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He was signing up for multiple accounts of the same kind of service. He's complaining that I'm shutting him out from the world and taking away his dignity. I understand why he feels this way and don't blame him one bit. He can't drive and is alone all day. Struggles with walking and talking. I want to allow him access to the computer again but need to know how I can prevent any purchases. He still has one debit card that draws from the account his pension goes into. Is there an app or privacy setting that will block making online purchases?

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I know what you are going through...My mom had an iPad. She was ordering “vitamins”, signing up for multiple credit cards and filling out forms for class action lawsuits...She would request to change her Apple ID multiple times a day. The iPad was deactivated 3 times. Finally, we got her a GrandPad from consumer cellular. You can set up what internet sights they can get on, their contacts, games, music, etc. Mom is still able to email and text, but only the contacts I put on her GrandPad as I am the administrator. There’s absolutely no way to order anything. She loves it and still thinks she has a computer..And everyone on the contact list can share pictures. Look into it please, it’s a great replacement for a computer, but safe..good luck
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MaryNTN Dec 31, 2019
Can one access Facebook from a GrandPad? I didn't see that one could. My mom has difficulty with touch screens, and she gets frustrated with an iPad.
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Not trying to start a geek argument with anyone, but I did banking software for 35 years. I had this issue with my dad.
Truly there is no way to stop him entirely without freezing his credit and taking the cards. There are two issues here: charging existing accounts and opening new credit. Imagine he is doing this with old fashioned phone calls. Same problem.
There are no blockers for any computer, phone, or tablet that will always prevent new credit from being opened, particularly if the site is shady. There are software solutions for payments, but they ultimately rely on either some particular payment method or security and standards of the site you are using.
Short answer: take the cards (and bank accounts), freeze the credit. A front loaded Visa with a small balance could give him some dignity and still let him feel in charge.
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busymom Dec 31, 2019
This is a very helpful answer. And yes, the phone calls can become a major problem, especially when unscrupulous callers can call an elderly person and get them to buy anything, or just share their credit card or banking router number without ever questioning why the caller is asking for this information.

Several months ago, right after I had lost my beloved aunt, I had a call from a supposed local sheriff, that I nearly fell for. He told me that I had not shown up for 2 jury duties and that I needed to pay fines for missing these. He even stated that they had sent the jury duty documents to my address (which he stated and apparently knew it was my former address of a year ago). Whether he also knew I was going through a time of grief and was more vulnerable, I don’t know. He tried to keep me on the phone, and would not allow me to call anyone—even when I stated that I needed to talk with a lawyer or my husband, to see what I should do in this matter. I kept saying, “This just doesn’t seem right!” Of course, it wasn’t. It was a scam. So if a somewhat intelligent female can nearly fall for a scheme (thankfully I didn’t and I eventually hung up on the caller), then it’s for sure that a vulnerable person could give away all sorts of information and money!

I do like that idea of “a front loaded Visa with a small balance” to give him dignity and still let him feel in charge. I think we may need to do this for an elderly uncle who keeps complaining that he needs to go to the bank since he has no money in his pocket. We will have to check first with the memory care facility to see what they allow.
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Have you considered taking him to a senior day care place? Many people his own age, and activities. I am sure that he is bored being by himself all day.
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DizzyBritches Dec 31, 2019
That might help take his mind off retail therapy, if he had some other source of stimulation.
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You can block sites, you can't block purchases without blocking all sites that do e-commerce. There's no secret, "don't buy stuff" flag to set.

The easiest way to do this is to block the debit card. Either by cancelling the card or contacting the bank to see if they can put a e-commerce block on it. If they can put a block on it, the debit card cannot be used for anything online but can still be used in the physical world.
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DizzyBritches Dec 31, 2019
Capital One lets you lock credit cards in its app. You can lock his while keeping yours unlocked. Cap One also always notifies my phone instantly when a charge has been approved or declined. It’s great for preventing fraud. And they have an amazing fraud team. Sorry to sound like a “What’s in your wallet?” commercial, lol. But I don’t get that level of service with my other issuers.
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Applying for a credit card online (example Amazon) was bad. I went in and cancelled the credit cards (2), but found that if one uses the credit card number again, it will reactivate that account! I was quick, cancelled the accounts. No charges were made, he used gift cards instead that I have supplied to him.

