From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father has reached the age where he has become trusting to a fault. He was called by an unscrupulous telemarketer and fleeced out of several thousand dollars. I am worried that his number will now be passed around to other criminals and he will write more checks. How do I protect my dad from criminal telemarketers?
Your suspicions are right—once your dad’s recognized as a potential “mark” among the criminal community, he could become a target for scammers who pretend to be calling him on your behalf, asking for payments toward funeral expenses, emergency medical bills, or sweepstakes prize processing fees. According to the FBI, your father likely shares traits that were common among his generation — raised to be polite and trusting, and often reluctant to hang up the phone even if they suspect a scam.