My Weapon Against Scams

April 9, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.
Sy Rosen
Sy Rosen Sy Rosen

Okay, scams against seniors are growing in epidemic proportions. There’s been a lot of advice on how to protect ourselves from these evil, amoral con men. For me, there’s one sure solution: Sic my family of them. You see, my family has a special talent for driving anybody crazy.

One common scam is for the con man to call, pretend he’s your grandchild, and ask you to wire him money through Western Union. For this I would bring in my Aunt Rose “the guilt tripper” Sidowski. I can just imagine the conversation:

Con Man: Hi Grandma, it’s me. 
Rose: Why haven’t you called? I’m very, very lonely. 
Con Man: I’m sorry Grandma but I have to talk to you about money. 
Rose: You never thanked me for the five dollars I gave you. 
Con Man: Thank you. Anyway, I need you to send me-- 
Rose: Speaking of sending, did you get the birthday card I sent you? 
Con Man: Uh, yeah. 
Rose: I wasn’t sure because you didn’t thank me. 
Con Man (giving up): Goodbye Grandma. 
Rose: So soon? You don’t love me. 

Another common scam is when a con man comes to your door dressed as a policeman and asks for a charitable donation. Of course the crook expects money but he’s never met my Uncle Edgar “the collector” Shlumacker. Edgar has never thrown anything out in his life (he still has an empty pack of Chiclets from 1978). Nobody knows why he keeps everything. Maybe it increases his sense of self worth or maybe he’s just nuts (I’m going with nuts). Edgar thinks everything he has is valuable so he’ll actually think he’s being very charitable when he gives the con man two broken plates and six used Brillo pads.

Selling bogus youth pills and creams is another common scam. To prevent this crime I would use my eighty-year old Aunt Gussie “I’m a beauty” Guttleib. When asked if she wants youth pills Gussie’s response will be: “Why do I need that? People think I’m thirty-five. I have a fifty-year old gentleman friend. Maybe you can sell him some pills. He needs them to keep up with me.”

Sometimes a con man will call and pretend you won a sweepstake’s prize. They then try to get you to send them money for supposed delivery charges and taxes. My cousin Richard “dark cloud” Racklin is the perfect person to thwart this crime. When informed that he won the sweepstakes Richard will go on and on about how he’s never won anything in his life. He’ll talk for two straight hours about how unlucky he is, not letting the con man say anything. The frustrated scam artist will finally hang up on him, proving once again to Richard that he’s never won anything.

One of the most common scams is when a con man pretends he’s from the gas company, gets into your house and robs you blind. For this scam to work the con man has to have privacy once he’s in the house. The perfect person to foil this crook is my cousin Muriel “the matchmaker” Fingerhuter. Muriel will never leave the con man’s side, constantly trying to fix him up. She may actually invite over a few nieces to meet him. She’ll also ask this bogus gas man if he’s gay because she has a wonderful grandson who seems to be just his type. Frustrated, the thief will leave Muriel’s home empty handed (except maybe for her grandson’s phone number).

I know I shouldn’t make light of a very serious problem that’s facing us seniors. But maybe we can learn something from my family. In this somewhat dangerous world it’s good to protect ourselves by being cautious, careful, and very annoying.

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