While raking leaves a white pickup truck drove by, backed up and came to a halt at the curb. I would like to think the driver was attracted by my wild silver hair and voluptuous “one size fits all” figure as he was truly somewhat “easy on the eye.”

“Hello ma’am, I was just driving by and noticed your roof has some damage.”

I despise being called ma’am…this will be discussed another time, another blog. Really? Even at a height of 6’ with beautiful blue eyes and broad shoulders how is this guy capable of such long range vision? But I digress.

“You do know ma’am there has been quite a bit of hail damage in this area. All of your neighbors are getting estimates on their roofs.”

As I grip my rake handle my mother’s voice rings in my head. Something about all my friends jumping off a bridge.

“Ma’am I could do a free inspection and estimate, just to be sure.”

He’s definitely starting to lose his appeal. And my father’s accountant voice is ringing about NOTHING in life is free.

“All you need to do is put a percentage down and we’ll be back to fix your roof when we have the supplies.” He smiles.

I smile.

“Would you like me to discuss this with your husband?”

Deep breaths here. I may be raking leaves, but I am a liberated woman and replied,

“I think its best we just call this conversation over. My roof is fine.”

Research clearly indicates a favorite target of con artists is the elder population. Seniors are expected to have savings and/or excellent credit. People over 60 were generally raised to be polite, respecting and find it more difficult to say no. It was a different world and different values and with technology, the internet and cell phones, $40 billion dollars is lost to telemarketing fraud alone. Fifty-seven percent of the victims are over the age of fifty.

Scammers rely on elders not reporting their activity. Elders may be ashamed, feel incompetent or not even realize they have been scammed until many weeks have passed. I didn’t recognize I was being scammed. It was simply annoying. As a Senior or a family member of a Senior be alert to being singled out for a “good” deal. Never open your checkbook until the product has been delivered. Beware of strangers in your neighborhood. Avoid phone solicitations by quickly hanging up. Remember the IRS, Medicare and Social Security never, never, never call individuals or ask for a social security number.

The best advice is old advice….Beware of strangers, even white pickup trucks with handsome drivers. Never be a victim.