Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from Manitoba and New Brunswick.
Many people are very upset about calls purporting to be from government sources asking for money or personal information and threatening dire consequences if people do not comply with these demands. 211 Service Navigators can help assess the situation and offer reassurance.
A senior citizen called 211 in tears, wanting to reach the police. She told the Service Navigator that she was going to get arrested and the phone number that “they” gave her was not working.
The Service Navigator let the caller know that he would help her find what she was looking for, but he needed to ask some questions to find out what was happening. He was able to ask some questions and found that she had been phoned by someone claiming to be from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and that they had said there was a warrant for her arrest. She was totally confused because she had no previous dealings or problems with the CBSA and there was no reason they should be contacting her. She had been told she needed to pay them more than a thousand dollars in order to avoid arrest. She went to the bank and withdrew the money, but the phone number she was provided by them was not working, and, thankfully she called 211.
The Service Navigator reassured the woman and told her it was a scam. The CBSA would never contact someone in this manner or ask for any money in this fashion. He let her know how to report this incident if she wished.
She was able to calm down after a few minutes of talking and thanked 211 for being there and saving her money.
Moving to a new community can make people feel isolated. 211 Service Navigators can suggest services to help them connect with their new home.
A 211 Service Navigator received a call from a woman who said she was lonely, as she had just moved to a new area, and she would like to do volunteer work or to participate in women’s groups or activities. She asked if the Service Navigator could help her to find volunteer opportunities and women’s groups.
The 211 Service Navigator tried to understand her situation better and probed for more information to best help the caller. The caller had transportation and was no longer working. She did not have access to the Internet. She was provided with referrals for support groups and volunteering. There were some promising services listed on her new town’s website, but the caller was unable to contact the town, as it was email only or people could submit a form to have a call back. The Service Navigator offered to fill out the call back form for her to eliminate this barrier. The caller agreed. At the end of the call, she said: “I’m so glad I’m called, I wasn’t sure if you would be able to assist me in finding volunteer groups. Thank you so much!”