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Old 12-01-2008, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,784 posts, read 7,633,475 times
Reputation: 2840

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I just want to make everyone aware, especially those of you out there that are elder caregivers, business scams are on the rise. I am in the process, once again, to troubleshoot an automatic debit to my mother's checking from some unscrupulous company.
It took me three years and several crises to get her to agree to let me handle her accounts online since I'm 2 hours drive away. For all her concerns about internet fraud and hacking (she watches way too much CNN for an 87-year old with panic attacks) most of her security problems have stemmed from local contractors and telemarketers offering services.
She recently had a "security alarm system" put in because she's afraid of being alone in the city at night. I suspect, timing wise, that this company might have something to do t with the $300.00 debit to some snow and srf co. in CA. Go figure!!
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Woolwich, ME
162 posts, read 374,085 times
Reputation: 202
Default Thanks for the warning

We had similar problems with people scamming my mother and aunt. I hope there is a very special place in hell for people who take advantage of the elderly.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,784 posts, read 7,633,475 times
Reputation: 2840
I'd like them to pay back the money they stole before they go to hell.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:15 AM
 
Location: NJ
20,323 posts, read 14,595,450 times
Reputation: 14498
Default elder scams

Mother-in-law had someone call and generically pretend to be a grandson. "Gradma is that you" a male voice said. So grandma figures it's Mikey. "Grandma I was vacationing in Canada and got a citation for a fishing infraction. I don't have enough money to pay the fine so they put me in jail". Could you send $3,000 for the fine and lawyer. Could you send it to the Foodmart"? So Grandma doesn't call Mikey's dad because she doesn't want him to get in trouble with his dad. She goes to the bank and withdraws 3 grand and sends it out. She gets another call and sends 3 more grand. By the time the police and bank were notified it was too late. Some of the money was recovered by most of it was lost. Hapened about a year and a half ago.

My mom goes to a STS auto center and they replace a "worn" relay rod on a 10,000 mile buick regal.

What do you do with scum like that?
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,784 posts, read 7,633,475 times
Reputation: 2840
Right now i'm playing detective and making phone calls,looking up websites and faxing documents. I've been successful in the past recovering her money, but this time I might be out of luck. The e-check went to c some co. in CA with no verified phone no. (so far, I have to wait until 10:00 a.m. for some other calls).
these scum are the lowest.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:09 AM
 
Location: NJ
20,323 posts, read 14,595,450 times
Reputation: 14498
Default interesting

Scam originated in CA in our case too.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,734,990 times
Reputation: 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
Right now i'm playing detective and making phone calls,looking up websites and faxing documents. I've been successful in the past recovering her money, but this time I might be out of luck. The e-check went to c some co. in CA with no verified phone no. (so far, I have to wait until 10:00 a.m. for some other calls).
these scum are the lowest.
During the 1990's I was the caregiver and held power of attorney for my uncle who lived in Maine part of the year and in Florida part of the year. When my aunt became institutionalized with Alzheimer's, he couldn't manage his own affairs...got confused with medications and so forth, which is when I took control and managed his affairs for him.

He got snookered by many including "boiler room" lottery schemes that originated in Canada, and an alarm company in Ft Myers that installed an unauthorized alarm system in the condominium that he owned. I got that yanked out and then fought an endless battle with the scummy finance company that held the note...eventually my uncle died and then the finance company went out of business.

Without a doubt the biggest scam was a guy who floated down to Ft. Myers from under some rock in the upper central portion of the state. His "mission" was to help my uncle to start a new business that would make him a millionaire. He managed to get $2500 out of my uncle, and my Mother who was visiting around that time, intercepted another payment in the same amount.

In the end, I managed to get about one half of the money back by explaiining to the scumbag that I was working on several situations for my uncle, and was in steady communication with Florida's Department of Elder Affairs in the Florida Department of Agriculture (where it was actually located). At that time there were all sorts of elder protection laws about to be enacted, but few were actually in force. Faced with the harsh light of day, with my slinging around of verbiage that made it seem like I knew something and with my use of the title, "Attorney in Fact", the guy broke his arm to fork over most of the money in an agreed manner though my uncle's lawyer in Ft. Myers.

Today almost every state has a department that will investigate and assist in the protection and recovery of money extracted from seniors by unscrupulous scumbags. The situation is much better now than it was in the past, and I suggest that you contact the states' attorneys general to see what assistance the state can provide.

