Author Topic: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?  (Read 10987 times)

Mgmny

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Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:03:58 AM »
Hello!

I'm looking for advice for what I should do for/about my grandmother who is being defrauded. She is 85 years old, lives in her home unassisted, isn't very mobile (handicap sticker on car - relies on a cane), cannot maintain her home, has boxes of unopened mail (that she writes the date on the outside so she knows what day she got the mail - but is weeks/months behind on opening them).

We have "caught" her going to Walmart to wire money to random people before, and when confronted she says, "it's my business. I'm doing my business, not yours." She has asked other family member (father's cousin) for large amounts of cash so she can wire money to someone. Recently we had access to her credit cards statements (she doesn't know this), and she "has" MANY credit cards with bizarre transactions that aren't hers - gas purchases from out of state, iTunes purchases (she doesn't own a computer or a smart phone), etc. A few years ago she tried to wire money to Ecuador to "get my cousin out of jail for being caught with drugs", but luckily the worker at Walmart called her manager when my grandmother made some comment about this. She didn't think to call my cousin to see if he were somehow in Ecuador (he was not - it was a scam). The latest one we got out of her was, "Someone is getting married at my timeshare, so i needed to wire money to pay for the maintenance fees so they don't need to cancel their wedding." Total scam, I'm sure.

At Christmas this year at her house (anecdotally, she told us she quit vacuuming the floor so she hopes we brought slippers to wear - we aren't letting her host Christmas anymore no matter how much she insists), I saw her calendar handing on the side of her fridge and she has amounts of money with where she spent it written on the days of the calendar. This is probably a great idea if she thinks she is being defrauded - so she can track what SHE is actually paying, but she is regularly spending HUNDREDS of dollars per week. It was hard to read her writing, and I should I have shown someone in my family this calendar when I was there, but I can remember specifically on one day there was, "$83.xx Publishers Clearing House" - so she's just throwing her money away knowingly AND being scammed. Additionally, she has MULTIPLE timeshares that she pays for yearly despite not traveling out of state for the past 3-4 years. I have no idea how many she has, but it's more than 2 for sure - could be 10 or more, I'm not sure.

The issue is that my father and his siblings (2 sisters and a brother) are largely unwilling/unwanting to do anything about it. My father and his brother have power of attorney over her (they think, anyways, no one is 100% sure). They are coming from this with the perspective of, "Well, we ask her what she's doing, and she says it's none of our business, and that's true - it's her money." Or, "Well, what can we do? It's her money, if she wants to get scammed, she can!" I personally find this attitude repulsive and inappropriate.

 I don't care if i get an inheritance from her or not - that's not my end game here. It IS her money, but her life MUST be getting destroyed by this? People are obviously opening credit cards in her name, she is losing tons of money, she can't keep up with her finances whatsoever - what a way to live?!!

What can *I* do to stop this insanity? I am thinking about reporting her to the county protective services, but I'm not sure if that's the correct course of action, or if i should try to talk to her, my uncles/aunts, or what should be my course of action. As always, I appreciate everyone's insight.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 07:05:58 AM by Mgmny »

PapaBear

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 08:15:17 AM »
All of the below is based on the assumption that she is mostly clear-minded, since you did not mention anything about potential dementia or other mental ailments:
I would start with talking to her, but in a positive way. Not focused on the past ("You did something wrong here") but rather focused on the future ("There is the danger of x and y and this is how it looks like"). Get your relatives on board, but only one person should talk to her about it, otherwise it can become overwhelming.

In many cases, especially with the given age gap, it might also help not to talk to the person directly, but by providing media explaining the issue (e.g., a newspaper article on fraud or a TV show host talking about fraud). For example, I know that our local police station has a few leaflets on common scam schemes to download. The important thing is, that she can trust the source and that the source is external. Then, after she has read/seen it, you can ask her if she had similar experiences and what she could do the next time she encounters such a situation.

The important thing is focusing on one aspect at a time. Start with the fraud thing and try to get to the core of it.
Don't mix it with her general spending habits - she is an adult and can basically do whatever she wants with her money.

Dicey

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 08:21:44 AM »
Similar trouble with a 92 y.o. friend. Posting to follow.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 08:24:30 AM »
It's tricky in that, yes, it's her money and she can spend, waste, send, donate, gift it as she wishes...but that if she is sending for one reason, and that reason is untrue, there is of course a problem.

