Con Artist Exploits A Grandmother’s Love Of Family

by Nancy Peverini, commentary in The Sacramento Bee

telemarketing to elderlyI never thought it would happen to my loved ones.

How many times have you said that as you hear about financial scams that happen to others? I’m an attorney who represents consumers and their attorneys in the Capitol. When it came to scams against the elderly, I thought my 86-year-old mom was well prepared.

I spoke to her about how the scams occur, and since my mom is of very sound mind and lives independently, I thought we were safe.

What I didn’t know and had underestimated was how easy it is for con artists to exploit a person’s love for family and defraud a very aware elder.

As we get older, we worry more about our children and grandchildren. Criminal predators prey on that concern.

In our case, my mom received a telephone call from a sobbing young woman. After several moments of confusion, my mom began wondering if this was one of her granddaughters.

“Is this Kelsey?” she inquired. The caller stopped her weeping long enough to answer yes, that she had been arrested, was embarrassed and did not want anyone to know.

The con job continued. Someone masquerading as a police officer got on the line, telling my mom she needed to post $3,000 in bail or “Kelsey” would go to jail.

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