Keeping aging loved ones safe from scammers
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A WINK News Call for Action alert that affects many families of aging parents. We take a look at when an adult’s children should start asking questions and taking over the finances.
Honora Precourt says she doesn’t understand how her well-educated father got mixed-up with scam artists.
“I discovered it in the middle of the process when he was trying to charge a hotel room and his credit card was maxed out,” she recalled.
She asked him why his card was declined and he said he was buying coins and stamps and the man he was dealing with charged his card.
“I thought that is bizarre behavior, but I trust my dad, and I didn’t want to question him,” said Precourt.
Now, she regrets that she let it go. Her father was not only involved in a coin scam, he also was spending his money on bogus lottery sweepstakes.
“One day he said he was in trouble– in financial trouble,” said Precourt. “I thought this is impossible. My dad is a really smart person.”
She believes he lost more than $100,000.
“To her shock and surprise while going through his belongings she found several solicitations from fraudulent offers in the mail. He literally had stacks and stacks on his desk,” said Tom Ouellette a U.S. Postal Inspector.
Ouellette said he also learned the coin business was also a scam.
“The amount he was paying compared to the value of the coins was absurd. A $10 coin for example would cost $500″ he said.
Precourt’s advice to others faced with aging loved ones, ask questions and intervene.