My parents have already gone bankrupt a few yrs back and were now forced to live with us due to Mom's medical condition. However my dad has got sucked back in these Nigerian and Indonesia scammer emails. My dad continues to believe that if he sends them money that he will inherit the promised two million dollars. This has been going on for about several years now and he is no closer to getting any money and has been sending hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars to someone via Western Union and Moneygram. Also when he needs more money he demands and yells at my mom give him more money usually when SS checks are paid and promises to payback (which never happens). My mom has diabetes and lots of medical bills to pay, but my dad doesn't care about that and insists she'll be fine and wants more money from her. He wont listen to anyway, we keep going around in circles. How do I stop this madness?? How can we block him from sending money thru Western Union and Moneygram?

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Ok it is time for role reversal, a method where you are no longer the child and your parents are no longer in control of their most precious resource $$$$. You become the parent and they become the children, You are now in charge, even if you are in the process of obtaining a POA or simllar document. Neither sounds like neither are in full control of their executive decision skills. Take it from me, money is power when it comes to old age. Running out of money in your old age leaves one with few options.
My suggestion
Put your parents router on a timer if your father is responding late at night. Then he won't be able to send money when the router is turned off. If you have phones or a security system that relies on the internet, then get a separate line for those uses.
Do online research about stopping these types of scams at the perimeter of your house. If parents can restrict access for young children, why not for aging parents?
If he is charging them, get a credit card that allows the account holder to set a limit on an authorized user. Or a small business credit card could be another solution-one that is not often thought of.
You need to have an in-person meeting with their banker. Tell him what your parents are doing. See if the banker has any suggestions. At least you will be on record if you were ever called upon to justify your actions.
While my suggestions may sound subversive, you can do them. BUT, most of all, you need to consult an experienced elder law attorney, these are called Certified Elder Law Attorney. You can find a list of these attorneys with special training at
In summary, you need to redirect this pending train crash by whatever means possible. FYI people receiving SS often don't grasp how little it would buy if home health care or memory care is needed. I know this personally because I live with a former high paid federal senior executive, who believe his $$ will cover everything and he will never need memory care or even home health care.
Get a new unpublished phone number for your parents; that will reduce the number of telephone solicitations. Put the old number on an answering machine.
Forward your parents mail to a postal box which you set up at a UPS office or local USPS. Check to see if you can do this online.
Helpful Answer (4)

PCH was doing this to my mother, by sending her a possible chance of winning the big prize. They send brochures of stuff you can buy and she was hoping it would increase her chances. She would buy stuff from them all the time and not tell me about it. She would buy pens, pencils, junk jewelry. In about 2 months she had racked up over $400 dollars. I am her POA and my name is on her bank account. She is still easy to reason with but is somewhat forgetful and she has a hearing impairment. However, she finally showed me bills that hadn't been paid because she wasn't giving them to me.

I kept trying to tell her that she doesn't need to buy this stuff as it is a waste of money. If she needs anything we can go shopping for these things. She finally quit buying stuff from them plus I called them and asked to take my name (her name) off the mailing list. I paid off her bill at the same time and they did finally stop sending this stuff. Now my mom gets these political junk mailings asking for donations and to fill out a survey. She sends them back saying how old she is and that she doesn't have the money to send them. They just keep sending her this stuff. I have found that she will let me mail these back for her and then I just don't mail them. I also try to tell her the more of these she fills out the more of them will send them to her. I have tried to take her name off these mailing lists but it is almost impossible.
It is the same thing with her house phone. She will get people calling her that she can't understand because of her hearing so she hangs up on them. I listed her phone number on a do not call list which has helped. The calls have finally stopped but not the mail. I totally understand where everyone is coming from on this. My best suggestions is to contact the state Attorney General's Office with a list of the emails your Dad receives. They are working to try to catch these scammers but can't catch them if you don't contact the AGO or even the police dept can assist with helping you out trying to stop these groups. Good luck.
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Rainmom, I could co-author the book with you. It was my father. He used to live for the mail. He would order from catalogs and donate to any charity that wrote him. I joined the Catalog Choice site to try to curb the mail. That helped some. When I could get by with it, I would toss the magazines from the porch when I got the mail. He watched out the window all day every day, though, so that was tricky. Each month he would go through $1-2K buying stuff that was totally useless and donating to anything that wrote. He did like opening the boxes -- like a kid with a present.

