There’s been an uptick in scammers using the phone to rip-off the elderly; however, there are a few smart strategies that Omaha residents can use to help protect themselves and their families.
Helena Cooper, like many seniors, uses a landline for her home telephone. On Monday morning, the 93-year-old received a phone call from a scammer posing as a family member.
Cooper said, “The phone rang and I looked, unknown caller, so I answered.”
Cooper said the person calling identified himself as her oldest grandson, but when she said her youngest grandson’s name the caller agreed that was his name. The Council Bluffs resident knew immediately the caller was a scammer.
According to Cooper, the caller claimed he’s been in a car accident, broke his nose, and was at the police station. He needed cash to get out.
Cooper said, “How much do you need? I need about $1,000.”
She asked the scammer to call back in five minutes. During that time, she called Shawn’s mother who confirmed everything was fine.
When the scammer called back, Cooper gave him a hard time and then called police. Her advice for others, “You got to be aware, don't fall for that scam; too many people lose money that way."
Police say Cooper did the right thing by alerting them. Those who receive similar calls should also alert the Better Business Bureau by calling the Senior Line at 1-877-637-3334.