I don't know what to do, but in many places, there are programs to help. Usually the police, a local seniors agency, a local abuse agency, or an elder abuse agency host one. I would get in touch with one of them. Maybe your relatives would be more open to hearing the issue if one of these agency rep's was in the conversation?

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 08:33:34 AM »
I would call your/her county office that handles issues like this for seniors and ask for advice.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 09:03:18 AM »
I would call your/her county office that handles issues like this for seniors and ask for advice.

I don't know what to do, but in many places, there are programs to help. Usually the police, a local seniors agency, a local abuse agency, or an elder abuse agency host one. I would get in touch with one of them.

Just did this and left a message. Thanks for the advice!

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 09:12:30 AM »
All of the below is based on the assumption that she is mostly clear-minded, since you did not mention anything about potential dementia or other mental ailments:
I would start with talking to her, but in a positive way. Not focused on the past ("You did something wrong here") but rather focused on the future ("There is the danger of x and y and this is how it looks like"). Get your relatives on board, but only one person should talk to her about it, otherwise it can become overwhelming.

In many cases, especially with the given age gap, it might also help not to talk to the person directly, but by providing media explaining the issue (e.g., a newspaper article on fraud or a TV show host talking about fraud). For example, I know that our local police station has a few leaflets on common scam schemes to download. The important thing is, that she can trust the source and that the source is external. Then, after she has read/seen it, you can ask her if she had similar experiences and what she could do the next time she encounters such a situation.

The important thing is focusing on one aspect at a time. Start with the fraud thing and try to get to the core of it.
Don't mix it with her general spending habits - she is an adult and can basically do whatever she wants with her money.

I think she's gotten slower over the years, but she is 85 years old, so that isn't that unusual. She has not been diagnosed (nor do I think she has) any recognizable cognitive diseases.

My father did take her to a Fraud prevention class from Community Ed back in February, and her main takeaway was, "A lot of that has to do with computers, I don't have a computer." so i'm not sure how much she took out of that.

So, do you think I should reach out to my aunts/uncles/father and tell them that I am going to talk to her? Or ask them to? They haven't taken action on this yet, so i'm not sure how effective that will be.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 09:34:20 AM »
All of the below is based on the assumption that she is mostly clear-minded, since you did not mention anything about potential dementia or other mental ailments:
I would start with talking to her, but in a positive way. Not focused on the past ("You did something wrong here") but rather focused on the future ("There is the danger of x and y and this is how it looks like"). Get your relatives on board, but only one person should talk to her about it, otherwise it can become overwhelming.

In many cases, especially with the given age gap, it might also help not to talk to the person directly, but by providing media explaining the issue (e.g., a newspaper article on fraud or a TV show host talking about fraud). For example, I know that our local police station has a few leaflets on common scam schemes to download. The important thing is, that she can trust the source and that the source is external. Then, after she has read/seen it, you can ask her if she had similar experiences and what she could do the next time she encounters such a situation.

The important thing is focusing on one aspect at a time. Start with the fraud thing and try to get to the core of it.
Don't mix it with her general spending habits - she is an adult and can basically do whatever she wants with her money.

I think she's gotten slower over the years, but she is 85 years old, so that isn't that unusual. She has not been diagnosed (nor do I think she has) any recognizable cognitive diseases.

My father did take her to a Fraud prevention class from Community Ed back in February, and her main takeaway was, "A lot of that has to do with computers, I don't have a computer." so i'm not sure how much she took out of that.

So, do you think I should reach out to my aunts/uncles/father and tell them that I am going to talk to her? Or ask them to? They haven't taken action on this yet, so i'm not sure how effective that will be.

Sorry to hear this is happening to her.  You know your family best, but if it were my family I would choose one person who I thought she had the most respect for and would be most likely to listen to, and present that person with all the facts and evidence that you have and see what they are willing to do.  And I second those who already mentioned acquiring professional advice from local authorities on what your options are for getting her some help and protection. 

Lis

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 01:39:02 PM »
Are you physically near her and visit often? You could try offering to help with the mail - "Hey Grandma, you get a lot of mail! Must be a pain to go through it all. How about I come over and sort it for you (however often you can/are willing)?" You might be able to get your other relatives on board for this too. If you make it more like a visit - sit down at the kitchen table, make some coffee, chat for a while - she'll see it less as you taking things away from her and more of a pleasant experience.

