I'm living a nightmare watching a woman 50 years younger than my 80-year-old father coerce him into marriage, manipulate him and taking his money all in the name of "love". The relationship started as Ghanian romance scam ( and after we uncovered it was a male in Ghana pretending to be an American woman, it eventually led to a Ghanian woman residing in Cuba, showing up at my father's doorstep and coercing him into marriage two weeks later. The story is long, complex, and out of this world so I won't go into it here. We've tried it all: FBI, USICE/immigration, State Dept., AARP, private investigators, the District Attorney, police, adult protective services, elder abuse attorney's and filing for conservatorship.

The harsh reality I'm learning is though the crime is so blantently obvious to everyone, I'm told over and over by the authorities that individuals have the right to abuse themselves. My father is showing serious signs of dementia but his executive functioning is still intact and we cannot get him to see a neuropsychologist without a long and painful court battle.

To the outside world, he comes accross as just fine, but my normally mild-mannered, extremely rational and brilliant father has had explosive and violent episodes, personality changes, impulsive behavior, and has been induly influenced and taken advantage of over an over again. He cannot see that people are lying to him even though the lies are later revealed to him. I've had a huge reality check just how powerful civil liberties to make bad decisions are in the USA along with the financial rights that coexist in marriage, no matter how corrupt.

I'm not writing for advice since I know in my heart my father is not well and is no longer the father I know and love. What I want to know is if anyone else has experienced elder financial abuse in their family, and romance scams or partner abuse in particular. I want to hear your story. I am appaled that though financial elder abuse is rampant throughout the USA, and internet romance scams are only on the rise, there seems to be no major initiatives or policies to protect our vulnerable elders.

Thank you.

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Going through it now. My father in law has moderate dememtia and we just found out he got married. She wont sign a postnup and they hid the marriage from us. Every attorney tells us we prob wont win but we have to try.

Husbands uncle had a woman doing such. His children went and got guardianship of him and got a protective order against the woman.

Dear Daughterof1930,

Thank you for your comment. I agree it is very sad and I hope one day we can see things change.

I have no experience with the particular situation you describe. What I do know is that many of us experience our elderly parents being financially taken advantage of by relatives, and knowing we are powerless to do anything about it. In our case, my dad has a sound mind and foolishly chooses to “loan” money to my brothers and some of their children, knowing full well he’ll never see the money again. These people fully know our dad isn’t a man with money, just a depression baby who lives frugally, but they don’t hesitate to hit him up regularly.
I work at an emergency food distribution center. The clients are often elderly and poor. One constant is them giving their money away, most often to relatives, and often to questionable charities, or other scams that clearly know who to target. And there is no one or no system that stops this when people choose this. It’s just sad

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