KUSA - Scammers are so good these days.
They sometimes make you question your sanity: maybe you did put a down payment on a vacation and owe the other half, or it's possible you owe back taxes.
Lorraine Bartlett, 90, has had enough with these games and emailed 9NEWS with her scam story.
She received two calls from two different companies saying she owes money for a vacation she’d put a down payment on already.
“They said that on June 5, I had paid them with a credit card $698 and that I owed them some more now,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said she and her late husband had taken trips like this in the past, but she wasn’t interested in going alone and was certain she didn’t pay anyone any money.
But she felt pressured. The scammers also told her they’d sent her a packet in the mail and had a recording of her voice approval. When she asked to listen to it, they said they couldn’t do that.
“I didn’t know what else to do, so I finally agreed to whatever they were talking about,” she said. “I said yes, I would pay for that.”
Bartlett promptly called the credit card company, canceled the payment and also checked if she’d made another one before, as the scammers were saying. She didn’t.
She thought she was done with these calls.
But then, she received another one.
“Only it was a different company, they had turned it over to a collections agency type thing and he was going to help me out, so I wouldn’t get stuck with that kind of thing again,” she said. “He was going to be so good, he was gonna (charge me) $100 less and then I was going to be able to go on the cruises and have extra things, but I still had to pay. He was very forceful.
“Again, I was just to the point of forget it, I’ll just say ok. And then as soon as he hung up, I called my credit card company and cancelled the account, that he couldn’t get anything like that.”
Lorraine says she's also received the "your grandson is in jail" calls and the IRS scam. She's tired of people trying to make a living out of conning her.
“I would like those companies to be forced to be honest to not target people and try to an old word, flamboozle them, into something they didn't want in the first place,” she said.
The AARP says people young and old get victimized by scammers.
The younger generation are vulnerable to the tech support scams. But every age group has something they care about and scammers target those soft spots.
There are ways to protect yourself, says AARP.
-Don't answer your phone if you don't know who's calling
-Let it go to voicemail
-Don't trust caller ID - the local number can be faked
-If anyone states you owe them money - hang up
-If you think you might owe back taxes - call the IRS directly - and not the number the scammers may give you
AARP’s Elder Watch volunteers can be reached at 800-222-4444 and they can teach you how to answer those calls, as well as tell you what’s fake.
Take a quiz here http://scamexam.aarp.org/
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