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.
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.