Scamming the elderly

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webhick
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Scamming the elderly

Postby webhick » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:29 am

I've encountered a difficult situation. An acquaintance of mine has an elderly father who is willingly being scammed. It's definitely a lottery scam, in this case for a new car. They keep demanding money and he keeps sending it. He doesn't have a lot of money, just enough to stay retired comfortably. His family has spoken to him about it, the local police chief has told him to knock it off, the banks have talked to him about it, the local post office has talked to him about it, etc. He acknowledges that he's being scammed but he just keeps sending them money. The scammers have run the basic gambit, like claiming to work for law enforcement and insisting that they'll be fired if he doesn't get his [fictional] car delivered to him. There's hints that he's been threatened, but nothing substantial.

His family has cancelled his land line and changed his cell phone number in an attempt to stop them from contacting him, but he gave them the new number. He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and unbeknownst to him it's for dementia testing (he's been slipping in other ways, so this needs to happen regardless of scammers). But it likely will not happen as the scammers have instructed him to stay home tomorrow because they're coming by with a check. I feel like the scammers got wind of his doctor's appointment and know that it's the first step to his daughter getting Power of Attorney and blocking his access to the money they want. They already know that the cops are in contact with him because the police chief called one of the numbers from the station and hung up. I don't think he blocked the number.

According to the police chief the numbers trace back to Russia. The locations he wires money to are in Jamaica. I've given her Western Union's fraud line (since the money keeps getting wired from there), the Atty General, the FBI and the FCC on Friday. She hasn't made the calls as of early this morning because things blew up between her husband and him when she got home, but she probably made them today. Needless to say, his relationship with his family is strained. I don't think he's retained any friends due to his suspected dementia.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to deal with this? Is there possibly a legal loophole? His daughter has a very limited power of attorney, namely that it only allows her to pay his bills.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby JamesVincent » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:52 am

Possibly petition the bank to put a temporary hold on the account? If she does have a limited power of attorney then maybe the bank could find a way to do it until he's declared competent. Possibly have to go to court and ask teh court to intervene in a temporary way.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:29 am

webhick wrote:I've encountered a difficult situation. ... He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and unbeknownst to him it's for dementia testing (he's been slipping in other ways, so this needs to happen regardless of scammers). But it likely will not happen as the scammers have instructed him to stay home tomorrow because they're coming by with a check. ... Is there possibly a legal loophole? His daughter has a very limited power of attorney, namely that it only allows her to pay his bills.


This is obviously not legal advice but she needs to engage a family attorney immediately. Depending on the State they live in, an emergency motion may need to be filed that seeks an order to immediately freeze the assets/accounts while a competency hearing is scheduled, held and ruled on.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby webhick » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:02 pm

Judge Roy Bean wrote:
webhick wrote:I've encountered a difficult situation. ... He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and unbeknownst to him it's for dementia testing (he's been slipping in other ways, so this needs to happen regardless of scammers). But it likely will not happen as the scammers have instructed him to stay home tomorrow because they're coming by with a check. ... Is there possibly a legal loophole? His daughter has a very limited power of attorney, namely that it only allows her to pay his bills.


This is obviously not legal advice but she needs to engage a family attorney immediately. Depending on the State they live in, an emergency motion may need to be filed that seeks an order to immediately freeze the assets/accounts while a competency hearing is scheduled, held and ruled on.


I brought this up to her and she said she was going to call the attorney who drafted the original power of attorney years ago because he stated at the time that if there were any problems he would go talk to her father to get the POA changed. I'm apprehensive. Her father is not going to sign a more powerful POA. He barely agreed to the current one and was super paranoid about the wording - and that's when he was on good terms with those around him. Also, I don't think an attorney can go against his client's wishes - even if it's in the client's best interests. I told her she needed to consult with her own attorney first to see what steps she should take.

I'll post back as I find out how this unfolds.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby webhick » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:43 pm

No new developments. She hasn't spoken to her father in days. Great daughter she is.

