Hi Joan, 

Without hijacking the thread longer, there’s up to a year in wait lists for various levels of support. This client is on the lowest level, I don’t think I said she lives alone. Her son-in-law picked her up when she attended. According to assessment notes she has daily contact with family. I have to respect confidentiality.

She’s isolated due to age and finds it hard to leave the house during the work week - as many frail elderly do. Our support system entitles her to 6hours social support each week, to spend at an Activity group or Outing group. She accepted, and came once; loved it; said she’d come again and apparently forgot.  If she doesn’t come on Monday, someone else gets her spot. 

(My waiting list has another 16 names on it, I have limited places available) 

joanne your story reinforces the fact that these kind if scams are not harmless nuisances. When I was a kid in the 80s I wouldn't dream if letting a ringing phone go unanswered. But the prevalence of telemarketing, then robocalls and now scammers has changed my attitude. Now I only answer our landline if I recognize a few specific numbers. So I imagine there might be the occasional call that's important that I don't answer. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. So it makes it harder on someone like you with a legitimate job that's hampered by people's fear of answering a malicious call.

I think the same thing applies to email. Spam was just kind of an annoyance at first but it's evolved into something much more potentially dangerous.  Keeping up with all the latest phishing and scam techniques is hard and makes it easier to just ignore and delete emails that look even the slightest bit phishy. 

mrincredible said:

I think the same thing applies to email. Spam was just kind of an annoyance at first but it's evolved into something much more potentially dangerous.  Keeping up with all the latest phishing and scam techniques is hard and makes it easier to just ignore and delete emails that look even the slightest bit phishy. 

If you set your email to display messages in plain text rather than HTML, you'll see links as they are, rather than an image which purports to be something else.

Klinker said:

The tip off should have been the fact that you managed to get "Amazon" customer service on the phone with you.  Everybody knows that talking to a human at Amazon is impossible.

 It’s not easy, but as others above have mentioned, it’s not impossible. (If anyone has an easy way to do it, I want to know! The few times I have succeeded, I stumbled across a ‘call me back’ support link, but had no idea how to find it again the next time I needed it.)

Joanne - have a letter or post card translated (from a co-worker) to your client in her language.   Simple say "please have your daughter contact me, we have everything already set up for you to receive your benefits".

Oldstone - I am glad the person ahead of you in line was there to advise you it was a scam.  These kinds of scams are endless for a reason......they work.  Think about it, if they get one person a day or even one person a week, they just made themselves  $4k. Not too shabby.   They mostly work on elderly people who get nervous about something impacting their credit negatively, they usually are not as tech savvy, they have never been scammed before, and some do not know (or believe) that there are scams out there or that it could happen to them.  And now with them spoofing the numbers it makes it more believable.   

My mother is 78 years old and has dementia.  She had been scammed twice before I took over her finances.  The first one was from "pseg", they called to let her know her bill had not been paid in several months and they were going to disconnect her services in an hour if she didn't pay right then and there.  Not wanting that to happen she gave them all of her personal info including her bank account numbers.

The second time it happened the person said they were from the "township", they were notifying her because her property taxes were not paid and the interest and penalties were over $2k, but if she paid right then over the phone they would waive those charges.   Again she gave out all of her info.   After the "pseg" incident one of my brothers said she should have known better.  So  when the "township" scam happened she was too embarrassed to say anything.   

I should also note that I fell victim to an email scam about 12 years ago at work.

As you cam imagine, the DPW has to order a lot of stuff, whether it be supplies, parts, tools, or various other things.  Most of which is shipped via UPS,USPS, Fed Ex, or by a private hauler.  One day when I was up to my eyeballs in paperwork and emails I received an email from UPS regarding my tracking number, not an uncommon thing for me.  But I didnt look close enough to the email address and opened the link to get my tracking number.  Instead of getting the number I got a message on my screen that said. "You have 12 hours to send xxx amount of money to xxxx, if you do not send the money a virus will kick in and destroy your computer and anyone connected to the same server."  I called my IT guy to see how to get the message off of my screen and he freaked out.  He said it was a legit virus.  It happened at about 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, so this poor guy had to work until 10 p.m. to stop it from happening. 

Old stone- I can get you being rattled, it happens to most of us at one time or another. 

joanne said:

you didn't read the part that says I can't leave messages to explain why I'm ringing. I also can't text to the phone number I have. My client doesn't use electronic communication devices (long story, I won't breach confidentiality), so this makes my initial contact with family members very difficult. I can't even set up an appointment for phone contact because I can't contact her first. 

This isn't the only family I have difficulty contacting. And it's worse when you're working with memory loss, or anxiety/depression and similar issues. 

(Re the language issue: I can communicate in 12 languages, the issue here is whether this client will hear me then communicate back when we're using a phone. If we're together, some of the others talk with her and me so we understand each other then. Have I mentioned most of my clients are over age 85-96yrs?)

I'm sorry for derailing the thread.

 who said anything about leaving a message for this specific person?  I mention people can still leave messages for me even if I have the number blocked.....which means simply blocking a number doesn't always mean you can't leave a message for others...maybe this specific person just doesn't have voicemail. 

and I'm confused you say you don't speak her language, but then say you can.

Ok: please, this is not about about solving my contact issues with clients and their families; this is about people who won’t respond to unfamiliar numbers or answer No Caller ID numbers.

I understand the need to control the intrusions into your life; I personally don’t have voicemail on my private phone, and we don’t use our land line. My work phone’s facility for messaging and voicemail is unreliable so I have to use my private phone for work.

When I am face to face with a person whose language I can’t speak, or can’t speak well, I have several communication techniques that I use fairly successfully before I turn to an interpreter. (For work purposes, if I need proper linguistic support I need to call a professional interpreter or translator from the government service, and that needs to be approved by my manager who’s in another city.) Being able to communicate in 12 languages gives me resources to draw on when an unfamiliar language turns up. My team members also speak several languages, however this kind of home contact is my responsibility not theirs. 

I’ll repeat: I brought the issue up not to problem-solve, but to point out that firm personal policies of not responding to certain kinds of callers defeats requested business contact.

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