She-Grifters Scam Granddad For $10,000+ A Month

Shaun says his 80+-year old grandfather, Steve, is being scammed out of over $10,000 a month. It seems Steve recently hired a female gardener who introduced him to a “wealthy friend,” and now he’s loaning them money to pay for groceries, cable, home upkeep, and, get this, bodyguards to protect her from an ex-husband and son who to want to kill her. When the family tries to intervene, Steve says the family is trying to put him in a nursing home and steal his money. Shaun is at a loss. How can he help his grandfather, who doesn’t want to be helped? Shaun’s story, inside…

My grandfather, Steve, is being scammed out of his money by a group of women including his gardener. Steve is in his mid 80’s and lives in Florida. He is retired and recently hired a new gardener. She introduced him to her supposedly wealthy friend who soon thereafter was “injured” in Maine. The gardener has convinced him to “loan” the women money, in cash, to pay for upkeep on her home, groceries, cable, bodyguards to protect her from her ex-husband and son who want to kill her, and many other things.

It is at the point where he is giving these women over $10k a month out of the only account that my parents have access to (so it could be a lot more from his other accounts).

When my parents tried to talk to Steve he says they are trying to put him in a nursing home and steal his money.

He insists that he knows what he is doing and he does not need anyone’s help. We tried calling the Florida Abuse Hotline. Their response was that he can give his money away if he wants to. We recently spoke to his doctor who said that one of Steve’s neighbors was also worried about him, the gardener had been coming around quite a bit.

Apparently another investigation has begun since we spoke to the doctor but nothing has come of it yet. Is there anything else we can do? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Sounds like a con to me. I wonder if a call to the police or FBI would help. Do any Consumerists have any advice on how the family can intervene? Or is it the old guy’s right to do whatever he wants with his money? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

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  1. Crymson_77 says:

    Work your magic behind the scenes. Get all the info on these two chicks and hand it over to the FBI and local police. They, I am sure, would be happy to take “care” of them.

  2. HarleyBabb says:

    **This is not a legal opinion or legal advice**

    Theoretically, it would seem that Steve would have to be adjudicated as incompetent in order to prevent him from being able to dispose of his money as he pleases.

    • lizk says:

      @HarleyBabb: That’s exactly what I was thinking. That’s what my mom had to do with my grandma when she was no longer competent enough to handle her own finances.

    • Difdi says:

      @HarleyBabb: In other words, the best way to save him may be to put him in a nursing home and steal his money… =P

      • katiat325 says:

        @Difdi: not even. what the family can do is hopefully get control of his assets throug legal means, and control his checkbooks. that way, they can pay his bills at the home, hire a new gardnder, and give him a set amount of money per month for groceries and such. He doesn’t have to go to a nursing home.

      • aka Cat says:

        @Difdi: What Kati said. My grandmother was declared legally incompetent because of a similar situation many years ago. She didn’t have to give up her car or her duplex, she just had to let my uncle handle her money — and fire her current housekeeper.

  3. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Perhaps he’s arranged for more than just gardening and is content with blowing his retirement savings to enjoy his last few good years. Maybe he’s making up this “loan” bit to cover it up from his family who’s noticed the missing money. Sounds like he’s getting a bit defensive when questioned about it, I suspect there is something else going on that he’s not to keen on the family digging into.

  4. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    As cold as it might seem, there’s only so much you can do. The parents have informed the grandfather (presumably more than once) of what’s going on, and he refuses to listen. If he is indeed of sound mind, then it really is his choice. Risky? Perhaps. Foolish? Sure. Apart from saying “Gramps, these hoochies are clearly trying to steal your nest egg, and I think you need to cut them off”, give as much info as you have to the police and let them handle it.
    I’m sure I’m going to be roasted for saying this, but if he is still capable of making informed choices and wants to blow his cash on being some gardener’s sugar daddy, it’s still within his rights to do so.

    • samurailynn says:

      @h3llc4t: Hopefully it won’t seem cruel when his relatives then say “well, if you blow all your money, don’t expect to move in with us or have us help out when you need money for your blood pressure medication.”

      • MercuryPDX says:

        @samurailynn: It’s “Tough Love”, but saying that is way easier than following through with it.

        • samurailynn says:

          @MercuryPDX: Exactly. And the problem is that everyone here seems to think the kids and grandkids are just worried about their inheritance. I’ve told my own parents not to loan too much money to my half brother, and I told them the reason is that it wouldn’t be fair to me (or my responsible half sister) if we had to help them with bills later on because they’d wasted their money that way. I love my parents, and I couldn’t care less about receiving an inheritance. But I do need to protect my own financial situation because I know I wouldn’t want to see them on the street.

          • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

            @samurailynn: I don’t think they’re just after the inheritance. But I think that when someone does something stupid after MUCH warning from others, at some point they will and should feel the consequences. I’ve seen the vast majority of my family stay mired in poverty because of said stupid decisions that they make over and over. If someone informs you of the risk of something and you continue anyway, you really have no one to blame but yourself.

  5. winstonthorne says:

    Go and confront the woman in person. Bring a large friend. Be polite, but firm.

    • TheFlamingoKing says:

      @winstonthorne: This sounds like intimidation or criminal threatening. Would likely end up with the opposite of the desired effect – with you in prison and the women free to do as they please.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @winstonthorne: I was thinking they should hire Joe Pesci to have a little talk with these women.

