An increase in phone-scams targeting the elderly has become severe enough that Congress has begun to take action. As discussed in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “Phone Scam ‘Onslaught’ Has Authorities Scrambling”, scammers have been posing as grandchildren, tax collectors or even technical support. Complaints of unwanted calls were up 41% in the beginning of 2016 with a record 1.7 million complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. While a legislative bill has been started to require phone service providers to do more to block automated calls, it is unlikely that much will be done in the near term.
Since there is no legal solution for this problem, the best solution is to understand the threat and protect yourself. Do not donate money or update your computer over the phone without proof that you are not being scammed. When in doubt, check with law enforcement to verify or simply say no. Sadly, once you become a victim you are likely to be targeted even more.