I am going to write a book about my adventures with my uncle, but I am not sure whether to make it fiction or factual because I am not sure if anyone would believe that it is fact.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,784 posts, read 7,633,475 times
Reputation: 2840
Well, last year she was taken by a bank identity confirmation call over the phone. We (bank associates and I) called the no. on the back of the e-check and they replayed a recording(of my mother?) giving them information. After I made some legal threats they refunded her money. Once again she was taken by an "identity theft" security co. over the phone. They had a n apparently legit website listings and contacts in Florida. My mother and I made a police report withthe Boston Police Dept. I contacted the MA AG's office after the debit and they informed me that there are so many scams they can't deal with each one directly. They told me to call the FCC and other Fed agencies to make a report. I harassed the Florida "security" co. and informed them that there was indeed a police report and that I would call the Florida AG. They refunded.
This time is a little stickier even though now I have POA. This e-check is made out to a surf snow and skate co. that won't answer the phone. I guess I'll have to turn this over to the MA and CA Ag's office. They home security co. she bought into seems to be legit, Monitronics. though they do have some inetrnet posted complaints. My Mom's accounts may have been hacked but I think it's more likely that this monitronics installers and/or billers have questionable bookkeeping.
It took me three years to convince my Mom to give me shared POA and I can't seem to convince her that she should consult me for any major purchase. She was also scammed last year by alocal contractor who not only did shoddy handman tasks but came back and borrowed small amounts of cash money from her. My mother is a religiuos fanatic that thinks " good deeds" means giving without question.
I'm frazzled by it all.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,734,990 times
Reputation: 1413
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
Well, last year she was taken by a bank identity confirmation call over the phone. We (bank associates and I) called the no. on the back of the e-check and they replayed a recording(of my mother?) giving them information. After I made some legal threats they refunded her money. Once again she was taken by an "identity theft" security co. over the phone. They had a n apparently legit website listings and contacts in Florida. My mother and I made a police report withthe Boston Police Dept. I contacted the MA AG's office after the debit and they informed me that there are so many scams they can't deal with each one directly. They told me to call the FCC and other Fed agencies to make a report. I harassed the Florida "security" co. and informed them that there was indeed a police report and that I would call the Florida AG. They refunded.
This time is a little stickier even though now I have POA. This e-check is made out to a surf snow and skate co. that won't answer the phone. I guess I'll have to turn this over to the MA and CA Ag's office. They home security co. she bought into seems to be legit, Monitronics. though they do have some inetrnet posted complaints. My Mom's accounts may have been hacked but I think it's more likely that this monitronics installers and/or billers have questionable bookkeeping.
It took me three years to convince my Mom to give me shared POA and I can't seem to convince her that she should consult me for any major purchase. She was also scammed last year by alocal contractor who not only did shoddy handman tasks but came back and borrowed small amounts of cash money from her. My mother is a religiuos fanatic that thinks " good deeds" means giving without question.
I'm frazzled by it all.
You have quite a history built up here. I don't know if you have enough history to take to court, but since you now have POA, perhaps you should consult with an attorney who deals with elder law and welfare and go to court to seek custodianship of your mother. In my case I didn't want to do this because I felt that I couldn't build a case for my uncle being a danger to himself or others, and he willingly handed over 100% control of his affairs when prompted to by his lawyer. But if your mother persists in allowing strangers to get into her home and getting access to her personal affairs, she is a presenting the sort of mental instability that can lead to your being awarded guardianship by the state.

Your last sentence says it all, and I sympathize with your dilemma. Caring for the elderly is a two edged sword and at some point you will need to make a decision about who is actually going to become the parent, and obtaining true legal control may be difficult and unpleasant. From my distant perspective, I think you are now beyond the point where she can remain in control of her financial and legal destiny, and you need to neutralize her ability to spend money in anything other than small amounts, and need to absolutely control her ability to make formal committments to anyone for anything. She really seems to have lost the ability to distinguish what is in her best interest and what is not. Elder people often become fearful of the present AND the future, and will cling to contact with ANYONE as a source of security, giving money so that the social contact can continue. This is often a part of dimentia and can form the basis of your guardianship.

The scam artisits aren't amateurs and will take everything forcing the elder out into the street. Best of luck with your efforts. It is not pleasant and you are doing heroic things for your Mother although she may not understand or realize it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
7,010 posts, read 8,217,035 times
Reputation: 15384
Older people are often the targets of scammers, for various reasons, and, speaking of religion- many of these are "affinity scams". In these schemes the ********* claims an affiliation with some religious organization and uses it as the basis of his "pitch". People want to believe that the individual must be sincere since certainly, none of their "bretheren" would be robbing them.

In several cases I've known, the scammer has enlisted the aid of a gullible preacher (his first target), who then proceeds to unwittingly convince entire congregations to "invest" in the fraudulent scheme. Sometimes the scammer returns to the well many times, fleecing the same people over and over until the money dries up, then he disappears leaving the preacher holding the [empty] bag.

Edit: Why did C-D "***" out F R A U D S T E R????
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