Also - be careful of door-to-door scammers. My mom was always terrified of them on my grandmother's behalf - luckily my grandmother knew to slam the door on anyone she didn't recognize (including condo security... whoops).

Kwill

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 01:59:46 PM »
Scams targeting elderly people over the telephone have gotten a lot of attention in Japan in recent years, and it sounds like they happen elsewhere, too. Could it be something like that? A relative your grandmother hasn't heard from often calls up and gives a story of troubles that can only be solved by wiring money. The more sophisticated scams have the person call a while before asking for money so that the elderly person recognizes the voice and phone number by the time the scam artist asks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2923663/Grandmother-69-fleeced-20-000-life-savings-string-mail-scams-sucker-list-used-fraudsters.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/inga/grandma-scam_b_8494508.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-20/japanese-elderly-targeted-in-latest-fraud-crime-wave/5536928

Lepetitange3

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 02:31:52 PM »
Call the local police.  Keep calling them.  They can and will handle these types of calls.  Ask them to refer Grandma to DCF for elders services.  Also contact the state attorneys office, and her local bank if she has one (the bank of it knows it's going on will frequently refuse these charges).  The police can try to track down of the perpetrators are local but they can also get Grandma set up to receive elder services from DCF and in some localities, the cops will tell Walmart etc that under no condition should Grandma wire money because she's being defrauded.

surfhb

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 11:43:57 PM »
Call the local police.  Keep calling them.  They can and will handle these types of calls.  Ask them to refer Grandma to DCF for elders services.  Also contact the state attorneys office, and her local bank if she has one (the bank of it knows it's going on will frequently refuse these charges).  The police can try to track down of the perpetrators are local but they can also get Grandma set up to receive elder services from DCF and in some localities, the cops will tell Walmart etc that under no condition should Grandma wire money because she's being defrauded.

Good luck.    Police depts. are way too busy to deal with things kind of things.   

Can you get POA?    Any court will grant you control over her finances if you can prove she is unable to care for it herself.    She clearly cannot.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:46:51 PM by surfhb »

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 04:48:46 AM »
Are you physically near her and visit often? You could try offering to help with the mail - "Hey Grandma, you get a lot of mail! Must be a pain to go through it all. How about I come over and sort it for you (however often you can/are willing)?" You might be able to get your other relatives on board for this too. If you make it more like a visit - sit down at the kitchen table, make some coffee, chat for a while - she'll see it less as you taking things away from her and more of a pleasant experience.

Also - be careful of door-to-door scammers. My mom was always terrified of them on my grandmother's behalf - luckily my grandmother knew to slam the door on anyone she didn't recognize (including condo security... whoops).
This is a good idea! I'll see what I can do to help her in person to get on the right track. She only lives 25 minutes away, so it's not a huge commitment.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 04:50:34 AM »
Scams targeting elderly people over the telephone have gotten a lot of attention in Japan in recent years, and it sounds like they happen elsewhere, too. Could it be something like that? A relative your grandmother hasn't heard from often calls up and gives a story of troubles that can only be solved by wiring money. The more sophisticated scams have the person call a while before asking for money so that the elderly person recognizes the voice and phone number by the time the scam artist asks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2923663/Grandmother-69-fleeced-20-000-life-savings-string-mail-scams-sucker-list-used-fraudsters.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/inga/grandma-scam_b_8494508.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-20/japanese-elderly-targeted-in-latest-fraud-crime-wave/5536928

I think ALL of her scams are via telephone. When we caught her last, she had gotten a mysterious phone call then HAD to go to Wal-Mart to make a money order.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 04:54:01 AM »
Call the local police.  Keep calling them.  They can and will handle these types of calls.  Ask them to refer Grandma to DCF for elders services.  Also contact the state attorneys office, and her local bank if she has one (the bank of it knows it's going on will frequently refuse these charges).  The police can try to track down of the perpetrators are local but they can also get Grandma set up to receive elder services from DCF and in some localities, the cops will tell Walmart etc that under no condition should Grandma wire money because she's being defrauded.

Good luck.    Police depts. are way too busy to deal with things kind of things.   

Can you get POA?    Any court will grant you control over her finances if you can prove she is unable to care for it herself.    She clearly cannot.

I'm hesitant to call the police because she's my grandmother and I have extended family that may not appreciate me getting her rights taken away by the police.

I am reasonably certain that my father and uncle are POA over her, but they don't do anything. The have the paperwork but they're not sure if it was every submitted or followed through. They just have a copy of a signed application/form I think? Not sure if that's good enough??

