Follow
Share

The bad guys had told her she had won the publishing clearing house (or something like that) and that they would be arriving with balloons, flowers and a big check. Then there was some kind of problem with them getting her winning money and they needed a check from her, which they would hold and then give back to her. (Have no idea what excuse they used for that). Several checks later and they had wiped out her bank account. She finally told her kids about it who had her call the police. The people who did this to her have been cashing the checks via a local bank so they are pretty sure they are working in the United States. She figured her money was gone with no way to get it back but the police said for her not to give up hope, that sometimes they do manage to get it back. She told us about it because she didn't want it to happen to us. She's also worried because her address was on the checks. We do live in a pretty secure building but are now being extra careful not to let anyone in we don't know. My question is, have any of your loved ones been approached with something like this and how did they handle it? I'd love to see these people spend the rest of their lives in jail but don't really think the odds are that great.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
As a side note, when I had to move due to a huge rent increase, My son, daughter in law and myself had a discussion on me moving in with them. (They have an apartment in their house). They said they were more than willing but I'd be required to turn my checkbook over to them and put on an allowance. My daughter in law is an accountant and probably would have done a great job building up my savings. But I was kind of offended. But after reading about other seniors and how they get scammed and stuff, I now see where they were coming from. I did end up in my own place as I had no desire to move to Wisconsin which is a whole lot colder than Ohio. Now I visit them a lot and we are all happy. :-)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If at all possible for those with very elderly parents who live in close proximity I would suggest not letting them have the checkbook to their account. Of course one would need POA with their name on the account as well. I realize this is not always possible. It just is what I have done with my mother. She has the use of a credit card also with my name on it. I have had issues there but was able to resolve them albeit with great time and frustration. We had serious talks about it and it is under control at least now. When my mother wants/needs a check I write it out for her and give it to her. I have told her that thousands of dollars could disappear if she had control of the checkbook. I won't even give her a blank check. The amount has to be written on it. I am sorry this has happened to all those involved.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
whaleyf Oct 14, 2019
Normally this neighbor is sharp as a tack. Beats us all the time while playing cards. Her family is wonderful and does keep a close watch on her. I wouldn't be surprised if they are now in charge of the check book. Those were good suggestions, thanks.
(1)
Report
Just remembered a few incidents that could inspire cheering and clapping:   

1.    https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/02/12/william-webster-ex-fbi-cia-director-helps-feds-nab-jamaican-phone-scammer/

Note that the scammer in this case claims to "have seen" the man's wife.   Veiled threat?   You bet!   And the scammer even threatened to shoot the man's wife, adding the element of fear and extortion to his scam. 

Other important facts are that the sentencing judge determined that the scammer was engaged in organized crime, and imposed additional time.   The RICO  (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute was probably applied for the "enhanced" penalty.  

This is something for all of us to consider:  the element of extortion, or threats, MAY elevate the scam to a RICO level.  

And another:

2.   LEO turns the tables and scams the IRS scammer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Rwc8lNn0k

There's also a list of other scams on the right hand side of that same page.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

A 70+ lady was told to wire 2 checks for $900.00. Her checking account was "compromised". It was 9:30pm and. It's not unusual for her to go to stores late at night, often to the 24-hour drug store to pick up prescriptions. She said if I could't take her, she would get a cab. Nothing out of the norm so far.

He called her again while driving to the store. I told her to hang up and not answer her phone the rest of the evening.

I finally told her "OK, we'll go to Target." In the mean time, I called another neighbor and asked if she would call Target and tell them she planned to wire 2 checks. I drove slowly so as to arrive at the last moment. I told her to go the manager at the service desk and I would be there after parking the car. My neighbor agreed this was the best way to deal, given her mindset.

We decided (on the fly) to plot this journey so as to shut off all avenues of destruction. Target's manager on duty acknowledged the call from Brenda. He said Target will never cash big checks or send big money orders without carefully asking what it's for. He said this happens all the time, so they are on the lookout.

I developed my own plan and told our neighbor that tomorrow morning I'm pounding on her door and she WILL go to her bank. I told the manager in front of her, that we would ask that her checking account/debit card be closed. On our way to the bank I told her to just go inside and not worry as the employees know how to handle this. By morning she had figured out she was in fact being scammed.

