm really sorry to hear of this, too. How exactly was the money transferred? Is there any way all the information he has, however petty it may seem, could be given to the police? It could be a long shot, but it might be worth it. If it would be too traumatic for him to relive all that took place, maybe a family member could take care of it, as much as possible.

A thought occurred to me that could go far in preventing this. A 'family' password could be created among all family members, extended family, friends, etc. to at least prevent family-oriented scams from taking place. If a supposed family member calls asking for money in an immediate or suspicious manner, they'd say "what's the password (or maybe family password)?" If they don't know, the scammer is out of luck. Of course, the key would be to spread the word around to all relevant people but nobody outside. This would be particularly important to anyone who may not have full use of their mental capacity. Someone who does would have an easier time discerning whether the person actually is who they say they are. Ideally, the password would be something easy to remember but obscure enough so someone wouldn't happen to get a lucky guess at it.

It's such a shame things like this happen. It's surprising how often people who think it'd never happen to them become victims, too.
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Old 08-09-14, 05:46 PM  
gmfreund
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Bob -- we talked about a family password, actually. It seems like it might work. Something so that you'd have an idea of who it is you are talking to. That was also behind our idea of asking the person to tell you something that only the two of you would know.

I can assure you, my FIL is the sort who believed such a thing could never happen to him. He's very sharp, always has been, but they preyed on his fears in a way that worked. He got Moneygrams from the grocery store and gave the numbers over the phone to the scammers (unbelievable, but that's what he did). The money is long gone. He did go to the police and they took a report, but no one expects him to get that money back. However, it could be one more charge to heap on if they do happen to catch this group.
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Old 08-10-14, 09:32 AM  
Vintage VFer
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Originally Posted by FitBoop View Post
Since I've gotten on the lists, I no longer get swamped with junk mail.
Any suggestions on how to stop getting so much crap from AARP, AAA and Good Sam? These guys are killing a world of trees for nothing!
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