Thursday, October 27, 2022

Disturbing phone calls and scams

The Message went like this:

Urgent! Return your absentee ballot today! Did you know that whether you voted is public information?
Your neighbors will know if you voted!
Don't let your neighbors know you didn't vote.

IF you don't vote in the November 2022 General Elections, You're telling your neighbors that:...

[yadda, yadda, yadda, propaganda stuff...]

Your neighbors will know!

The next day we got a flyer with the same message.

Both parties are calling like nimrods and leaving dire messages on our landline.

Another disturbing phone call is the Amazon Scam. Not done by Amazon, but by scammers who repeat the calls every 15 minutes telling us that Amazon has gotten a suspicious charge on your account, in the amount of --- choose your amount --- please call 1-888-XXX-XXX and press one to talk to an account service rep.
I had to unplug our phone to stop the repeated calls. 

Yes, we have a land line because my cell doesn't have any bars in our house. I have to walk outside and away from the house to make or receive a call.

Then I got an email saying that I had a suspicious charge on my PayPal account. Yeah, that was pretty funny. Paypal has an expired card on file. No worries. I only used PayPal 7 years ago...once. Since I never used it I deleted the account and had them remove my data.

I can easily check any charges pending on my charge card and those that have been posted. If the credit card company gets an odd charge they will notify me in a way I won't explain here. However, it works and is very efficient. Charges above my norm or in a place that is not usually used by us are flagged.

There is also a very easy way to dispute charges which has been very successful.

I do wonder how many people fall for the scams that are via phone or email? 

Speaking of that, on another note. 
I had to do some investigating on an insurance claim for hubby.

He is a Veteran with Community Care that is local. His ER visit was billed to the VA and not Community Care. The VA said the claim could not be processed as it was to go to the CCN [Community Care Network]. The Hospital instead billed Medicare -- WRONG! -- I called them on it and explained the process to the billing department.

A month went by and the Hospital Billing Department said 'It just wouldn't go through'.

Which to me translated to: We won't make the effort to rebill the proper Insurance.

Today while waiting for an oil change I called the CCN folks at the Madison VA and found out that payment through the CCN Insurance had been authorized in July the day after the ER visit.

So I used Secure Messaging to pass that on to the Billing Dept and the specific person who told me I was wrong. Note this, Secure Messaging becomes a part of a patient file, no hiding by saying -- I didn't get the message!

I provided the Auth number and suggested they pay Medicare back and bill Optimum UHC. It would be considered fraud to bill the wrong insurance and get paid. Even worse when it is Authorized Care for a Veteran, he/she should NOT be billed.

So I often wonder, how do some of our elderly deal with these issues? The world is scary and invasive. Rotten phone calls that feel like threats. Scam phone calls that are confusing.

Hospital billings that are incorrect.

And I wonder.
How on earth can we stop it?

Last note.

A few years ago the VA system offered me a job as a Patient Advocate. You know what? That would be a great job. However, right now I have my hands full advocating for my own Veteran.


  1. The unwanted calls/texts/emails are ridiculous. No-call lists only do so much...

  2. There is no end to evil it seems. We help Ted's dad as much as we can, and fortunately he doesn't have to deal with scam phone calls. We get lots though and usually find a way to block the number- then we get the same type of calls from a fresh number (eyeroll....)
    Also get a lot of calls asking for donations- I always ask them to remove me from their call list.

    1. Same here, but there is always those who keep calling. New numbers all of the time.

  3. I've had the PayPal and Amazon, mine come in text messages. All you have to do is look at your account. The elderly are vulnerable.

    1. I do know that. I can check on things but still my husband was very worried and I think about how some folks can be fooled this way. It is horrible.

  4. Healthcare insurance is the biggest scam. Those emails and calls from scammers are awful.

    1. Health Insurance and the lack of care from some hospitals to correct mistakes in billing is awful too.
      I did hear back from the gal I talked to at the hospital and she explained that she had gotten a different answer from the 'wrong' VA and then called the company I told her to bill and she said they had the authorization.
      Gosh, I told them to do that a month ago.

      So sad. But at least I stick to things like a dog worrying a bone.
      I feel badly for those who don't know how to read bills and negotiate that wicked insurance world.

  5. I got four scam emails last week, one from Amazon I just needed to pay shipping for a set of nordic pots and pans, then I got Home Depot, Target and Lowes where I had a cell phone, a generator and a vacuum cleaner that I needed to pay shipping on. They were all paid in full just needed to pop in my credit card for the shipping. I shudder to think of all the people who fall for the scams. Hey I got some mail the other day for Warranty on a car I no longer have:)

    1. I still get warranty offers for cars I don't own too. Those scams are horrid. My MIL fell for them all the time because she thought she had ordered things and couldn't remember. AND she gave out her bank info. That was a mess!

  6. Anonymous7:05 PM

    So out of control. The political gloves are off and intimidation seems to be the new practice. We are so close to living in a changed country. Taking advantage of the elderly gets worse and worse.


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