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Mom is filling out and sending money to sweepstakes in the mail. She insists that "someone has to win" and REFUSES to believe that they are scams. I've tried to reason with her, but it didn't work. I'm terrified. What should I do?that they are scams. I have 1. Tried to reason with her. Didn't work. 2. Went down to the post office and asked to get her mail redirected here (so I could trash the ones she wants to send money to). I did tell her I did it to help cut down on her junk mail.

At the time, she was okay with it. This was only last week. Today she came over my house and said she went to the post office to get it all delivered to her house again.

I am terrified. She used to believe they were scams but now "likes doing it." She has money in the bank and I don't want those predators to take it. What should I do?

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My mom is just like this and she is addicted to lottery tickets she also has to have hundreds of dollars in her purse in fact I just went to see her at rehabilitation center and she wanted cash I am like what do you need money for you can’t buy anything and you have an account there that pays for your hair and transportation I said ok I will give you 10 dollars she then says no she doesn’t need it plus with her being there she can’t spend 40 dollars at the dollar store or go get groceries every day which where she spends her cash on lottery tickets I kept asking her if she was still buying tickets and she said no I said you don’t have the money to do it she has always waiting for the big win but my brother told me she was still buying them but I gave her the benefit of the doubt but I was looking for a pen in her purse and I found a stack of tickets and they were not dollar ones I stopped counting at 350 dollars she asked me what was wrong and I asked her why did she lie to me that I found her tickets she said they were old and she didn’t get them checked yet then she was so begged me not to tell my brother she is probably going nuts not being able to buy any then I was doing her bills and I told her that even after she pays her farm insurance she will have 350 dollars left she was adamant that I not pay her farm insurance until later in the month I told her that it’s still going to come out of your account if you pay it now or you pay it later I told her if you pay all your bills at the beginning of the month then you know what you have for the rest of the month she is so bad with money and she has done this all her life she said she needs it in case of an emergency she said that about the 12,000 dollars she had left from my daddy life insurance but she said she paid everything and we told her to pay everything and then you know what you have no she lied and she said she paid my dad’s marker she only paid half and didn’t make a payment until a couple months ago and she only paid 500 dollars and the thing is was there was no interest for the first year well that’s over she is such a control freak sorry for the long response I keep finding those scams in the mail and she told me she wasn’t sending any money I even pulled up one of them on the internet and showed her that it was a scam I also have a question can you still get on a no call list
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I was just wondering what would happen if you were to find some old checkbooks from a closed account, and give it to Mom to write checks on. Or open a joint savings account for her main income and transfer a little each month to the checking, and instruct the bank NOT to cash checks on an overdraft. Would incur some fees, but I would think the scammers would take someone whose checks bounce off their lists.
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I hope no one SERIOUSLY thinks the gumment is going to do SQUAT about this, today! Taking away our health insurance, womens rights, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and filling up the Grand Canyon with toxic waste are the number one priorities for Captain Sh*tStain and his minions.
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MonarchMama, some years ago a Senate hearing was held on these scams and how they targeted seniors. A few adult children testified that their parents were lured by the Publisher's Clearing House scams and had rooms full of junk they bought in anticipation of actually winning something.

The hearing was good. Sen. Carl Levin and if I remember correctly, Sen. John Kerry, berated the reps of the scammers (who actually hung their heads down, probably to avoid the cameras as opposed to being ashamed).

I don't recall the disposition, or any legislation that might have resulted. But it was really enjoyable to see Senators publicly rapping the knuckles of the scammers. It was even more enjoyable to see them floundering around trying to justify their nefarious activities.

But I think part of the problem is that other than charges of fraud (and misrepresentation), I don't know how these vultures can be stopped.

The post office makes money from them, and given its own financial situation, probably wants to continue the money it gets.

I do as OldSailor does as he wrote on a literal companion post ( https://www.agingcare.com/questions/Yes-MaMM-Mad-about-Moms-Mail-432345.htm). I send solicitations to redneck organizations, and vice versa, if SASE envelopes are enclosed. If I don't have good solicitations to send, I fill the envelopes with grocery circulars or cutouts from magazines, or labels from canned goods. If I have time, I'll fill the SASEs with the little round punchouts from a 3 ring punch.
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Regarding asking the government to help protect our seniors from mail scams....it won't happen. In fact, when I pleaded with the local post office they said it was my father's "right" to receive his mail despite my having a POA and him having dementia.
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I'm not sure if anyone ever wins those sweepstakes to be honest with you but there's always someone with their hands out willing to take money from unsuspecting people. An actual sweepstakes shouldn't cost anything, they should be free.

