Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Banks help underhanded telemarketers bilk elderly customers

The New York Times is reporting on a troubling trend among banks to participate in telemarketing schemes designed to bilk seniors out of their money.  The news story, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, starts with an account of a telemarketer called an elderly man in Tidewater Virginia and got him to “update” is supplementary health insurance (for Medicare?)  fraudulently. The link is here.  The bank involved was Zions in Salt Lake City.  No mention of any putative connection to LDS, but this does sound odd and disturbing.
   
I find that landline calls from telemarketers (both to sell and solicit donations) are incessant despite the “do not call” list of the FTC.  But I often hear the line that working in a phone bank is the only kind of job some people can get.  I’ve talked about that on the job market blog before.  The uneven economy simply encourages more desperation by companies. 

Should consumers just not pick up the phone/  Now Comcast Xfinity will display the incoming call number, city of origin, and sometimes name of caller or company on the television screen.  
  
ABC 20-20 one time had reported that a bank in Montana “quietly” encouraged a marijuana business to help keep a farm from going into foreclosure. 

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