I had to get the credit card company on the phone, with my husband sitting there to allow me to speak to them.

One does not need the actual card to use it online, just the numbers.

Granny, your husband is using his own debit card, tied to his pension account.
You need to become POA for that account.

I cannot block my husband because he is the tech savvy person in our home.

And Rep-Payee for any Social Security funds he receives. Rep-payee will by law give you control of those funds, not allowing him access to the funds, but the funds must be used for his use only. Applies only to SS funds.

If you put a "Security Freeze" on husband's credit profile, new accounts opened in his name will become too hard for him to navigate, and there will be notifications sent.

However, this issue must be solved in part by your husband's cooperation.

I said all this, but know that your issue (this time) is "opening multiple accounts", using the same payment card, which is his debit card.
Report his card as stolen, then retrieve it when it comes in the mail.
Do this only if some legal authority has been given to you. See a lawyer.

It is because his illnesses have caused a significant cognitive issue, rendering him unable to make wise financial decisions for your future and his own.
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Knowing nothing about how to do this, would something like two factor authentication be effective to block purchases by your husband?

I looked this up:
"Two-factor authentication adds a second level of authentication to an account log-in. When you have to enter only your username and one password, that's considered a single-factor authentication. 2FA requires the user to have two out of three types of credentials before being able to access an account."

I was wondering how your husband remembers his passwords for the multiple accounts he is opening?
Do you have access to passwords?
Do you have access to your husband's pension account?
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DizzyBritches Dec 31, 2019
That’s a great safeguard. Make sure the phone number is yours, not his, and that his own phone number or email address don’t appear as an alternate means of identification! ❤️ (Often two-factor authentification gives you options for them to send the identification code number to.)
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What kind of computer - Windows or Apple operating system? Do you want to block only purchases or actual access to websites? Or would a hidden monitoring setup where you can review all the web pages visited? Would you also want to control internet access on a smart phone or tablet?

There are a number of good apps used to filter the internet for public libraries, schools, businesses and concerned parents, although many of the business apps have a hefty price point. Different apps are stronger in different areas, so let me know what you would ideally be interest in and I will recommend a couple meeting your needs.

Personally, I believe the best way to get a hold on spending is using a debit card like chime where spending money is deposited on a schedule and transactions can be reviewed in real time. I haven't personally used a debit card directly linked to a income stream account in over 20 years; ever since my business travel amex got hit with bogus charges twice in 3 months. I always use a debit card with no automatic "backup" transfers or a credit card with a low spending limit for internet purchases.

After gaining guardianship of my father, I restricted spending to the debit card and left his internet access unfiltered.
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Under your browser “advanced settings” go to the account profile and find where the cards and bank accounts are listed.

Set it so it requires a password to enable purchases and don’t give him the password.

I have my iPhone set up that way in “Apple Pay” in the phone settings so I don’t accidentally order something

I had to do that on our tv cable account as well, because mom was ordering shows accidentally.

Sorry,
charlotte
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KatD81 Dec 28, 2019
This won't work if he has access to a browser and his bank card, and is able to fill out the purchase confirmation fields on websites.

If he's relying on account information that is saved in the browser, it might.

There is no way to categorically block purchases from being made when there is an internet connection available and a card to use.
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If he is capable of decisions (just spends too much), perhaps a PayPal card with a set allowance for pocket money will be a medium. You can manually add money without it being linked to a bank account.
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You can put a daily limit on his debit card, by calling the bank. You could also take his debit card and replace it with a “credit card” that you have to load money on. That way he will only spend the amount that you have put on the card.
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