Lepetitange3

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 06:00:03 AM »
Just because the police involve DCF doesn't mean her rights will be taken away.  Also fraud is a crime, your grandmother isn't the only likely victim.  Other elderly citizens will be preyed on by the same people if no one calls law enforcement.  If your hesitation is legitimately over upsetting other family by reporting a crime, then tell them you're doing it because other people's grandmas don't deserve to be preyed on because no one reported this.

chasesfish

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 06:10:00 AM »
I would also file an elder abuse claim/report with the financial institution she's using to wire the money and their regulators.  They can be fined for aiding in elder abuse.

Cali Nonya

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 11:25:00 AM »
If you can afford to, I would recommend visiting a lawyer specialized in family law, specifically elder care. 

Telephone scams and be insidious.  Some of my mother's friends in their 70's and 80's have fallen for the wire-me money to help your (grandson, daughter, etc). 

Good luck. 

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 01:11:23 PM »
I would also file an elder abuse claim/report with the financial institution she's using to wire the money and their regulators.  They can be fined for aiding in elder abuse.

Added this to the plan.The bank has a "security officer" that we are going to report this to.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2017, 01:13:00 PM »
If you can afford to, I would recommend visiting a lawyer specialized in family law, specifically elder care. 

Telephone scams and be insidious.  Some of my mother's friends in their 70's and 80's have fallen for the wire-me money to help your (grandson, daughter, etc). 

Good luck.

yeah,i am hoping to avoid this, just from a $$ perspective,but it is probably not a bad idea.

From the telephone perspective: I think we need to convince her to change her phone number and not give it to anyone.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 02:11:18 PM »


Can you get POA?    Any court will grant you control over her finances if you can prove she is unable to care for it herself.    She clearly cannot.

I am reasonably certain that my father and uncle are POA over her, but they don't do anything. The have the paperwork but they're not sure if it was every submitted or followed through. They just have a copy of a signed application/form I think? Not sure if that's good enough??

If they have power of attorney and she is being defrauded, they are not fulfilling their duties as holders of the power of attorney.  I was my Dad's POA holder during his last several years.  POA implies a responsibility and, if the person is incompetent, I think a duty of care.  It's their job (their chosen role, even if not paid) to prevent her money from being stolen.

In the states where my Dad lived, POA can written ahead of time but only takes effect under certain circumstances.  Someone needs to find out the relevant law and procedure in your state ASAP and act accordingly.  In my Dad's case, him signing the POA meant that I would have the power activated if and only if a doctor said he was incompetent; it was a POA designed to take effect in case he lost his ability to care for himself.  He was getting Alzheimer's so we took him to a psychologist who tested and and determined he was incompetent.  It should have taken effect at that moment but Dad disagreed at that point, so we had to go to court to present the evidence.  Five minutes before court, rather than air his problems in court, he agreed to let it take effect. 

The details of the paperwork your family has, the law in your state, and the details of your family's situation may be different but you can read the paperwork and learn the relevant legal standards in your state.  If the aunts/uncles won't show you the POA or do their own research, Google "power of attorney (your state)" and you'll probably find a standard form by law that is used as a default in your state - you can learn the typical options by reading it.  You can contact local agencies that deal with aging to get general knowledge, and contact lawyers for initial consultations for free or $100-200 depending on the attorney.  You can find out what circumstances would typically cause the aunts/uncles to have a duty of care.  Someone needs to step up.  She can donate money to charity all she wants if she is mentally competent, but it is not acceptable to have POA paperwork and do nothing while the money is stolen by fraud. 

I'm not a lawyer, the above is a personal opinion.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 02:16:59 PM by Bicycle_B »

Dezrah

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2017, 02:17:40 PM »
Phone scammers are truly insidious.  They are very skilled at manipulating people into sending them money.  Being a victim doesn't mean she's stupid, demented, irresponsible, or anything like that.  Believe it and convince her.

There's an episode of American Greed on Hulu about Jamaican phone scammers.  You could get a free trial and watch it with her.  Perhaps she'll recognize some of the tactics used on her.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2017, 05:46:04 AM »
Ok, so my dad is on board now - mostly because the bank gave him access to her bank accounts (because she had him listed as a co signer on the account). She's only had these accounts since January, so we can't see history passed that but....