If your mom is competent, I'm not sure there's going to be much you can do as long as she's paying all of her bills in full on time each month. If she's incompetent, then you should go for at least conservatorship and take over all of her financial matters but don't abuse the privilege like so many others do. 

One thing you can do is open up an able account for her. Choose which state to open one and link her bank account. Have a certain amount of money automatically swept over into the able account each month so she has money at the end of each month in case of emergency. The one in Tennessee is free and has no debit card, it's just strictly a savings account, so you can't really swipe the plastic on that particular account. This will help reduce nonsense spending, and there will be money in the account when she really needs something. I wouldn't tell her which state the able account is in, but I would get an out of state one that excepts out-of-state applicants. Yes, hide the money and hide it well! Give her a very small allowance each month since she can't handle money that well but only if this is necessary. Lock up or even dispose of the checkbooks and just go digital like so many people these days are doing. I hardly if ever even write checks anymore and I don't even keep a register book, I ditched paper years ago with the exception that every once a year I must write one check to renew my plate with the BMV but that's it. I can't wait until the BMV starts letting us  just use a debit card to automatically withdraw the money without the worry of a check, it would be better to just go digital on this and ditch the checkbook altogether. Had it not been for this, I wouldn't even have a checkbook because I wouldn't need one. If the BMV will come up to the modern age and just let us give credit card information as opposed to checks or money orders, this will be in favor of many who have gone digital. I don't even carry cash no more, and you'll notice some gas stations that now charge for air, you'd be stuck if you have no cash on you and you need air. That's why I've seen some of the newer machines that actually take credit cards. 

If you take over your mom's financial matters, consider going all digital, it's the best thing you could ever do with your money. Going digital means you're hardly ever find money on the ground anymore because no one carries cash much anymore. I also avoid doing business with cash only places and I never send money into the sweepstakes,  i'm just not dumb and off to fall for that and I used to get them a lot many years ago. I don't know, but it must've been God who kept me from sending in any money because I just never did fall for that crap. No one ever wins I don't think, I very seriously doubt it despite their advertising claiming someone wins but I think it's probably staged. I will definitely take over your mom's financial matters and pull the purse strings hard and tight if I were you because where's all that money when she needs something? In those crooks' pockets! They don't care about her or her needs and she'll have nothing to show for it in the end when she keeps shelling out the money and maybe 10 years later she still hasn't won those sweepstakes she keeps sending money for entries for, and you can't guarantee they actually enter you into those  sweepstakes either! I think what they ought to do is look for people on low income who actually need money, specifically single individuals and just give money to those people or actually if they need something just cover that need with whatever money they have instead of taking money from people or teasing people with money. I think those with money who are well in position to be able to help the less fortunate should do so instead of taking advantage of the poor in order to get even richer until they eventually have all of the world's money. 

Finally, to all of the lawyers out there who specialize in fraud and elder matters and class-action lawsuits: 

I think there should be a class action lawsuit to go after all of these kinds of places and get all of these peoples' money back into their own pockets where it belongs, because where is all that money when these elders start needing something? It's in these crooks pockets and someone needs to get it all back, especially if unsuspecting people sending in these payments happened to be incompetent. I'm pleading with all of you out there but surely someone out there can do something about this and bring it to a screeching halt. There's been class action lawsuit before on other matters, surely someone out there can do something about this! Please, someone do the right thing and stop these types of places from taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our communities 
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Can you somehow get hold of her mail before she does and get rid of those scam envelopes? What about being a Power of Attorney and you getting the mail, etc. Check with the postal authorities what you can do. And for withdrawals on accounts, I would change things to two signatures required.
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Have her mail redirected to a PO box near you.

