Earlier this year my mother paid many thousands of dollars to a landscaping company to trim some trees on some property adjacent to theirs. The land actually belongs to the city, which my parents know as they have been in their house forever. The city trims those trees (free) once a year. I ask my father about this and he seems a little indignant, but sort of laughs and says well it's her choice. WHAAAAA?
Now my mother was using the web and a pop up ad flashed. "YOU HAVE BEEN HACKED. CALL 1 800 SCAM ME!" Yes, she called the number and they directed her to a web page where she downloaded their software, then she told them the admin password to the computer, then they asked her to send a check for over $1000, which she did. So now these scammers have had full access (for days) to the computer, which, of course, has all their personal and banking info on it. Not just that but my father had a file with all his logins and passwords and all their children and grandchildrens' social security numbers. (They had the grandkid info to set up 529Ks.) I only found out about this because my father said, Heh heh, look your mom paid a company $1000 for tech support. After he understood what happened it almost sounded like he was bragging, "We were hacked!" I have to pay for identity theft insurance for myself and kids for the rest of our lives.
These are just the scams I know about. I try to talk to my father about limiting her access to money and he just acts like there's nothing he can do. (I have no control though they did finally set up a POA that kicks in should they both become incapacitated.) However, she is super paranoid when it comes to family. Crazy, crazy paranoid. I had an aunt and cousin fly across the country to visit and my parents went out to dinner with them and paid for their dinner. Treating out-of-town guests to dinner is a normal, classy thing to do. For my mother there has been no end to complaining how that aunt and cousin were exploiting them! Like they flew across the country to scam my folks for a $100 dinner. Plus my mother has keyed indoor locks on all the closets and some of the rooms. She locks these closets and rooms whenever family comes over but leaves it all, including the front door, unlocked when no family is around.
One day a stranger knocked on their door and asked to use the restroom. She let him in. He asked for water so she invited him into the kitchen. He asked her for a house tour. Why yes, she showed the man the whole house. Thank heavens he left. The police showed up later that day because the man (a violent ex-con) had knocked on every door in the neighborhood. Only my mother let him in and the police told her that she had just helped the man case her own house. Fortunately he never showed up again. However my mother dialed 911 when she thought she saw someone in the yard. It turned out to be a deer eating out of her bird feeder.
Thanks as usual for letting me vent. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It is so hard to accept that there is nothing I can do.