As women over 50, we’re told that much of the quality of our lives is based upon a positive outlook and finding something we’re passionate about. I’m a big believer in this sentiment and refer to it frequently in this blog. However not all of life is positive and sometimes negative experiences arouse plenty of passion. So here goes my rant:
My 94-year-old friend was upset. She told me she’d recently received a disturbing phone call that left her feeling anxious and confused. An officer from the San Francisco City Jail had phoned to say that one of her relatives was incarcerated and needed to speak with her. Because of official policy, my friend was told she needed to phone in on a certain line and provide both her social security number and credit card information. Sensing something was not right, she asked who the relative was… but the man refused to identify him or her. So my friend hung up. After this distressing encounter, however, she spent several sleepless nights worrying whether or not she’d done the right thing. After all, it might have been one of her grandchildren needing her help.
To assuage my friend’s fears, I phoned the jail and spoke with an officer. He told me that requesting social security and credit card information was in no way their policy. To speak with someone in jail, all you need do is accept the collect call. And, just yesterday, I learned these “jailbait” calls are only one of the latest scams now being perpetrated on older women.
What is the world coming to? Something similar happened to my aunt. Shortly after her husband died, her trusted financial advisor began his own business. Perhaps he was fired from his previous job for negligence or unethical practices because he talked my aunt into dumping her secure investments and buying diamonds (through him) instead. Although my aunt spent thousands, these so-called great investments turned out to be virtually worthless—sadly not a surprise.
Scamming older women appears to be like “taking candy from a baby.” And it’s certainly got the same soul damning properties. What kind of people would prey on grandmothers? Being a grandma myself, I feel a sense of outrage for my peers and especially for those women who come before us. The ladies of the Greatest Generation should be revered and appreciated for all they did to provide their children (us) and their grandchildren a better life.
If ever there were grounds to get our feisty on and fight back, the abusive, illegal hoaxes aimed at older women is a worthwhile cause. These horrible scams and the people who perpetrate them need to be stopped!