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I just today found my mother ordering over the phone, had given out her Credit card number and I suspect something about her checking account, this is on a Sunday. She has no idea who she talked to,was trying to check on her order and couldn't understand their English and hung up on them. Wasn't sure how much her order was. I immdediatly had her credit card cancelled and ordered a new one( she was very angry).Now I have to go to the bank tomorrow to see what to do about her checking account because I am afraid she has compromise it,I asked her if she had givin out any other info like SSN, she said no but I think she is lying because she realizes she has messed up and cause me another problem and my neck surgery is Thursday. Please watch your seniors and phone shopping,especially QVC.Even without dementia some just don't seem to be able to grasp this electronic age we live in and how much of their info is already out there. My mother gets tons of mail from all sort of charitable organizations that I have no idea if they are legit or not,.My husband and I tried to make sure we get the mail first and go throught it, she has accused us before of throwing away her mail but I don't care, because if it is something I think is going to take adavantage of her, in the garbage it goes.So please watch the mail your senior gets, their are some many people that wouldn't lose a bit of sleep cheating some old person out of their money.

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The thing is these TV ads are on a lot of channels, not just QVC. I just thank God she doesn't have a computer and isn't interested in one. I will be more vigilant about throwing out all the catalog magazines she gets because she does like to order out of them.On Sunday when I caught her doing this I immediately grabbed the credit card and cancelled it, she was mad , but I bluntly explained what she had done, she couldn't even remember the name of the company she was ordering from and she had just been on the phone yelling at them that she couldn't understand their English. After having to get up at 5am and leave at 6 am to get her to her injection procedure at 7 am , I get her home (Oh , and the histrionics she pulled the entire time, about how much pain she was in ,I know she hurts but this was getting ridiculous) I get her home and it's was what's for lunch,oh I hurt, where is my check book, oh I hurt, when will my new credit card get here.She moved around all over this house when we got home constantly stating I don't know if I can move. Then I had to drive to our local bank branch and talked with thank god a very nice lady that I was afraid she might have compromised her checking account. It now has an alert on it ,I can still pay her bills on it from my computer but any other purchases other than some that the lady and I made a list of that would be purchases by my mother and she will call me. Then I get home ,it is now about 1 pm and all I wanted to do was take a nap but no, every time I was about to fall asleep this b*tch who is in so much pain keeps getting up knocking on the bedroom door, where are my afternoon pills(not time for them yet) be sure and put them where I can get them, I might not be able to move,(I am getting surgery on my neck this Thursday) she has never had surgery.After 2 hours of this constant did you do this or that from someone that had to walk to my bedroom door I finally just gave up tryin to get a nap. I wanted to just throw those pills at her.She also had her morphine increase just a few days ago also.I believe she is just wound up about not having her credit card,.I got news for her , I will take it away and the check book,I have already told her if she ever calls the police on me for some kind of BS her *ss is OUT of here.She could have really messed herself up because her retirement checks are direct deposited to her checking account. I am having to protect her from herself and I am the bad guy.
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P.S. My mother has never been interested in t.v. shopping, thank goodness, but that's an excellent suggestion, Freqflyer, to block those channels if you can!
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It's a never ending battle, guarding against these predators. I guess on the one hand, for those who aren't sure how far their family member is 'slipping', this is a sure-fire way to find out -- it's a real wakeup call. I didn't begin the real hands-on management of my mother's finances and mail until some jerk salesman tried to sell her solar panels, complete with some crazy financing. Thank goodness her neighbor called me and let me know what was going on. Making that go away took lots of angry phone calls, along with a cease and desist letter from an attorney (about $350 bucks, but worth it.)
For those of you who are trying to monitor online activity, you really have my sympathy. My mother was never computer savvy, and a long time ago she mentioned having trouble w/her internet connection, and as time has gone on, she seems to have forgotten all about online ordering and emailing. I check her email account regularly, and she has gotten phishing emails that are very convincing, which is just scary.
I don't live with her, so her mail comes to me now. I forwarded it last fall, and did change of addresses for all of her accounts. That took quite a bit of time, but it was necessary.
I also submitted the requests to get her off of all the junk mail lists and put her on the Do Not Call Registry. This doesn't prevent the charities from reaching her, however. It's AWFUL, how many donation requests she receives in the mail. I know many are legit, but it feels like vultures swarming everytime I open the mailbox.
She did manage to get herself a bunch of magazine subscriptions recently, so I forward them onto her, but flip through the magazines and remove the subscription cards beforehand. And I don't forward her catalogs anymore.
And yes, I have email alerts for her credit card transactions, and check her banking several times a week.
I tell ya, it's a part time job of its own.
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Texarkana, you've done about all you can do now except put fraud alerts on her credit files with the major credit reporting bureaus.

You might want to be vigilant for a few weeks in case her phone number has been shared with other solicitors.

There was an interesting and unsettling incident a year or so ago when one of these publishing companies got ahold of a list of the magazines my father subscribed to, called him and offered to renew his subscription to one of his favorites. The price they quoted wasn't anywhere near the $199 they charged, as reflected in the invoice.