...in the last 3 months, my grandmother has taken out over $200,000 (not a typo!!) in cash. Most/all of it wired out through Walmart, we guess. This really fired my dad and his siblings up, so he went yesterday to talk to her. He gave her time to consider the options laid out for her, but either she's cancelling everything and freezing credit with my dad's help, or he's going to do it with her in protest. If she protests, it looks like she'll have to go to court and be labeled mentally incompetent.

I'll keep everyone updated on what happens. I've never seen my b dad angry before in my entire life until now. Very weird

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2017, 09:02:16 AM »
WHOA.

Gulp.

Thank goodness YOU were on this!!!!

Horrible horrible horrible robbers.

LadyStash

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2017, 09:40:41 AM »
As a very short-term strategy, could unidentified phone numbers (i.e., not from family members) be blocked on her phone line? Or could her incoming phone calls be re-routed to another family member so that she receives no phone calls (which I know would make it impossible for family members and others who care about her to contact your grandma)? If she is being solicited regularly - and regularly falling for scammers - via phone, taking away the point of contact could be a small victory.

Kl285528

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2017, 10:05:26 AM »
File for guardianship, and take over her affairs. She is incompetent on several levels. Shouldn't be that hard to prove in court. Power of attorney does not typically mean that she cannot act for herself. Guardianship does. See an elder lawyer now. I'm dealing with similar with my in laws.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2017, 10:59:39 PM »
Ok, so my dad is on board now

He gave her time to consider the options laid out for her, but either she's cancelling everything and freezing credit with my dad's help, or he's going to do it with her in protest. If she protests, it looks like she'll have to go to court and be labeled mentally incompetent.

Good job!

Dicey

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2017, 11:44:13 PM »
Wowza!

hgjjgkj

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2017, 12:04:02 AM »
Her bank can- definitely step in and help out here

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2017, 12:33:43 AM »
She NEEDS to change her phone number.
Also consider rerouting her mail to someone else's house so they can't snail mail her stuff as well. 

 Holy $%^$^$ that's a lot of money she has lost.  Good for you for standing up for her.  I have had 'smart' uncles fall for the microsoft found a virus calls even.  they know how to manipulate.

MBot

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2017, 01:09:38 PM »
Wow! Tough situation but I'm so glad it will not be continuing now.

JoJo

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2017, 03:44:19 PM »
She NEEDS to change her phone number.
Also consider rerouting her mail to someone else's house so they can't snail mail her stuff as well. 

 Holy $%^$^$ that's a lot of money she has lost.  Good for you for standing up for her.  I have had 'smart' uncles fall for the microsoft found a virus calls even.  they know how to manipulate.

Agree with changing the number!

My parents in their 80s have been getting alot of suspicious calls and I've told them many times to not answer unless it's someone they know on caller ID.  If it's something that's so important, a message will be left (most of the scammers won't leave a message). 

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2017, 09:45:58 PM »
Update:

All of the siblings are on board now. The extent of the damage is $284,000 plus she purchased them airline tickets (which may end up being the holy Grail to finding out who they are), a $3000 television, and an iPad. She gave them her CC number so they could purchase things "on her behalf."

My dad, mom, Aunt, and uncle went to her house with a sheriff and ultimately a detective showed up. Apparently this all took place in the USA, so there is a CHANCE they can catch them (at least they'll try, if they were Jamaican scammers, they don't even bother trying, I guess).

They are going to lock down all her accounts, freeze her credit, and my mom is going to handle all her finances moving forward.

birdie55

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2017, 10:49:49 PM »
Wow, thank goodness you got involved. 

JAYSLOL

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2017, 11:20:34 PM »
Thanks for the update.  This is one crazy story, I hope they can catch these bastards and maybe get some money back for your mom. 

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2017, 11:59:02 PM »
I'm really glad you were paying attention, and persistent in getting her help!

I'm also grateful you posted here, so that others can be alerted to the importance of watching for elder abuse (all kinds) and scams.

Zamboni

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2017, 12:23:36 AM »
Wow, this is quite an eye-opening story. Good job being persistent . . . that's quite a money trail to follow.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2017, 10:00:31 AM »
As power of attorney is being invoked, consider informing the CC company that all of the purchases in the last 3 months were fraudulent, and asking for the money back. 

Not sure if this will work, but in other situations, informing vendors that the person was not competent often allows a transaction to be walked back once you show the power of attorney paperwork.  Credit card fraud departments are very sophisticated and will do much of the work themselves.  Even if you only get some of the money, it still could be something.

