#romancescams | You can’t fix stupid…but you can hang up on it – Daily News

“You can’t fix stupid,” –Comedian Ron White.

My grandson called the other day and said he needed some money. He was backpacking in South America and got into a little trouble. He’s a good kid, but he’s growing up way too fast for a 5-year-old, which my only grandson is.

“How much milk money you need?” I asked, as the scam artist hung up on me.

Maybe he called you next because the grandparents scam is still one of the more popular cons these bottom-feeders try to pull off, according to the AARP Fraud Resource Center.

Between the insistent boiler room calls, and phony emails I get from rich, older women, I’m starting to think I’m the perfect target for scammers – an old guy with money and rapidly diminishing brain cells.

Mrs. Aisha Gaddafi — the late, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter – sent me an email last week saying she had $27 million she wanted to get out of her country, and needed a trusted investment-manager in this country to handle her affairs.

Did she email Warren Buffett?  Schwab or Fidelity? Rudy Guiliani? No, she emailed me, the guy who flushed $5,000 down the toilet on a hot tip Colonel Sanders was buying out Koo Koo Roo Chicken.

You can’t fix stupid.

Roselen Rogas, a sick soul living in Paris, sent me an email saying she had $6.8 million she wanted me to dole out before she dies to widows, orphans, the handicapped and underprivileged in this country. The only thing she left out was sick puppies. All I had to do was call her lawyer with my “personal details.”

“God bless you,” she said. If I was God, I’d be more than a little ticked off so many scammers were hiding behind my good name. One scammer even used a Catholic nun as a cutout in her con.

She left me an ATM card with $200,000 on it, but to get it I had to contact a nun who was a friend of hers. The woman would have sent me the ATM card herself, but she was too busy packing for a trip to China.

Who’s going to China these days? Everybody’s going the other way. You can’t fix stupid.

Pick a scam, any scam, there’s plenty going around, says Strat Maloma, AARP California fraud network campaign lead. There’s grandparents, home improvement, romance, pet, charity, and cruise scams. There’s debt relief, celebrity imposter, IRS, funeral, census, credit repair, health insurance and holiday scams.

They’re all “phishing” something, trying to get in your wallet and acquire valuable personal and financial data – social security numbers, credit card details, and passwords for online accounts. And, it’s getting worse.

“Scams are definitely on the rise from people inside and outside the country,” Maloma said. “They’re becoming more complex, especially with how easy the internet, online world makes it. We’re getting a lot of grandparent scams and IRS scams with tax season approaching.

“The scammers use pressure and scare tactics, like a loved one’s in trouble and unless you send money a detrimental consequence is going to happen. That makes people think with their emotion rather than rational.”

The romance scams are the worst. Not only do they steal a woman’s money, they break her down to the point she feels worthless and contemplates suicide, Maloma said. There’s a five-minute video on the fraud resource center website – aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork – that details such a case.

Do scammers feel any remorse when they’re caught? Maloma wouldn’t bet on it. “I don’t know whether they have remorse for what they did to their victims or more remorse about being caught.”

Either way, AARP has a full court press going on to train volunteers in fraud education, and then send them out into senior communities to give people  information before they need it. The fraud resource center helpline is (877) 908-3360.

As for me, I’m getting pinged again. A Ms. Melanie Abebayo wants my assistance in the transfer and investment of her inheritance funds from her late father who died mysteriously, and left her $5 million euros.

“Please, if I can trust in your honesty to help me, I will give you $500,000 euros. I will give you more details when I receive your response.”

Here’s my response. Sure, you can trust in my honesty. I’ve got the perfect investment. Did you hear Colonel Sanders is buying Koo Koo Roo Chicken?

Dennis McCarthy’s column runs on Sunday. He can be reached at dmccarthynews@gmail.com.

 


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