I was livid. Called his credit card issuer, wrote a payment refusal letter pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act, and fumed. REALLY fumed!

Credit card issuer wasn't that cooperative (got more people with nonAmerican accents), so we went to the local branch and the manager intervened, solved the problem.

But the funny thing is he called on his cell phone and gave my number as the contact number, which was okay as I didn't want these people contacting my father again.

Over the next few days I received something like close to 2 dozen unsolicited phone calls. Coincidence? I think not. I guess they turned around and sold my phone number.

Despite being on do not call lists, we both still get solicitation calls. What unsettles me that is now I'm getting "senior citizen" calls. I keep wondering what lists they're buying that reflect my age? Grrrr.

My father has a sense of humor, at least for these calls. Sometimes he pretends he can't understand the caller (which isn't unusual given that so many of them have nonAmerican accents), or he mumbles or sings until they give up. We used to use whistles but now neither of us can find them.

What I want to do is get a submarine horn from the Army-Navy surplus store and blow it every time I get a solicitation call. But many of them are robo-calls, so that wouldn't even help.

It's like being bombarded with solicitors - phone, mail box, door-to-door (although my no soliciting signs have stopped most of that except for politicians).
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she was answering an ad she saw on TV, she has no idea the number she called, said their English was very bad and yet she told them her credit card number, already cancelled the credit card and have just come from the bank and told them what happened. Her checking account is now on a watch list. I shudder to think what trouble she would get in if she actually used a computer.
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Texarkana,
Opening a new account and transferring direct deposit SS checks can easily be done by the bank. That's how it was handled for my father, and for me as well when I switched checking accounts. That's assuming that you have a bank with competent staff.

Your mother has reason to be suspicious and leary of online technology. Despite advances by cybersecurity protection forces and agencies, the hackers still find ways to breach security of sites.

How many times have credit card data been stolen? How many sites have been hacked by the Chinese? The Chinese even hacked one law firm website way back in the late 1990s.

There's another consideration and that's that so many sites these days require indemnification clauses in order to for someone to participate, whether it's merely posting or orderinng.
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thanks for the suggestions. I did cancel her credit card yesterday as soon as I realized what she had done. She does like to look at the junk magazines and likes to order over the phone but now I had a long talk with her and if she wants something I will sit down with her and order on the computer. She is very resistant for some reason about ordering on the computer,she thinks it is safer to shop over the phone, I think the new technology makes her uncomfortable. I hope I don't have to close her checking account because she has automatic deposit of her retirement check and it comes in tomorrow.Will be going to the bank to day after I get back from taking her to her procedure today. I have POA so I hope it is not a big ordeal.I don't care what she says from now on , when those junk magazines come in they will immediately be thrown in the garbage.
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I too add fraud alerts to our credit files. There are 2 types, a long term one (5 years I think but am not sure), for actual instances of fraud, and the 90 days alerts which have to be renewed every 90 days. The 90 day alerts are free.

This precludes issuance of credit card solicitations and any new credit without the proposed issuer contacting the individual whose credit is frozen.

If your mother's checking account has been compromised, have it closed and open a new one. I've had to do this with both the checking and credit card accounts.

I've read elsewhere on this forum of other elders buying things over the phone, buying junk from magazines, and making a lot of charitable donations, all of which I've been dealing with as well.

I do tuck a few bits of junk mail away if I can get away with it, but since we live separately and he gets his own mail there's a lot that I can't hide from him.

As to those charities, the legitimate and the illegitimate, I've repeatedly suggested he let me check the executive salaries and percent of funds allocated to programs. When he learns that the CEOs or Exec. Directors make a few hundred thousand a year, he doesn't give to them. And even if they don't make that, I tell him they do.

That money would be better spent on hiring someone to clean the house. But I do know that he feels as though he's doing something good with charitable donations, and that's a substitute for the actual good works he did when he was still driving.

I'm still working on other ways he can help people and still gain the gratification from that. It might offset the need to contribute to solicitations.
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Here is something I did for my own credit, I *froze* my credit reports. It's easy to do on-line by going into each of the 3 U.S. credit reporting agencies, and the cost is $10.00 for each agency. What freezing does is to stop anyone from pretending to be you and using your credit to buy a house, buy a car, or create a new credit card.

Here's some more information from the old Clark Howard show on CNN. clarkhoward/news/clark-howard/personal-finance-credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/nFbL/

I wonder if you could block the on-line shopping cable networks using the parent blocking control. Or would your Mom start ordering from catalog being delivered to the house?

And with your Mom's credit card, call the bank and have them drop the credit maximum amount down to a much lower number. That way if she shops until she drops, they could reject her credit card if she maxed out.
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I also wanted to add something else. I have access to my mother's credit card account on line , and like ours and our checking accounts I check them every 24 hours. Twice in the last 6 months I found charges on our credit cards that my husband and I didn't make but we caught them early. Their is a lot of id theft out there. My mother gets a lot of credit card applications in the mail and I tear them into confetti before I put them in the garbage. I guess what I am trying to say is constant financial vigilance is what is needed, there are so many scammers out their and our seniors are very vulnerable.
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