Kwill

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2017, 12:13:28 PM »
Oh my word! That's awful. Thank you for the update. I hope she's able to recover some of the money. I imagine she's also probably feeling emotionally hurt and maybe lonely from this if she was really trusting the caller(s). It'd be good to have family around at such a time.

JoJo

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2017, 12:33:26 PM »
Out of pure curiosity, what was the back story that got her to give up so much money?


Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2017, 01:32:44 PM »
How terrible!

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2017, 01:38:41 PM »
Out of pure curiosity, what was the back story that got her to give up so much money?

Who knows? She thinks she's been purchasing stamps, i guess. Like "collector" stamps. Or at least it started that way - these are the people scamming her. They apparently promised her insane ROIs - like 2-3x what she gave them. Like, "We have these stamps that are worth $20k, but we have someone selling them for $10k. We need you to send us cash so we can buy them ASAP before someone else does, and you will double your investment."

She literally (I shit you not) withdrew $10-$25k cash at a time and put it IN A BOX and overnight FEDEX'd it to these people (in addition to wiring money through walmart).

Tablet Purchase: they convinced her that in order to keep all of her money/orders straight they needed a state of the art tablet (iPad, we think) to track it. If she didn't, they were fearful they might lose some of her transactions, so could she PLEASE overnight them the most expensive tablet BestBuy sells? Which she did...

Airline tickets (these may or may not be real, still looking for them): "We are going to come see you and bring a professional stamp appraiser with us to go over your purchases, but you need to pay for airfare for us to get there (and hotels i think?). Could you please give us your CC number so we can purchase our airline tickets?" which she did....

TV: Apparently my grandmother told them she ran out of money to send them, so they said, "Well, if you don't have any cash money, can you please purchase us this $3500 (not a joke! Who knew TVs could even get that expensive?) TV, and we'll count that purchase as a cash investment so you can get in on this great deal." So, she purchased them a TV.

The walmart wiring seems to be for timeshares (which she has 28(!!!!) of). She gets suckered into purchasing timeshares/vacation packages (because they are such great deals, you see!) and then because she is hardly mobile, 85 years old, she never uses any of them. So, then she PAYS SOMEONE to sell them for her, because she can't use them. None of them ever sell,and if they do sell, it's for less than the cost than she paid someone to sell them for. To make matters more complicated/scammy/racketeering apparently the person who "sells" these timeshares off on her behalf got her to pay for a lawyer to issue a cease and desist on the original timeshare company so they would stop sending her bills. They happily complied, because she still technically owes them the money, but she's also paying someone (that i'm sure they are affiliated with) to "sell" her timeshares to other people, PLUS she paid someone money so they didn't have to keep sending her statements in the mail. Huge mess.

Lady SA

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2017, 01:46:21 PM »
Out of pure curiosity, what was the back story that got her to give up so much money?

Who knows? She thinks she's been purchasing stamps, i guess. Like "collector" stamps. Or at least it started that way - these are the people scamming her. They apparently promised her insane ROIs - like 2-3x what she gave them. Like, "We have these stamps that are worth $20k, but we have someone selling them for $10k. We need you to send us cash so we can buy them ASAP before someone else does, and you will double your investment."

She literally (I shit you not) withdrew $10-$25k cash at a time and put it IN A BOX and overnight FEDEX'd it to these people (in addition to wiring money through walmart).

Tablet Purchase: they convinced her that in order to keep all of her money/orders straight they needed a state of the art tablet (iPad, we think) to track it. If she didn't, they were fearful they might lose some of her transactions, so could she PLEASE overnight them the most expensive tablet BestBuy sells? Which she did...

Airline tickets (these may or may not be real, still looking for them): "We are going to come see you and bring a professional stamp appraiser with us to go over your purchases, but you need to pay for airfare for us to get there (and hotels i think?). Could you please give us your CC number so we can purchase our airline tickets?" which she did....

TV: Apparently my grandmother told them she ran out of money to send them, so they said, "Well, if you don't have any cash money, can you please purchase us this $3500 (not a joke! Who knew TVs could even get that expensive?) TV, and we'll count that purchase as a cash investment so you can get in on this great deal." So, she purchased them a TV.