Close her checking account. Get hold of and shred the remaining checks.
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OK folks here's the situation. My mom is 94 and lives in a retirement community across the country from me, but close to my brother. In the past few years she has been declining mentally.
She has very little money but she is spending enough of that little to get her overdrawn often.
This is what we have done so far:
--put my niece on her accounts as joint accounts
--moved most of the remaining money into a savings account she doesn't know about
--the staff where she lives is working hard to keep her from sending money off, including trying to intercept her in-coming and out-going mail, and keeping her from buying stamps. They are holding the mail for my brother
--my brother, my husband, and I all have POA
--my brother takes her shopping and keeps her credit card
--when he visits he regularly sweeps her house for mail & throws it out
--I've filed do not mail for caregivers and deceased people for both my mom & dad

But there are signs of addiction and we just don't know what to do. The staff at where she lives says she hangs out in the mail room, so they often can;t grab her mail. She watches for people she doesn't know to buy stamps from. She has stopped recording checks. Sometimes she sends cash to these people. She has also sent blank checks (w4e caught at least one of these).
When we have tried to intervene, she denies she sends any of this stuff out. Several staff people at her facility have told her these are scams and used some of the scare tactics mentioned her, but she says she can tell what's a scam.
Many of the suggestions you folks have made are great and I'll be trying them. But any other ideas? I hate feeling like she's become both paranoid and addictive.
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You probably can't stop them from sending solicitations but you can control mom's money. Control it so that she can't spend any without your okay.
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I just wanted to mention that I have the same problem with my mother. She has always been unstable and now she is getting constant mailings from a religious organization. I'm not sure if it's a scam or not but my mother already gives to the local church and she can't afford to give as freely as she'd like to. They look like they want to get her on one of those continual giving campaigns. It's not that easy to get off those lists. I contacted one to tell them that she is sick and confused (which she is) and so they should stop mailing requests. They said they would take her off the list after a few more mailings. Last week, she got a huge package the biggest ever--which I'm sure they will say they can't control. They will try to hook them in before they get off the list by sending a few 'final mailings." When they suspect they have an easy mark they don't let go that easily. Be warned!
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MaryMarie, see the answer in your separate post. It'll get more attention than at the end of this older post.
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85 Y/O father has been traumatized by sudden death of my younger brother (aged 51) in 2015 so much so that he has been highly susceptible to Nigerian scams which in previous years, he owuld've laughed at. He has lost upwards of $30,000 and possibly more in this past year alone. I am the only child living and am aged 61. I don't know how to stop him from responding to these people---it is all done online.
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Report it to "The Authorities"? Call the FBI &/or local police WITH MOM PRESENT to "ask about" (then report) the scammers. Have the police/FBI/Post Office ask about/write down all of the info from the mail "for their files" (if needed, maybe call the local police ahead of time so that they understand what you are trying to accomplish -- they don't like seeing seniors ripped off any more than you do). Phrases like "supporting illegal enterprises" might be introduced carefully, & maybe the two of you actively purchasing small numbers lotto tickets or other legal gambling activities might give the excitement of potentially winning millions (because after all, "someone has to win"!)
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Soon, I believe there's some kind of legislation on this. Please check out this website.. If this site deletes the link below..Google..."consumer.etc.gov" then search "stopping unsolicited mail, phone and email". Hopefully it will work on some of the mail. If not, just keep doing it, just like they keep doing it.

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email
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ladeeM.... I tried this - multiple times. It doesn't work. Yes, they say they'll remove the name from the calling/mailing list - but they don't. The only way to fix his is to intercept the mail. I got a locking mailbox and while it's a hassle to go through the pile of mail everyday, at least mother doesn't get tempted. I also got POA over her health and financial decision making. It worked.
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I have been at this for almost a year, and I still don't know how to directly stop international scams. I have slowed it down, by getting her off as many mailing lists as possible.

If you want more charity reports go to Charity Navigator.charitynavigator.org/
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My mother has been doing this. She even tells me that God will punish me for not letting her give to questionable charities. She does send to the sweepstakes, but luckily does not put any money in the envelope
I started going on the BBB website and printing out the bad charities reports and letting her see them, and news stories online about the fake sweeps. I did convince her, I think.

This is the link to get her off their mailing list:directmail/directory/mail_preference/Default.aspx
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Great tip. I did try to get her off the list of each of the places that had phone numbers. Most only have PO boxes. And a majority of the offending mail comes from Europe.
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darthjennni, thanks for the tip! I'll give the app a try...
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Could you take a photo of her mail when you visit? If you have a smartphone you can download the PaperKarma app. All you have to do is take a photo of the return envelope. It won't stop everything but it can make a dent.

