Elderly people getting defrauded, how often do you see this?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #1
    I live in a retirement community where the largest portion of the population in town are elderly women. A good portion of the men have died, so you have little old ladies that are gullible, either through having grown up in a generation that did not allow women access to information, or women wracked with dementia.

    One could only imagine what types of scammers come in and claim their stake.

    The worst case I have ever heard of was when my elderly tutor, who was never that stable towards the end, died of a brief illness. Our family knew her very well, from when she was OK upstairs all the way through her decline, and without doubt heard her stories for years about being an only child running away from an abusive home, getting a job, and putting herself through college all by herself when this was very uncommon. Not only did she do this, but she also put herself through graduate school and her exploits made the press. Not to sit on her laurels, she started a very well known ethnic society known far and wide in the SF bay area.

    So after she died, her nieces and nephews from her older "siblings" came into her house and threw a rememberance party. This struck me as odd since not only did I know she had no siblings, but that she was an only child when she ran away from home. This put up a red flag.

    So while I am at her party thrown in honor of her life, I start talking to her relatives who avoid anybody who really knew her. I see one of the so-called relatives wearing a sweatshirt from the college I went to and I ask if they went there. They say they did and graduated from that school, so I kindly asked what major they graduated from, and they said the same major as me, about the same time period. I was happy so see a former alum at the party so we started talking about the teachers from this very small college. She didn't know any of the professors in my small major, though she went to school perhaps only a couple of years after I left, or any of the very distinct campus landmarks. So I just chalked it up to that school possibly having torn down the student union, the library, and removing eight dorms from the campus, as many of us knew they were not up to code (thus pointing out the unusual layout of the school). That was red flag #2.

    When I asked this relative how the city where the college was in was doing these days, they named the wrong city. The school is in a city far from the name of the city the school is named for. So that is red flag #3.

    The weirdest part was when the relatives produced pictures of this old lady we all knew, and we were all surprised that our elderly, very cereberal hermit, used to be a beautiful stage actress and model. That was the final red flag.

    Luckily, these relatives didn't get any of this lady's money, which she donated, but they took away all her personal belongings.

    This type of scenario happens over and over in a city full of 80 or 90 year old widows, but sometimes only with issues as small as car "repairs", roof "replacements", and internet "loans".

    I find this type of criminal the most heinous, no different than a violent criminal breaking into an old person's house at night and taking their belongings.

    Thoughts? Experiences?
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Unfortunately stuff like this happens. After the first red flag you should have done something more I guess but its difficult :(.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #3
    Since the old lady was not that personable and eccentric, I gave the "relatives" the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this old lady wasn't really of Scottish origin, and maybe she didn't start the local Scottish games here. Maybe she comes from a large family and told everybody she knew here she was an only child, runaway, turned success? People do lie about these things.

    But there is no getting around a "relative" coming from the same college as me, not knowing the teachers from the same majors, the school's landmarks, or even the city the school is in. Let's say I went to SUNY Albany, and somebody says, "Yeah, so did I, and I just love their wonderful campus on 42nd street next to Norfolk!" :rolleyes: ... or I went to Oxford University up there in Belfast in Wales. The fake relative who went to the mythical college of the same name should have been enough evidence that these people were not who they claimed to be. Not only that, the "younger" pictures of the old lady were of somebody else. Yes, I know people change appearance, but a 5" ft. tall lady was probably not likely 5'10" inches in her youth and middle age. We all shrink with age, but come on, you know?
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Yeah theres no doubt it was a scam. The only protection you really have against scams is to realise that early :(.
     
  5. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #5
    I haven't personally witnessed anything this extreme. But I do know victims of house repair swindles where phony companies get some money upfront for roof repair, or whatever. Never to be seen again.

    Also, I've seen a lot of scams in Florida where I spend time. People come in and take over the finances of elderly under the guise of some agency. It's hard to figure out what's legitimate and what isn't. A neighbor or even some relatives have no legal rights to interfere.
     
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    Quickest way to get your ass kicked in a rural community. :D
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #7
    So what the hell...this is like flash mobs that rob old people's estates?? Unbe****inglievable.

    And the people who pull all those other types of scams are no better. :mad:
     
  8. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #8
    The only problem is who is going to kick your ass in my rural community?

    The 3/4s of the people who are mostly women over 50, and most over 70, or the few old guys like me, who are still alive, spend a lot of time walking so we might be in shape (to the bathroom and back) ;)
     
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #9
    A whirlwind of canes will smite the defrauders!

    The populace of my old rural town is a bit more diverse, but everyone knows everyone. ;)
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #10
    I could say everyone knows everyone, heck it's only 1800 full time residents in one square mile, but with dementia and ahlzheimers afflicting a large portion of the population, a lot of people forgot people they may have known for years.

    It's actually pretty sad to see.

    And one can imagine the worst driving anybody has ever seen so I drive defensively. My wife has little tolerance for the old timer drivers, but I cut them some slack and give them a lot of distance between me and them.
     

Share This Page