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Good morning all!! I'm just at my wits end with my FIL. We are hoping to get an assessment soon to see if there is any chance he has dementia. He has signs but he is also home and in the bed a lot, and not having any social outlet could potentially mimic the signs (per the home health nurses), so we really need an official diagnosis to know which direction to go with this. My SIL just called and his frugal nature is all that stopped him from getting scammed, he didn't want to put his credit card information in for a small 'fee' they wanted to charge and called my BIL into the room to help him (get a free Samsung Galaxy S20 for only $1 - when is he going to understand if it sounds too good to be true it probably is...apparently people out there in the world want to please HIM so much they have these offers just for him!!) That is all that stopped him from putting his credit card info into a random popup....my head hurts from banging it so hard on the wall now.
We have talked and talked, and given him examples of people who have lost everything to scammers and if he doesn't have some cognitive decline then he is even more narcissistic than we have believed up to this point. If he is not in cognitive decline then he actually believes that he and only he is above scamming, that he will not fall for it - even though he HAS a number of times and just got lucky that BIL or SIL walked in on his conversation or his typing information. I just don't know what to do anymore. I've posted questions about this several times before and received great advice. But at this point, I feel like the best thing we can do is let him get scammed. We've told him that if he does, it isn't like a legitimate business where we can potentially get his money back. That tracking down a scammer involves police reports and locking accounts/closing accounts and even then we won't likely get his money back. I do not know what more we can do. Taking away his phone and computer and turning off internet activity seems to be the only other option and may open a can of worms that cause even more trouble. But at this point I'm wondering is it terrible to just let him fail? Just let him get scammed and pay the price? I don't know what else to do.

What's the chance of him getting scammed and not learning from it because he won't remember it? Probably pretty good.

It's time to cancel the card, or heck, get him a preloaded Visa debit card and don't put any money on it. He can give out that number all day long, and it'll be worthless to scammers.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Hello,
I’m sure you’re completely over it, but if you were up for cutting back the incoming spam:
How computer savvy is he? Can you access it? You could add a VPN as well as ad and pop up blockers to reduce the unsolicited popups. Most browsers offer these as extensions under their ‘preferences’ tab. If he has a microsoft or google account encourage him to tighten up his privacy settings. He may like the opportunity to reduce his online profile. Could you talk him into applying them himself? It will reduce site tracking and help his pages load faster, which is how we got my Mom to let us do that for her. We just started a conversation about how awesome it was to have and how much better it felt to know my information wasn’t being used without my permission, and then she wanted it too.
Maybe also push to have him set up some filters in his email so that spam goes to junk mail.
For the phone, if it’s an issue, can you limit incoming calls to his contact list, or use something like a spam catcher? There are several out there that are apps for smart phones, and also ones that act like an answering machine but that also block calls for land lines. Sounds like he’d have to be onboard for that though. You must be exhausted. Good luck!
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Reply to ElizabethY
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sunshinelife Jan 18, 2021
pop up blocker, fire wall, privacy setting..great idea..and telling him how it will benefit his online..working 'with' instead of trying to shut him down, double smart...some of the comments sounded like prison guards lol!..would you mind sharing what apps you prefer for your recommends. thanks :)
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It may be best to leave it alone for your own peace of mind. He’ll most likely back himself into his own corner.

Financial institutions themselves are not above being scammed or scamming customers. Wells Fargo Bank had an infamous episode a few years ago.

Banks are policing themselves heavily. Your dad’s cards might not be replaced so readily if his string of being a victim grows. It makes him look incompetent at best and a scammer himself at the worst. That affects his ability to get a 2nd mortgage and other financial transactions.

Best to let him learn his own lessons.
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sunshinelife Jan 18, 2021
point is, the man shes speaking of hasn't been scammed, & the lady failed to say how long he's been online...probably a few years im guessing
..my grandfather does the same pattern..talking to scammers on the phone most days...its been a few years now. We get junk in the mail from some of these conversations at times, he says its free.
i have encouraged my grandfather to call his friends, old work colleagues etc..hoping he'll stop with the scammers...he continues on talking to the scammers...hes happy as he is...i don't badger him about it any longer...
you are correct about the banks....the Armenians ripped off Bank of America for multiple millions recently. Ive never had trouble getting money back.
once i left 500 i withdrew in the atm machine at the bank..in the machine..true story...and the bank checked their cameras & replaced the money in my account within 2 days.
banks have solid insurance...and accounts are generally covered
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Can you 'child proof' your FIL's computer?

https://www.google.com/search?q=child+proofing+a+computer&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS896US896&oq=child+proofing+a+computer&aqs=chrome..69i57.7661j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

If DH has financial POA for his father, he DOES have some rights. He can call the credit card companies and put a flag on his accounts, letting them know that his dad has dementia & any charges over a certain amount should not automatically be processed (or something on that order). The worst that can happen is nothing; the best that can happen is the credit card companies agree to help you.