If you know the groups who she sends money to, call them to get her off their list. Find out who their direct marketing firm is and contact them too. There are ways to go around her with out her knowing.
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Yes, thank you for sharing that. I believe others have shared it here before. But as you say, it's not very effective. When I asked the post office to help, they put me through a maze of bureaucracy, and in the end, because mom is in early enough stages that most see nothing wrong with her, a lawyer's letter scared them into letting her have all her mail again. No Durable power of attorney, or postal inspector complaints, would help.
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The DMA has something like that already. But it isn't very effective.
//www.ims-dm/cgi/dncc.php
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Seriously. This is a problem that is pretty wide spread. I think there needs to be a law written that allows the post office to cut off SELECTED mail to someone who has been diagnosed with any sort of dementia. Sadly, it is another sign of the capitalist system creating devastation in all corners of our lives.
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Yup, me too. Mom was sending out between $200-$500 every month to these political thieves posing as "do-gooders", telling mom in their very personal (and no doubt heavily researched) letters that social security will end tomorrow and it is "up to you and me" to put an end to it by donating as much as you can to the cause. So $20 goes out the door, they sell their "suckers" list to everybody and we get an avalanche of mail. Then mom sends all of them $20 or $50 - once she took out a cashier's check for $1,000 to give to this so-called "org" to impeach Obama. She thought she was being so smart with all of these "tax-deductible" donations... no, no, no - fine print "THESE ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE", Good news is, this was one of the many indications mother was having problems. I eventually got her checkbook away from her but it took another $2,000 to do so. I had no idea that within 2 or so months the "problem" would escalate into full-blown Alzheimer's. It was an indication though so think about getting Power of Attorney and get that checkbook into safe hands before she/he spends everything they have. Believe me, you're going to need every penny taking care of them.
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Thank you for that ILD. I did some of that for a while too. Bringing my computer and showing her that there are complaints. But it truly is like groundhog day. She gets it one minute, but is telling me how she will prove me wrong the next. She has been sending anywhere between 20 and 50 bucks a day for a pretty long time now. At least I now have her SS check coming to a different account, and none of them can get to that. Picking your battles is definitely the name of this game. I received a response from the postal inspector today that basically pointed me to do not call lists, all the ones we all know about. None of them apply to the kinds of mail she is getting. European psychics and clairvoyants are exactly the issue. Some are from Canada. She also gets calls all day mostly from Jamaica. I've decided to leave things be for now. It's not worth the repeated aggravation. As long as I have saved her SS funds, and am able to pay her most important bills, I won't torture myself over it. She is in very early stages, and because of that is fighting me constantly when I attempt to help. So yeah ... done for now.
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I truly feel for you because I am dealing with the same situation with my great aunt who continuously writes to clairvoyants and psychics in foreign countries. She has cognitive issues and I experience "Groundhog Day" every time I visit. She must get a minimum of 5-10 scams a day and when I get to look through the mail, I can spend up to 2 hours just dealing with junk mail. She tells me I must read everything and gets upset when she sees me throw junk mail away. She must spend a minimum of $200 a year on postage to write these con artists!! I did get her to stop writing to most of them, but if they use any form of religious scamming in their letters, she is hooked! What I did was google these con artists and showed her the complaints against some of these con artists. That did send a message, but because of her cognitive issues, I must keep up with the research online to show her. It won't change much, and it can be quite exhausting, but keep at it. Research the scams and print it out so she can see she is wasting her money. Sometimes, we have to pick and choose our battles. Good luck.
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There you go! Article from this website: Hopefully it will work!

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/stop-junk-mail-174488.htm?cpage=0&post=1&cm=425592&z=1#425592
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I started the blog because I went looking for information and found none. Massive amounts of mail should be on the symptom list for Alzheimer's/Dementia.

Sign her up for DMA Choice today. That will stop some of it. If you have a smart phone get the PaperKarma app. Every time you visit use the app and take photos of her mail. Or you could go full ninja, change her address again, and put harmless mail in her mailbox.

You can block her from using Western Union
drowndinginmail.wordpress014/09/25/drowning-in-junk-mail-how-to-block-a-loved-one-from-using-western-union/
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Thank you for doing this! I thought about doing the same thing with a blog. So glad you trailblazed! I have DPOA, and had all her mail forwarded to me, but she is in very early stages, and went to an attorney, and had him write a revoke letter to the post office. So now it's mostly going back to her, and she has already managed to begin sending checks (and money orders I'm sure) again. This is sheer insanity. People are so afraid of lawsuits, they will do anything an attorney says.
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