• 61°

Senators need to take scams seriously

To the Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to alert the people of North Carolina that U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and their respective staffs apparently do not give a rip about the most vulnerable citizens of the state whom they purport to represent.

I am speaking here of the failure by our U.S. government as a whole to address the phone-scam epidemic which is running rife in America and which presents a particularly great threat to our senior citizens. Every time I call my senators’ offices about this issue, I’m met with indifference and no return phone call.

Receiving calls from these scammer parasites is at best confusing to many seniors, but can life-ruining if they take the bait and actually send them their life savings. Have any of our of our older citizens ended up falling while rushing to answer one of these bogus calls (which are quite frequent)?   I’ll bet money that they have.

There are numerous scams going around. One is the “charity” scam in which the intended recipients of your contributions actually receive only 10% of the donated amount; somehow, this is considered legal.

One of the most unforgivable scams involves the scammer posing as a grandchild who has been arrested (or is otherwise in peril) and needs money wired immediately. What grandparent wouldn’t want to help their loved one?

When you get a call with nothing but silence on the other end, that is evidence of an attempted scam call. The scammers use a program that allows them to dial a group of numbers at once; the first one to pick up becomes the mark. The rest who hear only silence are the “lucky” ones.

Scammers also “hijack” numbers local to you so that you will think that someone nearby is calling. I have been called on the local prison’s number; I have even been “called by myself”! This too is legal as I understand it — but why?

Permitting this sort of scammery to persist is unconscionable. We have laws against some of it and we have the Do Not Call registry which our government created and now refuses to enforce, and so it continues. Our politicians, including our U.S. Senators, refuse to do anything to address this disaster. How can we trust them to protect us from terrorists if they are unable (or unwilling) to protect us from the scam artists?

If you feel as I do, flood their offices with phone calls. They will get the message . . . maybe. The Senator’s email addresses are not published, but you can easily contact them via email by visiting their websites (shown below) and clicking the “Contact” button.

Senator Richard Burr

202-224-2254

www.burr.senate.gov

Senator Thom Tillis

202-224-6342

www.tillis.senate.gov

Let’s hope we can shake ’em up a bit and prompt them into action . . . for the sake of our elderly parents and grandparents.

Jeff Dreibus

Nebo, NC