The Missouri University of Science and Technology is a famous university in Rolla, about 100 miles outside St. Louis. But for some reason, according to a local TV station, international telephone scammers are also interested in Rolla.
They aren’t trying to enroll in the school, but instead to steal money from Rolla’s seniors. A detective said that one senior has been bilked out of $120,000 over several months.
Unfortunately, in the bigger picture, this news is not surprising. Similar scams are happening all over North America.
In my view, the most important thing is for families to make sure they know what is happening with their seniors on an ongoing basis. Changing seniors’ phone number regularly may help avoid an abusive relationship developing with seniors over time (scammer calls to the Rolla senior were coming from Jamaica). Taking away credit cards and bank accounts from the senior could also help, restricting their ability to access money.
These questions are something every family needs to discuss. If the senior has no family in town, or at all, perhaps an important organization such as B.C.’s Public Guardian and Trustee may be of help. The problem is not going to go away.
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on February 27, 2015.