Scammed

Daffodils by lace 2

The flowers above are from my father’s garden.  I picked the ones whose yellow heads were  kissing the ground.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to bow but it gave me every reason to snip.  Heads lifted, they made a lovely bouquet.

After returning from my whirlwind tour of the south, I drove out to my Dad’s house the day after I returned.  I promised to join him at his bank to open new accounts.  His ego had been bruised and his funds nearly depleted.  In an effort to protect him, my sister and brother had shut and closed everything down that had to do with his finances.  I was there to help him open new accounts up and arrange for transfers.

It was my brother who overheard a conversation my father was having.  It seemed odd and he questioned him further.  It was then that my brother learned that my Dad had taken a phone call and the caller told him he was owed a refund.  They wanted to send the money to his bank and needed his account numbers.  Years ago my father would have hung up on the caller.  Now his days are a slow dull drip and his mind isn’t as sharp as it once was.  This combination makes him vulnerable and maybe it was the companionship of the conversations that lured him in.  Before any of us realized it, he had given the information out.  He firmly believed he was getting money back.  It was pure luck my brother overheard one of the conversations  and realized what was going on.  Many phone calls with my sister Lisa pursued.  She has taken over the role of family counsel with a naturally fair and even temperament.  She looked into the account on line and was able to see $2000 was scheduled for transfer out.  That’s when she and my brother moved to close his accounts, call the fraud department and stop any transactions.  It was 9:00 at night and none of us was sure if the scam had been caught in time.  Morning light brought good news.  He still had his money in a now frozen account.

“Those bums really got me.”

My Dad kept repeating that at the bank.  He was shaken up but I reminded him, “Lisa and Rob stopped everything, you’re just inconvenienced.”  I know this isn’t what he means but I will not to stress him further.  There is no need to embarrass him but build him up a bit as a hard lesson was learned.   The scammer continues to call but my father doesn’t answer the phone anymore if he doesn’t recognize the number.  This in itself cuts my Dad off even further from the world.

When we reported this to the police they said this crime is common and there is nothing they can do.  I feel for the other lonely souls who have innocently given their information away.

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10 Responses to Scammed

  1. marydpierce says:

    Oh, your poor father. My mother has been trained by my sisters and me to check with us first if she gets one of these calls. Thank goodness your brother was able to intervene in this instance. I don’t answer my phone anymore either if I don’t recognize the number.

  2. maesprose says:

    I think it is safe to say Mary, my Dad is now trained! I felt bad for him and can’t help but fear for my own future. It’s so easy to fall prey. I’ll have to start adopting your phone screening process too.

  3. Terry says:

    Wow, thank god you caught this in time!!!

  4. Don Ostertag says:

    Wow! So lucky to catch it and shut it down. You have to wonder what kind of terrible person preys on old people.

  5. tw says:

    So sad that people prey upon the most vulnerable in our society. An older relative in my family fell into the same trap a few years ago. Sadly the scammers got away with it and eventually, reluctantly, the bank sorted things out but not without a fight. I’m glad your father didn’t lose his money Mae, there are some wicked people in this world to do such things.

    • maesprose says:

      I am so sorry to read of one of your relatives falling prey to this scam. If my brother hadn’t been there, the ending would be so different. My father was convinced he was owed money and fought hard to defend that story. There really are some wicked people out there!

  6. LB says:

    Mae, this post really had me feeling for your father, especially when he says “those bums really got me”. How hard it must be for him to know he didn’t pick up on this scam, when in the past he would have.
    I’m so glad you all were able to protect him, but the scammers really did a number on him even if it wasn’t financial.

    • maesprose says:

      He no longer answers the phone if he doesn’t know the number. His world is so much smaller. I’m frightened from a selfish point of view too – what scams will I be exposed to?

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