Something I thought that was important is to stop companies from selling mailing and telephone lists for elderly people. Scumbag companies target these people. They know they often don't hear well, can be easily confused, and want to please other people. But no one wants to offer any kind of protection for them. Can you imagine how fast the law would stop mailing lists that target children? Shame they can't do it for the elderly members of the population, who are also vulnerable.
Helpful Answer (2)

Legit charities will often include a postage paid envelope to send your donation in, if you return that with "deceased" written across the donation form you can usually get off the mailing list. Of course the scammers don't care.
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This is a subject I could write a book about. Except it was charity requests mom would get in the mail - any charity. Recently I did some math and it was over $20,000. my mom mailed off over the course of a few years. As moms DPOA and head slave, I took care of moms finances - at first by her choice since my dad had always taken care of it and later out of necessity. However, mom had her own checking account for "fun money", weeee!!! We fought about this constantly and I tried everything from just ignoring it - thinking she was doing it to just piss me off - to taking away her check - to which she would just order more, and she had boxes and boxes of them as it was. Or mom would tell anyone who'd listen that I wouldn't let her have her own money. It wouldn't have been so bad if she had chosen a couple good, legit charities but anything would do - my favorite was the pig sanctuary. I'd get on her computer and go to Charity Navigator and show she the fraud- but it never mattered. At first I honestly believed mom was just messing with me - to tick me off or punish me because she was unhappy with life in general, but after a while I realized she meant it when she said "if I don't help, who will?" She took thoses letters to heart, believed each was written specifically to her - and in follow up letters when they mailed a pic she thought that was HER animal, the one SHE had saved. But of course there were the hungry people, prison inmates who needed bibles, houses to build and forests to save as well. The hardest part for me to wrap
my head around was this was the woman who had come from nothing but managed to save a tidy sum by making a penny scream all of her life. And my mom was smart - the smartest woman I've ever known. But she couldn't see through to the insanity of what she was doing. Don't even get me going on her inability to record the checks she wrote, write checks in sequence- or even from the same box of checks. Her math skills were gone as was her memory- she'd write three checks in one week to the same organization. In the end, I never was able to really get this situation under control. It was moms failing health - mentally and physically that eventually solve the problem in its own. Now - my mom is gone but the check writing/charity fiasco lives on - in my mail. A year ago I changed moms address to mine - she had finally moved to a nursing home. And even though not a single check has been written to a charity from her account in over a year - I still receive over a dozen charity requests in my mailbox - every single day! I hope someone can be more help to you than I have been. But know that I understand what you're going through and feel your pain.
Helpful Answer (2)

Good question, FF!

You need to establish healthy boundaries with your parents because they are living in your house. They are living with you and I think you would be well within your rights to insist that you be given POA by your mother so that your father does not blow through all their money. Because you are living together, you will need that money for them sooner or later. Your dad is not capable of dealing with money anymore. This is not about dignity - there is no dignity in being scammed - but rather about financial security for your parents who are in a vulnerable position because of finances.
Helpful Answer (5)

Okie, time for someone to be financial Power of Attorney for your Dad, and to step in and say now it is time for the POA to take over the bill paying. That POA could give your father an allowance and when the money is gone from that allowance, no more until next month.

Will it stop the fighting between your parents, probably not, as I had noticed in your profile that your Dad has Alzheimer's/Dementia. And it is difficult to reason with one who has memory issues.

Question, how does your Dad get the Moneygrams and Western Union? Does he still drive?
Helpful Answer (1)

Your dad is like a person with a gambling addiction. Or any kind of addiction for that matter. And an addict can't be reasoned with. Your mom can try to keep the money out of his hands but it's probably just easier for her to give in than be the target of his frustration when she denies him money.

If your mom is the one holding the purse strings it's up to her to put her foot down when your dad wants to send off more money. You and other family members can be supportive of her but ultimately it's up to her and if your dad knows what buttons to push he'll get the money eventually.

Your dad needs help like any addict would. But if he doesn't see anything wrong in his behavior he's not likely to accept help.

Would your mom be willing to give their finances over to a 3rd party such as a family member or an attorney? I think as long as your mom is in charge of the finances your dad will continue to send off money to these thieves.
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