My mom discovered the world of dating apps to find men her age to talk to. I'm okay with it because it DOES give her people to make friends with, but she met a "too good to be true" man who asked for her banking info AND SHE GAVE IT TO HIM. She said "he wants to wire me money".

No, I am not guardian for my mom nor do I want to be. This is the first bizarre behavior I've seen.

How did she fall for such an old trick? She doesn't even entertain spam calls! She doesn't donate to those fake charities, but she fell for this trick? Some man she's never met asked for her banking info and she fell for it?

I could rip my hair out.

Find Care & Housing
contact her bank pronto, about this

you may not have the authorization to stop it, but at least you put their fraud department on alert

Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to anytown

Good Morning,

Close everything down, get new accounts and put bank alerts on all of her financial accounts.

Dating scams are a billion dollar industry. They prey on people's loneliness. What took your mother an entire lifetime to save could be wiped out in 10 seconds.

This is an international phenomenon. You have to protect the elderly and meet with a lawyer and probably your State's Attorney General's office and/or FBI.

There is a documentary called "Tinder Swindler" these things happen to professional women too, etc. The Facebook and Twitter accounts, with people showcasing their lavish lifestyle has not helped either--expensive pocketbooks, fancy vacations.

I also would do a credit check to make sure that your mother's name is not being used to get new credit cards in another person's name. I would meet with an Elder Attorney as I am sure they are well versed in the area and unfortunately these things do happen more than we realize.

I'm sorry you have to go through this but not doing anything about this is going to make your mother someone else's ATM machine.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Ireland
Scampie1 Sep 29, 2022
This can happen to women of all ages. Back in the day, they were called confidence men, but this has gone beyond that. These are world-wide international crimes ring set up in Africa, India and other participating countries. They don't care if they milk a person's life savings and have them living in a cardboard box.

I almost got scammed a few weeks ago when I called a fake number off the internet set up for Amazon. People should be careful calling random contact numbers posted on the internet posing as major companies. I called the number thinking it was the original contact number and was told that a hold was placed on my Amazon account and that three locations had been found for it. The woman who had an accent did not want me to leave the conversation. I hung up the phone and managed to find the real contact information on the Amazon site through my account. Even though I didn't lose any money, I still lost about two hours of my time trying to sort out this mess that included speaking with someone at the Amazaon fraud department. After the investigation, there was no criminal activity found on my account.

I joined a dating app back in 2019 and the same thing almost happened to me. I had been communicating with someone in Africa who was posing as a US soldier stationed in some remote area that I didn't think had US forces. I was getting texts morning, noon and night. This is called lovebombing. I got suspicious, and finally figured out that I was communication with at least three different individuals. Some of the convos appeared like they were cutting and pasting texts from some other source because it appeared very formal. Then later on a text would follow with broken English and poor spelling. All I know is something appeared off.

They usually target people in their late fifties, sixties and up, but if they find someone younger, even better. I quit the app and a year later, this person appeared in people you may know feed on my Facebook page. It didn't take long for this person to contact again. I still couldn't believe this was a scammer until he started asking for money to support an orphanage in some eastern European country. When I said no, he cut off all contact. His facebook information disappeared completely and he was nowhere to be found. These criminals steal pictures of attractive people from their social media accounts and use them in their criminal set-ups. The innocent people in these photos do not know their pictures are being used in these scams. Also, why would a thirty something year old want with someone my age? There are a wide range of beautiful and young women to pick from.

Please contact your mother's bank and let them know that she is being targeted by a scammer through a dating app and contact the police and file a report with the FBI. Hopefully, she will lose nothing but time if you act fast. Get the police report first, and take it to the bank. Take her ID and yours and any other documented evidence you will need.

There is a sweepstakes scam on the rise now. I just read about this one the other day.
aj6044, close that bank account immediately, if Mom hasn't done so already. She probably thought the gentleman was being so nice, so she trusted him. If he has taken out any of her money, then hopefully she will learn her lesson, and remember it.

Years ago my Dad was very careful not to give out any information. In fact, any time he was throwing out an envelope that had his name/address, he would black it out. It was almost like he and my Mom were under the witness protection agency, they were so careful.

Within a few month that started to change. Any time the phone rang, the caregiver would be standing close by to listen. One day she grab the phone from my Dad as he was starting to give out his society security number. She quizzed Dad, then quizzed the caller... it was a scam so she read the caller the riot act. She let me know what had happened.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to freqflyer

I have a friend who is 53. Hardly elderly and a smart (I thought) businesswoman.

BUT--she fell prey to the 'Cyprus/Nigeria' scam where she somehow met a guy online and they began a heated love affair--all on the internet. 'They" worked the lonely hearts scam from an actual office in Cyprus and tried to get lonely women to take the bait.

She fell for this 'guy' and all his BS and finally WENT to Cyprus several times and tried to meet him. He was cagey, I'll give him that...she never actually was able to clearly identify HIM from all the other people in photos. She became obsessed with him. She began sending him thousands of $$ because supposedly he was being held in Cyprus and had to buy his way back to Nigeria (I know, this sounds so bizarre).

She was sooooo lonely. She wanted to get married, and actually had been engaged 3 times but the weddings never happened--so she never had kids and a family--I was worried sick about her, this was so out of character for her.

She actually cut me dead when I told her I feared she was being scammed and said to me "How are you going to feel when I walk into church one Sunday with Joe?" I said "I will think that you adopted a Nigerian orphan, He's 24. You're 53".

She has not spoken to me since then.

And she finally DID marry the kid! Now, she is back home and working to support his entire family and it looks like he can't come to the states.

She lost her home, her savings, now she's living with her mother and working herself to death to support this scam. BUT, she's married!!

