October 20, 2021

The phone scam gaslighting therapists

It started with a voice mail on Jaime Bardacke’s cell phone that sounded work-related. It came on Father’s Day, and the licensed clinical social worker was driving back to her San Francisco apartment after visiting family, eager to eat dinner and watch the NBA playoffs.

That message kicked off a harrowing 6½-hour odyssey during which she was fleeced of thousands of dollars as she drove around San Francisco and the Peninsula on the phone with a swindler — who was in her head both literally through her earbuds and metaphorically through manipulation tactics.

It was like being kidnapped.

“He held me hostage with no gun but with his words,” Bardacke said. “I never expected a call on a Sunday night to be from a sociopath.”

Phone scams are incredibly common.

A stunning 59.4 million Americans lost $29.8 billion to them in the 12…

Read full article here: www.sfchronicle.com