Page 5 - Boca ViewPointe - May '23
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May 2023                                                       Viewpointe, Page 5
       Scammed Into Old Age

      By Robert W. Goldfarb                                 When connected, I was told the offer was made   document describing the offer were those of Comcast.
                                                         possible by Target Corporation which was hoping to win   Indeed, when later I spoke with one of Comcast’s technical
         At 93, I know I’m deep into old age. But, until yesterday,   customers by partnering with Comcast. I had 24 hours to   security analysts, she exclaimed, “It’s as though they were
      I didn’t feel old. I exercise six days a week and regularly   go to Target, purchase a $450 gift card and provide the   emailing and speaking to you from one of our offices!”
      compete against much younger runners in three and five mile   data on the card by calling the Comcast phone number   She added that their sophistication was a challenge she
      races. I mentor women and minority aspiring entrepreneurs.   listed on the document bearing its registered email address.   would confront the moment we hung up.
      University faculty invite me to speak to MSW candidates   Once the gift card was received by Comcast, the $450      I must confess I did go to Target to purchase the gift
      about the elderly they will be counseling upon graduation.   would pay the next six month’s bills. For the following   card. It was pure luck that a young Target staff member,
      I’ll soon by flying to San Francisco to hold, feed and diaper   three years, I would be charged $75 a month instead of   hearing my request, said “Sir, that’s a scam. Older people
      my first great-grandchild.                         the $175 I had previously paid. To prove the authenticity   keep coming in to respond to that offer.” She added: “The
         But that changed yesterday when scammers reminded   of the offer, before going to Target, I would receive a   scammers are aiming at those in their eighties and older.”
      me that all my activity bears a fast-approaching expiration   formal notification from Comcast sent via its standard   I recalled the scammer asking if I could get to Target or
      date. The realization that I was a very old man began with an   email address.                       would need someone to take me. I should have realized he
      email from Comcast, the company that provides my Internet      I’m certain skeptics--if they read this far--would wonder   wouldn’t have asked that of a younger person. Apparently,
      service. I was told I qualified for a sharply-reduced monthly   why I had fallen for what was obviously a scam. Why   my name and email address were drawn from a roster of
      charge. The offer was outlined in an email bearing the official   couldn’t I see that any such offer had to be fraudulent? My   the very old.
      Comcast brand. If accepted, the new plan would save me a   grandchildren--skeptics of Olympic quality--often wonder      Thanks to the astuteness of a Target staff member, I
      total of $3,600 over three years, an amount that gained my   how I got to be 93 still contemplating bogus online offers.   didn’t purchase a gift card. But, I came away feeling older;
      attention. I called, and was immediately greeted with the   But, even they were impressed by the seeming genuineness   that however vigorous I am, I was contacted because I
      string of prompts familiar to anyone telephoning Comcast.  of the offer. The email address, the phone number and the   am old, very old. I certainly intend to remain active and
                                                                                                           engaged, but emerge from this encounter feeling far more
                                     Board Of Directors                                                    vulnerable, far older, than I did yesterday.
                                                                                                              Bob’s articles have appeared in The New York Times,
                May 2021 – May 2023 Officers/Executive Committee                                           The San Francisco Chronicle and in Next Avenue, the
                                                                                                           publication of the Public Broadcasting Service. His
                                                                                                           book, “What’s Stopping Me From Getting Ahead?” was
         Chairman and President  Barry J. Haberman       District 5 Howard Weinstein (El Dorado)
         Vice Chair         Steve Retzer                    Esplanada, Caravelle, Palomar, La Corniche,    published by McGraw Hill and is in five languages. 
         Secretary          Steve  King                     and El Dorado
         Treasurer          Harvey  Kaplan               District 6 Connie Murray (Villa Flora)
                                                            Villa Flora, Montego Bay, Villa Del Sol, and Palladium  Hot Topics
         District Directors                              District 7 Alan Markoff (The Plum)
         District 1 Mary Ann Frazier (Palms)                The Plum/Cortina, Villa Sonrisa and Pointe 100
            Encantada, Valencia and The Palms            District 8 Robert Cornell (Costa Brava)            Group Notice
         District 2 Steve King (Imperial Royale)            Costa Del Sol and Costa Brava
            Promenade, Imperial Royale, Imperial, Regency   District 9 Robin Gliboff (Edgewater)
            and Panaché                                     Edgewater Pointe Estates and Stratford Court       We are a women’s group who remember Reva
         District 3 Harvey Kaplan (Meridiana)                    At Large Directors
            La Mirada and Meridiana                                                                         Tucker. Hot Topics has resumed meetings every Friday
         District 4 Michael Ehrentreu (El Viento)  Through May 2023          Through May 2023               and are seeking new members. Please join us for lively
            El Viento, La Paz, and Southwinds    Chandra Stewart-Keith (Panaché)  Barry J. Haberman (Encantada)  discussions at 11:00am to 12:30pm at the Boca Pointe
                                                 Bob Greenstein (Lakes of La Paz)  Marvin Lazarowitz (Villa Del Sol)  Community Office. If you would like more information
                                                 Steve Retzer (La Mirada)    Carsten Bethge (Valencia)      or to sign up, please call 561-715-8298. 

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