These scams are real and most don't go as far as this one--it was truly bizarre to watch it unfold.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Midkid58
CTTN55 Sep 29, 2022
I know you're not talking to her, but she must feel awfully foolish!
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Here is what you need to do right now, yesterday.
1- change the passwords to your mother’s on line banking and don’t tell her the new ones. When you do give them to her, continue to change them once a week.
2- open a new account, transfer the money from the old account, and then close the old account. No checks. All bills paid through on line banking by you. Inform the banks of her mental capacity. They can put a note on her account that alerts them to a confused senior and that you are to be called if she should try to withdraw money over a certain amount. You will need to be on the account with her for them to do this.
3- make sure she has an account with a very small amount of money she can access and then you control the larger account and transfer money over as needed.
5-cancel all but one of her CC’s and on that one set up an alert that comes to your phone for any charge over a certain amount. You will have the ability to deny the charge or at least call the CC at that moment to tell them it’s a scam charge.
4-go to the three credit reporting agencies and freeze your mother’s credit. This will prevent anyone from taking out loans or cards in her name. This is very important to do for anyone who has dementia. I even froze my own credit as you can unfreeze it quickly if you need to. Freeze is free, a credit lock is a monthly charge.
5- go onto the dating app and block this guy. Inform the dating site that is he preying on senior citizens. I would also see if you could send him a message through the app saying you are her daughter and are on to him and will press charges if he contacts her again. And he may want to tell his scamming buddies to leave her alone because you will be monitoring everything in your mother’s life from here on out. I don’t think it is a good idea for her to be on these apps at all if she can fall victim to scams like this, but if you take the above steps so she doesn’t have access to her money it may be okay.

My father suddenly had a women calling him that he said he had just met and was speaking to a lot. I overheard him talking to her about going on a vacation to Spain and he said, “I’ll pay for the whole thing”. One day she called his cell and I picked up the phone and said he’s downstairs can I help you? She got very cagy and when I asked her how long she had known my dad and where they met the two stories didn’t line up. She said she had known him for years and they met at a party. My father doesn’t do parties. Never has. I told her he said he just met. She started to backtrack. I hung up on her and blocked her number from his phone and deleted her information. End of that scammer.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Caregiverstress

I'm so sorry she was victimized. The phishers/scammers are amazingly good at what they do, as it is a simple recipe that lonely people fall for. You need to consider that your Mom has shown you the first inklings of cognitive impairment. I would take her in for a cognitive/memory test at first possible chance. Do it discretely, tell her any "therapeutic fib" that you think will get her to comply and go to the appointment. Make sure she assigns you as her Medical Representative (so ask for this HIPAA form at the check-in desk).

Does your Mom understand she was scammed? Or is she in denial? "Someone" is going to have to secure all her sensitive information, maybe purchase ID theft protection, put most her cash into a savings account that she can't easily access, get rid of any debit or credit cards, make sure she can't change her passwords easily, etc. "Someone" should go to her home to make sure her checkbook isn't in disarray, her blank checks are removed, her bills are paid online via BillPay, her passport, birth certificates, driver's license info is all secured from prying eyes or mis-shared by her. You may need to consider putting parental controls on her access to the internet unless you want this to reoccur.

My MIL had more than $900 in overdrafts when we finally looked into her account. Her had nothing written accurately in the register, hadn't paid bills, was having short-term memory loss so reordered dozens of boxes of new checks, all stashed in weird places. In our personal experience, her degree of impairment was not immediately obvious without asking her specific questions (like the specific date, who is the President, Vice President, etc.). There is no "announcement" when someone slides over the line into official dementia. This is why you need to look deeper to see evidence of concern.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Geaton777

I can tell you that if she fell for this, then there's probably more you're not aware of. When I discovered fraud on my mother's account, research found that it had been going on for three years. The scammers have now sold her information to other scammers as she's now flagged as a known sucker. They will be relentless. I've actually talked to one on the phone and told him to quit calling my mother. He had the gall to call right back and tell me how rude I was. The problem with letting them talk to the scammers is that they aren't talking to one person. They are talking to a team of people, who are available to them 24 hours a day. You can't compete with that. My advice is to get at least financial POA. Pull credit reports. Make a police report. Maybe install parental control software on her phone and computer. I take care of all my mom's finances now. She's got a credit card with a small limit, that way they can't do too much damage.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to darts1975

People are telling you to close the account, but you are not guardian, and you are not POA and your Mom is not demented or impaired,so you cannot do that. If you cannot make her understand, she will WILL lose all her money. She has shared this with you, but at some point she will stop telling you. I would encourage her to open one of those new CDs at a good rate (now closing in on almost 4% interest. That will close down an account for withdrawal, leaving only her checking at risk. Is she bright and capable enough to know, when she loses some money that this is losing a lot.
Dr Phil has a whole bunch of programs about women being taken online. If you can access any try. Share AARP articles also with her, they have a lot about scams. I am sorry this is happening, but it is kind of like conspiracy people; you cannot convince them they are wrong. As long as there is no diagnosis on your Mom there is no protection. She is free to flush her money down any toilet she wishes to, and sadly so many seniors are doing just that. There is a lot to access online to prove to her she is in danger. Share it with her and hope she wakes up. Do let her know that you will be no help to her when her money is gone. I am so sorry this is happening.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Hate to say it but some really lonely women - even with no cognitive issues at all - are so desperate for male companionship that they fall for these scams. Even smart women get swept away by a man who will say the things she wants to hear. The "love bombing" and constant attention break down her defenses so she grows affectionate towards him ...and then the money requests come.

Don't give money to strangers pretending to want to date or marry you - EVER.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to dkiely33

Call the bank immediately. And then police.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to PatienceSD

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