Scams / Fraud Questions

29 Question and Answer Results
  1. How Can I Protect an Older Family Member From Telemarketing Scams?

    You're right to be concerned about telemarketing scams. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that dishonest telemarketers take in an estimated $40 billion each year, bilking one in six American consumers -- and the AARP claims that about 80 percent of them are 50 or older. Older people -- especi...
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  2. My mother was recently involved in an internet dating scam...

    I describe these types of scams in my new book "The Truth About Avoiding Scams." If your mother has given money to the con artist, that money is lost. However, they are extremely unlikely to seek her out at this point.
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  3. Where can I find free legal counsel to help us with an...

    I am sorry to hear that you were first betrayed by unfair lending practices by the mortgage holder, and second, by a mortgage scam of so-called "relief" efforts. I am not sure that it is possible at this last minute to find free legal advice in time to do you some good, but you must try. If there ...
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  4. What are my options if my father has been a victim of fraud?

    So long as your father is competent, he has the right to make his own decisions although I share your extreme concern with what certainly appears to be a scam. Scam artists often prey upon seniors. Your best course of action is to try to convince your father to let you help him research the invest...
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  5. Is mom's caregiver taking advantage?

    There are several red flags in your question. First, is that this caregiver may be privately hired, since if the caregiver is from an agency, then it is the agency's responsibility to deal with the caregiver, and not yours. Since it sounds as if this may be a privately hired caregiver, and if that i...
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  6. How do we stifle Dad's friendship with someone who may be exploiting him?

    Dear Walterrob: You are right to be concerned about protecting your parent from a scamming friend. The key to your question is that your father was declared incompetent 3 years ago. He has already been victimized three times in the past. Given this, it is hard to imagine how your family has allow...
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  7. How do I report caregiver fraud?

    You raise the question of possible caregiver fraud. The answer to what you can do about it depends on who is paying for the care. If it is the state or county in which you live, you can contact the adult protective services, or its equivalent in your county and say that you wish to report what app...
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  8. What can I do to stop my brothers from commiting fraud against my mother?

    Unless your brothers have a power of attorney authorizing them to sign your mother’s name to transfer ownership from her to their own names, they aren’t likely to be able to get a loan.But if they did deed the properties to themselves, your mother needs to act quickly. She can file a legal notice ca...
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  9. How do we protect my grandfather from scams?

    Your question about charity scams is one that unfortunately we hear often. The most efficient way to deal with this problem is to obtain power of attorney of his finances. Each state has different ways to do this so seek legal counsel so that you protect yourself. If he will let you pay bills, m...
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  10. Can my brother be fired or reported for fraud if he is neglecting my mother?

    Thank you for writing to share your anger and frustration so clearly. It is so difficult to be raising children as well as trying to see to the care of a parent. Sibling caregiver conflicts are more usual than you may think.
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  11. Can I help my step-father steer clear of scams if he isn't willing to admit there's a problem?

    As your mother's guardian, you not only have the authority to act to preserve and protect her assets, you also have the duty to do so. If there is an intermingling of their assets, this would complicate the situation. If you believe that your stepfather has dementia, you should work with his child...
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  12. My grandma's neighbors are taking advantage of her financially, what can we do to stop them?

    There are many definitions and standards of financial elder abuse and undue influence, and if what you are saying is true what happened here clearly would be considered improper. It's important for you to realize that there isn't a list of specific actions that are unlawful; rather, there are gener...
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  13. What Can I Do if I Suspect That Someone Given Power of Attorney Is Acting Fraudulently?

    A person named as an agent in a power of attorney has the legal duty to act in "the best interests" of the principal -- that is, the person who made the document. While that's a little fuzzy as a legal standard, the greater practical truth is that you know fraud when you see it: for example, money b...
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  14. How Can I Prevent a Stepparent From Mismanaging the Finances of a Parent With Alzheimer's When I Have Power of Attorney?

    First, get clear on whether the power of attorney naming you as your parent's agent has actually taken effect. You need to look at the specific wording of the document to find that out.
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  15. How do we protect a home that is being rented from being taken over when the owner dies?

    Your son should ask his father to sign a durable power of attorney, authorizing him to act on his father's behalf with respect to finances and property. This document should go into effect when signed, not upon his father's disability, since it sounds like he needs help managing his financial affair...
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  16. I feel my father is being scammed. What can I do?

    I am sorry to hear that your father has been victimized. So many elders, who feel a little sad and lonely, become easy prey for con men. My own father once bought a con man an old pick up truck by charging it to his credit card.
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  17. My brother is not paying his bills which is affecting my mother's care- what can we do?

    The problem isn't only that your brother is not paying the bills for something he benefits from and your mother doesn't. The problem is that he is taking advantage of your mother, and your family. It meets the definition of financial abuse. The real question is what you can do about it, and legall...
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  18. I am my father's only living adult child. He is in his early...

    You clearly care for your father and want to protect him. However, your power is limited as far as his living choices go. You state that your father is still of sound mind. Therefore you would not have a factual basis to try to gain legal control over how your father lives, by obtaining a court-orde...
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  19. What do we do if we suspect fraud by the power of attorney?

    The agent named to act in the power of attorney document has the legal duty to act in your family member’s best interests. While that is a little muzzy as a legal standard, the greater practical truth is that you know fraud when you see it — money being siphoned from a bank account and not used to p...
    Icon-expert-hh9a0a45474a1 Expert Answer, 4 Community Answers
  20. Can I legally get Mom's boyfriend out of her life?

    Any advice you get or take must be tempered with a dose of uncomfortable reality: Unless your mother's boyfriend is truly acting fraudulently or abusively, it may not be possible to remove him from her life.
    Icon-expert-hh9a0a45474a1 Expert Answer, 1 Community Answer
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