Just so frightening to see this unfold. It's real so we all need to be on the lookout.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Help her put a freeze on her credit reports, all three agencies.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

JoAnn makes a good point about cashing checks; they may also be using payday outfits to cash them.

1.  If she can afford it, suggest she get a post office box, have new checks issued with that address.   Or at least have that account closed ASAP and a new one issued.   

2.  Alert building security to screen for strangers and get ID (although the scammers could be using fake ID); scammers also make "house calls".

A friend moved years ago into a gated community, with security at the gate.   Visitors had to present a driver's license, the info on which was copied and I believe stored.   I stopped visiting her there as I wasn't going to give anyone except LEOs my driver's license information.

I mention this b/c entry security is just as important as mail monitoring. 

3.   How was she approached?   The PCH scam is usually through the mail.

4.   If you want to learn more about scams, use the search function on the toolbar (little eyeglass)next to your avatar; you'll get plenty of other posts on the same issue.

Here's the link to get you started; just click on the posts and be prepared to be startled at the breadth of scams, not just of the elderly.

https://www.agingcare.com/search?term=elderly+scams

5.    I would ask the building management to post scam alert notices in the common areas, as well as distributing a flyer to every apartment in the building.  Awareness can partially help avoid these financial disasters.

Good luck, to you, your neighbor and the residents of the senior complex.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
whaleyf Oct 14, 2019
"scammers also make "house calls"." Now that's scary.

We only have 35 apartments here so everyone has been warned. So that's done.

We had a guy show up last week who, while I watched from the lobby, buz an apartment. Someone answered but didn't buz him in. He got mad, pounded on the key pad then asked us to open the door for him. No one moved or even talked to him. He started to pound on the door. Police arrived within minutes and arrested him. Went inside and escorted out a young lady who had been visiting and was hiding from the guy (we didn't even know she was in the building). Never hear about what happened after that but we all did what we were told to do so stayed safe. After that people are being even more careful at letting people in they don't know. And even then telling them no as things could have changed and people may no longer want them to come visit.

Another thing they have done for us, if you have cable (I don't, just internet) you can go to a certain channel and see who is buzzing you. Since I don't have cable I usually just tell them I'm on my way down to let them in as all of mine are either UPS, USPS or fedex. If I don't see a uniform I don't open the door. (It's good exercise for me as I live a full football field distance away from the door. Once it was a guy working for Amazon. He said he understood (no uniform) and left it outside the door and got in his car and left. I should tell you, we have a lot of meetings about this kind of thing.
(0)
Report
Just a thought. I would think they would need an acct at the bank the checks are being cashed at. I cannot cash a out of state check at my bank. I have to deposit it and then withdrawal the money.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
worriedinCali Oct 13, 2019
They don’t need an account at the bank the checks are at. You can cash checks, even out of state checks, at places other than banks.....since these are scammers they may have done it all electronically using a computer without having presented a physical check.
Wal-Mart cashes checks. Liquor stores cash checks. There multiple ways to cash a check without having a bank account.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
The money is gone and there is no way to recover It.

It happened to my mother's friend except she and another person were dragged into it by the victim who asked for a loan. Fortunatly, I persued guardianship to mom using the police report for evidence. It took longer to convince her friend that it was a scam. I recommend when their LOs have cognitive imparement to find some way to oversee or at least audit their spending. I plan to remind my children to watch for signs as my husband and I age.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

That’s just so very sad. Just awful!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Another one to watch out for... I'm 74 and bought a new car at the end of winter this past year. Got contacted by a company that wanted to "wrap" my car with advertisements and I'd get paid for driving the car around. Sounded great so I did talk to them. They sent me a huge check (well over $2000.00). I was suppose to cash the check, sending them my bank information, use part of the check to pay for the advertisements to be put on my car and keep the rest. I knew better than to try and cash it so called the bank it was written on. Yep, that account had been closed. I emailed the so call company and asked them to send me a new check. Decided it might be fun to see just how far they would go. They kept telling me I needed to send them my bank information. Yeah, right. Turned them into the police and they said I was smart to have called the bank it was written on. The're out there, so be careful.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
surprise Oct 13, 2019
Great job avoiding being scammed! Thanks for sharing this terrible incident.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter