Be wary of elderly online romance offers – and younger people looking for an elderly “partner” – there are so many scammers who drain money off the elderly and then take off to the next victim (if they aren’t involved with other victims at the same time). If the scammer wants a will to be drawn up and add him or her to it, run! There are scammers who will do something nefarious to a victim to get the contents of a will.
Caretaker scams include scammers posing as a caretaker, then they drain accounts and take off. They may feign elderly romance to gain trust. They might even get abusive and threatening because they don’t know how to be or act empathetically or have no patience – and are just after money.
Ask a lot of leading questions to your elderly relative or friend to see if you detect any red flags or dangers or abuse or fears from an elderly romance or caretaker. If you do, remove the elderly person – take her “to lunch” and then maybe go to the police station if you have such a concern. If not to warrant the police, then keep the elderly person with another friend or relative and have a talk with the person you are concerned about, so the senior is kept from that stress or signaled to keep quiet.
Any time a new person is brought into an elderly person’s life, scrutinize and vet the person carefully, especially if it is a romance or caretaker situation. See if they have other scams they have run – maybe the police can run some searches for outstanding arrests by looking for that person in the database, or if recently released from prison. Have a current photo of the new person so an identification is easier to make.
My dad had a "friend" who was helping him and checking up on him. She texted me to offer to check on him and get some things from the store that he needed while he was sick, since I do not live in the same city. She turned out to be one of his tenants in a rental unit my dad owns. She texted me to say she checked on him and just adores my dad. I had no reason to doubt her intent. - until this week when I got into his bank accounts. He has been writing her outrageous amounts of checks - over 10K of one month of checks, all totaling over $23K and no idea of all the cash withdrawals in only a few months. She has been paying NO rent for 9 months. She even had him write a check for her car payment balance plus pay for a plane ticket. There was 4K cleaning right after $400 for same. He blew through his savings, his rental income (and not getting her rent), and his line of credit. Now we are sure she's a big part of it.
Elderly abuse - it's a crime in many states and we are pursuing it here.
We contacted adult protection services, a wellness program through a work program, the retirement living place he’s in, the police, and the facility social worker, so far. She and all her known aliases are not allowed to enter the elderly facility (in case she pulls the scam on anyone else).
Be prepared to fight an allegiance to this other person – the senior may defend the caretaker or romantic interest, having believed every lie told.
Elderly romance and caretaker scams can suck all money from a senior, and even more types of abuse (including physical or deprivation). Help him to get out of the situation as soon as you figure anything out. Try to insert yourself into his business (even offer to look at his bank or investment accounts), every once in a while, so you can catch issues early and put a stop to them.