Most of us consider phone scams a mere annoyance, but it cost one Tennessee gentleman his will to live.
The incessant phone calls congratulated the aging grandfather on his luck in winning millions of dollars, if he would just pay $1,500 in taxes.
Dementia sometimes clouded his memory. His generation kept their word. The man on the phone sounded sincere. The caller would insist that all this remain a secret until the promised millions were delivered.
Again and again, the victim would withdraw the daily limit from his ATM and send it Western Union.
Relatives and others had the same cautionary conversation with the victim many times. Eventually, he took his own life.
Even in the suicide note, it was clear that the faithful grandfather still believed that man on the phone was going to come through.
Jamaican lottery scammers pocket over $300 million from trusting, if gullible, Americans every year. They call from the 876 area code and are very convincing. And persistent.
Warn your loved ones about these scams. They are often embarrassed to admit they were conned and may send even more money simply to prevent you being told.
Lists are gold. Landlines are evaporating in our country thanks to mobile technology, making the so-called “sucker lists” of elderly phone numbers worth significant money. In Jamaica, people are killed over these lists.
If your loved one gets repeated calls, they might have made it onto a list.
Also be on the alert for calls from the bank or a credit card calling to “verify your personal information.”
Some readers have been called from a person claiming to be with the IRS.
Help educate those who might fall victim to these lowlifes.
David Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. He may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com.