The Norman Transcript

Features

March 4, 2014

How seniors can guard against robocall scams

NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, Is there anything that can be done to stop the annoying robocalls my husband and I keep getting? It seems like we get two or three a day offering lower credit card interest rates, medical alert devices, home alarm systems and more. What can you recommend?

— Frustrated Seniors

Dear Frustrated,

There’s been a huge spike in robocall scams in the U.S. over the past few years. The Federal Trade Commission gets more then 200,000 complaints every month about this widespread problem. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips that can help you protect yourself.

Robocall scams: Whenever you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall.

You’ve probably gotten robocalls about candidates running for office or charities asking for donations. These robocalls are legal and allowed. But if the recording is a sales message and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal.

In addition to the phone calls being illegal, their pitch most likely is a scam.

Some common robocall scams that are making the rounds these days are offering lower credit card interest rates, mortgage relief, free vacations, medical alert devices or home security systems, or they falsely notify you about changes in your health benefits or bank account.

But be aware that new scams are constantly evolving, and they all have only one goal in mind: to get your personal and financial information.

The reason for the spike in robocalls is technology. Fraudulent robocallers are using autodialers that can send out thousands of phone calls every minute for an incredibly low cost and are difficult to trace.

When these kinds of calls come in, your caller ID usually displays “spoofed” (fake) numbers or just says “unknown.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014

  • Parents should work on themselves first

    I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem — they are. All this time (however long ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Helping cat with first veterinarian visit

    Dear Dr. Fox: A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014