But, I got an interesting call today. Came in as restricted and a "Joe Casino", left a message. Used my name and said that he was a UPS driver and needed a call back. By the way, the number he left is 1-876-480-1341. I'm not expecting anything but I called back anyway. I couldn't catch the name of the company, it was said too fast. I asked them to repeat it and it was even harder to understand. So I told them that a UPS driver named Joe Casino called me and they put me right through. He asked for my name, which I gave (since they already had it) and he said that he was calling from Publisher's Clearing House. I told him that I never applied for it, said good-by and terminated the call.

He called right back and claimed that we were disconnected. I told him that I never applied for any contest and didn't appreciate being scammed and terminated the call again. He hasn't called back.

But here's the thing, when I submitted this to 800notes.com, they identified the number as Jamaican. That's the same place the victim has been wiring money to.

I regret going with my knee-jerk reaction and calling them out before terminating the call. I should have strung it along in order to get law enforcement involved. I'm a little nervous that they managed to pronounce my name correctly. No one ever does that.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby eric » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:10 am

webhick wrote:No new developments. She hasn't spoken to her father in days. Great daughter she is.

I'm lucky in that regard - my parents kept all their mental faculties until the end and would even question minor discrepancies on utility bills.
webhick wrote:But here's the thing, when I submitted this to 800notes.com, they identified the number as Jamaican. That's the same place the victim has been wiring money to.

My general policy is to ignore all phone calls unless I recognize the number and then submit the unrecognized number to 800 notes.
webhick wrote:I regret going with my knee-jerk reaction and calling them out before terminating the call. I should have strung it along in order to get law enforcement involved. I'm a little nervous that they managed to pronounce my name correctly. No one ever does that.

It's amazing how much personal information and effort a phone scammer will go through in many cases to prep their spiel and get you interested. If I know that the number is from a scammer I will pick up and then see if I can also get their supervisor on the line in a sort of conference call arrangement. They are then subjected to the most culturally inappropriate tirade I can think of (usually in my case they are from the Indian sub-continent) that generally involves my pigs and members of their immediate family, their heirs and successors, and how I plan to track them down to fulfill said very rude action. Usually they are so shocked they don't phone back for about 3 months.

BTW, I can't give you any more help except to hope and pray that your friend solves their problem, probably to obtain some sort of legal advice.

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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby Arthur Rubin » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:36 pm

webhick wrote:But, I got an interesting call today. Came in as restricted and a "Joe Casino", left a message. Used my name and said that he was a UPS driver and needed a call back. By the way, the number he left is 1-876-480-1341. I'm not expecting anything but I called back anyway. I couldn't catch the name of the company, it was said too fast.
Watch your phone bill. Remember the "809 scam".
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eric
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby eric » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:34 am

Arthur Rubin wrote:
webhick wrote:But, I got an interesting call today. Came in as restricted and a "Joe Casino", left a message. Used my name and said that he was a UPS driver and needed a call back. By the way, the number he left is 1-876-480-1341. I'm not expecting anything but I called back anyway. I couldn't catch the name of the company, it was said too fast.
Watch your phone bill. Remember the "809 scam".

It's not a "809 scam" call but phoning Jamaica may jack up your phone charges a bit. Just for something to do I phoned the number in question yesterday but couldn't connect. Today I managed to connect and a nice lady with a Jamaican accent said that I had reached that number and that I should leave a message. It's got the signs of a targetted scam rather than a call centre using VOIP since normally returning a call centre scam call will never connect. And for your interest:
http://www.bewareof876.com

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webhick
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby webhick » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:06 am

Well, she finally called all the numbers I gave her to report things. That's at least something. The doctor found that he was not exhibiting any signs of dementia, which is odd since he doesn't even remember having an argument with his son-in-law and it was a bad blowup.

She's since learned that he's sent these scammers over $25k. She also found out that he's been recently sending money to a Marjory Rayner of 13715 West Sunrise Blvd, Sunrise FL 33323. That's a Fedex office.
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Re: Scamming the elderly

Postby The Observer » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:23 am

webhick wrote:The doctor found that he was not exhibiting any signs of dementia, which is odd since he doesn't even remember having an argument with his son-in-law and it was a bad blowup.


Time for a second medical opinion.

Of course the man may be just have been terribly embarrassed that it was public knowledge that he had a terrible argument with his son-in-law and is just attempting to deny any memory of it in the hopes that the matter will be forgotten.
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