The walmart wiring seems to be for timeshares (which she has 28(!!!!) of). She gets suckered into purchasing timeshares/vacation packages (because they are such great deals, you see!) and then because she is hardly mobile, 85 years old, she never uses any of them. So, then she PAYS SOMEONE to sell them for her, because she can't use them. None of them ever sell,and if they do sell, it's for less than the cost than she paid someone to sell them for. To make matters more complicated/scammy/racketeering apparently the person who "sells" these timeshares off on her behalf got her to pay for a lawyer to issue a cease and desist on the original timeshare company so they would stop sending her bills. They happily complied, because she still technically owes them the money, but she's also paying someone (that i'm sure they are affiliated with) to "sell" her timeshares to other people, PLUS she paid someone money so they didn't have to keep sending her statements in the mail. Huge mess.

Holy. Shit. I have nothing useful to add. Thank god you pushed your family to finally get on board and intervene.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2017, 02:47:57 PM »
Out of pure curiosity, what was the back story that got her to give up so much money?

Who knows? She thinks she's been purchasing stamps, i guess. Like "collector" stamps. Or at least it started that way - these are the people scamming her. They apparently promised her insane ROIs - like 2-3x what she gave them. Like, "We have these stamps that are worth $20k, but we have someone selling them for $10k. We need you to send us cash so we can buy them ASAP before someone else does, and you will double your investment."

She literally (I shit you not) withdrew $10-$25k cash at a time and put it IN A BOX and overnight FEDEX'd it to these people (in addition to wiring money through walmart).

Tablet Purchase: they convinced her that in order to keep all of her money/orders straight they needed a state of the art tablet (iPad, we think) to track it. If she didn't, they were fearful they might lose some of her transactions, so could she PLEASE overnight them the most expensive tablet BestBuy sells? Which she did...

Airline tickets (these may or may not be real, still looking for them): "We are going to come see you and bring a professional stamp appraiser with us to go over your purchases, but you need to pay for airfare for us to get there (and hotels i think?). Could you please give us your CC number so we can purchase our airline tickets?" which she did....

TV: Apparently my grandmother told them she ran out of money to send them, so they said, "Well, if you don't have any cash money, can you please purchase us this $3500 (not a joke! Who knew TVs could even get that expensive?) TV, and we'll count that purchase as a cash investment so you can get in on this great deal." So, she purchased them a TV.

The walmart wiring seems to be for timeshares (which she has 28(!!!!) of). She gets suckered into purchasing timeshares/vacation packages (because they are such great deals, you see!) and then because she is hardly mobile, 85 years old, she never uses any of them. So, then she PAYS SOMEONE to sell them for her, because she can't use them. None of them ever sell,and if they do sell, it's for less than the cost than she paid someone to sell them for. To make matters more complicated/scammy/racketeering apparently the person who "sells" these timeshares off on her behalf got her to pay for a lawyer to issue a cease and desist on the original timeshare company so they would stop sending her bills. They happily complied, because she still technically owes them the money, but she's also paying someone (that i'm sure they are affiliated with) to "sell" her timeshares to other people, PLUS she paid someone money so they didn't have to keep sending her statements in the mail. Huge mess.

So don't you have physical addresses that the cops can go visit then?  Maybe you should do a sting operation the next time they call...

Presumably!! I absolutely should!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 02:54:26 PM by Mgmny »

Cassie

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2017, 03:41:57 PM »
So glad you were on top of this but what a mess and sad story. Is your grandma going to have enough $ to live decently now?

chasesfish

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2017, 07:35:27 PM »
have you made any progress with your elder abuse claims?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2017, 08:48:28 PM »
Oh my god. I am SO glad you started looking into this. Sorry for all the difficulty this is causing for your family.

Mgmny

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2017, 10:21:41 PM »
have you made any progress with your elder abuse claims?

Not at all. When I contacted the elder abuse group, they told me to reach out to AARP to get resources. Very dumb. The police are taking this more seriously from a fraud perspective though.

Secretly Saving

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2017, 12:20:31 AM »
Oh my gosh. This is awful!  I bet your family members now wish they had listened to you earlier!  At least younve been able to stop future bleeding.

Drifterrider

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Re: Grandmother Being Defrauded - What to Do?
« Reply #49 on: July 31, 2017, 11:51:19 AM »
Hello!

I'm looking for advice for what I should do for/about my grandmother who is being defrauded.

It might be in her best interest for someone to seek professional advice on becoming a guardian.  It sounds as if she is behaving irrationally  which could be due to dementia or even some physical issue that needs addressing.  The wrong combination or dosage of medicine can cause abnormal behavior.