Scamming old people

Not something I do but there seems to be plenty out there who do take advantage of them.

My mother lives in a retirement village and last week she had a service done on her air-conditioner and they sent her a quote saying that it was short on gas and they’d have to top it up and the charge for the gas, a few extra parts and labour would be $700 thanks very much. (This place uses the one Company for all the residents).

So we run our own air-conditioning company and on the weekend she showed Daz the quote and he had a look at the unit, checked the gas levels and said – not likely. When he had it running I walked up the hallway past the lounge room and even with the front and back doors open and windows open you could feel the cold air pumping out of it, there’s nothing wrong with it. Bastards.

The next day Daz rang them and said – what tha? and the service manager was saying there must have been a mistake or the technicians multimeter might be faulty or bla bla bla bla.

Last week I was renewing one of our licences on the Fair Trading site and was looking at all the current scams to be aware of and I sent Mum an email saying not to believe anyone who rang or knocked on the door saying they were from the tax department, an insurance company, the bank or Microsoft saying she had to give them money or her details. She sent one back saying she didn’t believe anything anyone told her, that she was the great non believer.

The phony insurance company did ring her the next week, I’d seen that one on TV. They ring elderly people and say someone in their family has been in a car accident and they have to pay money for some reason or another and all these old people were really upset because they didn’t understand and just thought someone they knew had been in an accident. When they rang Mum she said she didn’t know anything about it and to ring whoever had the accident because it wasn’t her problem.

It’s pretty low and I have to wonder how many other people in the complex where Mum lives received a quote like that. There are hundreds of houses – these people could make a lot of money sending out these quotes. So we’re going to get on to the management there so they’re aware that it’s going on or that they should make the people living there aware that it’s going on and to get a second quote.



17 thoughts on “Scamming old people

  1. Scamming the elderly is such a low act. I remember hearing about a scam where people pretend to be tilers and knock on the doors of elderly people telling them a couple of tiles on their roof need replacing or the rain will get in and ruin everything they own (or something like that). You’re right, people who do this sort of thing are complete bastards!

  2. Hard to believe the management of the complex didn’t hear about this earlier. They’re almost as guilty of letting their residents get bilked as that AC company.

    My mother fell for a telephone version of the Nigerian bank scam. She received a call from someone claiming to be from the Bank of Jamaica, and they had a check for $80 million made out to her from some anonymous benefactor. However, she’d have to send them $700 to insure the delivery of the check…. She burned through $40,000 before my father finally found out and called the police. Our local police department said they couldn’t do anything about it, since the scammers lived overseas. They referred my parents to the FBI, but as far as I know, nothing ever came of it. What made me really angry is that months later they were still calling my mother, even after I moved in with my parents and began chewing them out over the phone. I hope there’s a special circle in hell for people like that, maybe one that involves being repeatedly drawn and quartered over a bed of burning coals.

    • Well I suppose people just assume it’s correct. It’s a bit like going to get car repairs done – people just assume it’s correct because they really have no idea.

      So many people from here get caught out by those Nigerian type scams as well although they did catch one group of them. Someone travelled over there with the Australian 60 minutes team I think it was and busted them.

    • Lol – it’s just a bit far away for us. Besides we’d never make any money! Our partner in the business is a sucker for old people – he goes around to their houses and feels sorry for them if it’s just a small job so doesn’t charge them and has a cup of tea with them.

  3. When my niece was in college her other grandfather (not my dad) got a phone call from a young girl claiming to be her and saying – she’d gone to Canada with a friend, drugs were found on someone they were with, she needed bail money wired to a certain phone number, etc. He didn’t fall for it, he instead called around to other people asking if they’d heard anything and one of them finally thought to call my niece, who was sitting in her dorm room studying. I have heard, though, that many elderly people fall for this scam a lot.

    You know … if I were you I’d be very tempted to express to the complex manager the importance of them getting a new AC company (hint, hint).

    • That’s terrible – haven’t heard of that one here yet. They’re not just ripping people off but causing them a lot of worry as well.

      Lol – well five more years and we’ll be able to move in there which would cut down on travel expenses for them.

    • Someone once said that I should go around the village and help the oldies with computer problems they have so maybe we can just be general maintenance/helper people!

  4. We were always worried Mum would get taken in by one of those door knockers, and it was one of our great reliefs when she went into care and she no longer had her own property. We have been emailed three times by the tax dept telling us with have refunds in recent weeks. Pathetic animals…

    • I mean really it’s not just old people being taken in by these guys. If you look at the Fair Trading website, with the amount of scams going on out there it’s a wonder anyone escapes them. Not to mention the ones they’re not even aware of. Not to mention that this isn’t really a scam just someone taking advantage, sigh, people are so sleazy.

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