It definitely sounds like FIL has dementia; they do all sorts of things to get themselves into trouble not realizing their reasonings skills are lacking. Versus someone without dementia, like my late father. When he turned 90, he REALIZED he couldn't pay proper attention to bills and finances anymore *he had a brain tumor* so he requested that I take over his financial affairs for him. A demented person would not realize they needed help and would insist they had it all under control.

That said, you may not wind up with a choice about whether to let him fail or not. Some things just have to happen.........like he DOES get scammed out of money and SEES for himself the repercussions of his actions. But again, it may not stop him from doing it AGAIN if he does have some type of dementia at play.

Wishing you the best of luck trying to stay one step ahead of your FIL
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Reply to lealonnie1
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We set up a ‘fun money’ checking account which usually has less than $1K in it at any time, we control the amount that is transferred each month. We also had our mom apply for a second credit card with her same bank as the first card, this one has a $2K limit. I am her POA and that made it easier. I have her checks for her ‘house’ account and her ‘big’ credit card. I met with the banker prior to setting up the group meeting to take care of this business, he understood our issues and was very helpful in guiding the conversation when we all got together the next day.
We live in Florida and I was able to get all of her store credit cards under the guise of protecting them in case of a hurricane. We put them in a safe and let her create the combination. (She forgot about them and the combination.)
She knows I take care of her household bills and it doesn’t affect her fun money nor does she have to deal with the bills. It has been a smooth transition as her dementia worsens. The most she stands to loose is $3K. Good luck, it is a very touchy situation.
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MichelleWTX99 Jan 15, 2021
That is so cool! Will definitely remember that in case I need it later.

My mom doesn't do internet nor does she answer her phone anymore. She only uses it to talk to me and her grandkids. Biggest issue is her wanting to spend large amounts on grandkids for birthday and Christmas. Oh and not wanting to spend on things she needs to make life easier.
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You know, you could call the charge card companies. Problem is that they may not deal with you without your having POA and they MAY take his cards away, period. But why in the world he needs credit cards I am not sure, and you can arrange the prepaid kind if you must.
When my brother moved to assisted living I became the Trustee of Trust for him and his POA for financial and I took over all bills, and had all bills sent to be, sending the POA to his one credit card. They allowed this and added me to his account to check information, and they sent a letter I had to sign saying that this person was considered capable of making charges and that I agree to notify them when the person was considered incapable of doing so. So I was basically beholden to let them know. He died before he descended further down into his Lewy's Dementia.
IF you have the card number you can call and just ask what should be done in your circumstances. As I said, if you take this into your own hands, then you can lose him his cards all together or get nowhere. I doubt there is a good inbetween without POA. But, yes, your Dad is in danger and it can happen QUICKLY that there is a huge change.
Just before his death, my bro, who was onto all scams and enjoyed being so, and enjoyed his control, and had been all his life so careful, got the "Social Security call". Because I was in charge of everything, sending him end of month accounting of all "in and out" activity on his money, I also got his bank account statements. He was clearly upset in this call and said "I kind of know I am losing it because I am wondering if this call is legitimate and I KNOW I should know it is NOT. But they said they didn't deposit my check and won't again until I provide them.......................blah blah...............so just reassure me that my SS check went into my account. " I assured him. But I knew, and he knew, he was getting to a bad place sooner rather than later.
Good luck. What an awful thing that these folks are such prey for these scams.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I would get the account closed for the credit card he has. Then he can give the number out all he wants and will not be defrauded.

Have the POA do this to ensure that the account is noted and flagged for identity theft and that the POA is the ONLY AUTHORIZED person.

Most companies are happy to work with us to protect everyone from fraudulent transactions.

Best of luck, this is a difficult situation for sure.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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AlvaDeer Jan 11, 2021
I don't think he has a POA or is judged incompetent yet, RealyReal. The OP says there are plans forthcoming for assessment in future. So that makes this more tough.
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AlvaDeer that is correct. Currently he is and I guess should be treated as anyone else..competent to live or die by his own choices. Our biggest roadblock is telling narcissism from cognitive decline. Even if he recognized he was in decline the narcissism would prevent him from ever admitting it.
POA is " in place" but not activated because he is still competent on paper.
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AT1234 Jan 14, 2021
In the same boat. Unless guardianship, there is no remedy. Put someone else on the account so it requires two signatures. Dementia can be very tough bc they seem very with it one day and not the next.
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You have said that there is little or nothing you can do. So that is what you can do, pretty much nothing. If he ends up losing a large amount of money you can try to get it back for him but as we know it is difficult or impossible once the money is gone. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck.

If no one has current POA and he is competent to destroy himself, unfortunately I think you just have to stand back and watch it happen.

You could call the local department of aging or whatever you have in your community and see if you could get an outside person to talk to him or convince him to give up his financial independence.
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Reply to LakeErie
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Imho, perhaps you could cancel his credit card.
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