    • heltoupee says:

      @winstonthorne: While this may work if you’ve done it before, I doubt it will have the desired effect at all. If she/they is/are truly (a) con artist(s) worth a quarter of what they’re getting, I’m sure they’ve done this kind of thing before. Con artists can continue in business because they know exactly how to manipulate the law to their advantage. The con artists are pro’s, let the pro’s (law enforcement) handle them.

      • BroderickHalona says:

        @heltoupee:

        My Dad used the confrontational approach and brought his brothers, one of whom is a prosecutor. Worked for them. Alternatively I recommend hiring a private investigator. These kind of people disappear when they learn they’re being checked out.

  6. tedyc03 says:

    I second the idea of getting the police involved. I’d also consider hiring an attorney who could get a judge to grant a temporary conservatorship, which could possibly be used to stop him from disvesting his assets in this way. Aggressive intervention may be necessary at this point.

    IANAL

  7. SadSam says:

    Seek a guardianship, you’ll likely need to file a law suit. I sounds like there may be some dementia issues (he thinks the parents are trying to put him away, etc.) so guardianship is the way to go at least temp.

    And yes he can give his money away there are laws in Florida to protect against financial exploitation of the elderly. [www.fldfs.com] I’d start with the police.

    • Benny Gesserit says:

      Hmmm They tell Gramps to give the “gardener” the heave (pardon the pun) hoe.

      Gramps says “I know what I’m doing and you’re trying to put me in a home.”

      They say “No we’re not” but show up a week later with a lawyer?

      Oh, this can’t end well for anyone, can it?

      • SadSam says:

        @Jim (The Canuck One):

        Not at all, its going to be unpleasant for all. But if Gramps blows his nest egg and ends up having to move in with his kiddos it will be even worse. A guardianship can be temp. and if he is paranoid about the parents you can request that the court appoint a neutral guardian.

      • KyleOrton says:

        @Jim (The Canuck One): Either way, this coming to light in a court would probably scare away the hussies.

        That’s right, I called ‘em hussies.

    • katiat325 says:

      @SadSam: it may not even be dementia. you never know what that gardner is telling him, maybe she scared him into believing that his kids will send him to a a nursing home.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @katiat325:

        That’s exactly what it sounds like to me. My mom’s a Geriatric doctor and works with hospice patients at the VA…it’s really sad how people will take advantage of the fact that a patient has dementia, and this seems like a carbon copy of what I hear about quite often. I’ll ask her how they advise families to deal with situations like this when I talk to her tomorrow.

    • MeanPeopleSuck says:

      @SadSam: This all reminds me of Britney Spears… Only for elderly people.

  8. wezelboy says:

    Post photos of the grifters on the internets and see what happens…

  9. tmed says:

    Call the FBI. It is not legal for them to lie for the money. It sound like this may cross state-lines, and therefore be a federal issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      @tmed: Yep, could be wire / mail fraud charges. Feds are usually reluctant to get involved unlesss the amount of stolen funds is greater than $100,000. But the family should hire an attorney. At minimum the attorney can find information on the grifters and present evidence to law enforcement to step in if necessary. Having Gramps declared incompetent is only secondary. Protect the man’s nest egg that is supposed to care for HIM. Screw the inhertiance. Take care of Gramps!

    • ideagirl says:

      @tmed: absolutely, and if he is mailing the money you can file a complaint with usps, too

      [postalinspectors.uspis.gov]

  10. Corporate_guy says:

    If no one can convince him that giving his money away to the nice stranger is a bad idea, get a court to declare him incompetent and put him in a home. Otherwise wave good bye to your inheritance.

    • SomeoneGNU says:

      @Corporate_guy:

      But isn’t that what the grifters (or ladies of the night) are telling Steve that his family will do to him?

      I agree it’s probably the only way but it probably won’t go over big at next year’s Thanksgiving.

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    Tell the guy that I’m the one who’ll watch out for his fiscal interests, at “only” $8,000/mo?
    (Yes, I’m going to Hell. But how else will I get to keep in close contact with my mortality-challenged friends?)

    Ahem. Since the LW and his grandfather are in different states, it might make sense to hire a local FL private eye to track down the grifters, in preparation for handing a packet over to authorities. Anyone know of how to find a reputable, out-of-state one?

    • graceless says:

      @Trai_Deep: I would ask for a referral from the local police or FBI. Those people are always retiring, often becoming private eyes. Plus, they’ll have the law enforcement contacts.

      Go through the public relations department, they’re ususally best at answering questions.

      Also, make sure he knows with whom he’s dealing, get the grifters’ license plate numbers, and run them, that sort of thing. See if there’s any report about the murderous ex husband, so on…

  12. Gokuhouse says:

    Not to bash the OP but he seems concerned about this money a lot…IF the guy is sane and capable of making decisions then there is nothing you could/should do. Otherwise go to court to get a freeze on his assets so only your parents can access his money because he is mentally incompetent.

    • Vengefultacos says:

      @Gokuhouse:

      Well, if grandpa gets bilked out of all his assets, whose problem does he become? That’s right, the OP’s parents and likely the OP himself would face either having to support grandpa or tell him “tough luck… you didn’t listen to us. Enjoy being broke and homeless in your 80’s.”

  13. Trencher93 says:

    Hank Jr comes to mind: “I like the sweet young things and OLD GRANDAD”

  14. ludwigk says:

    For that kind of money, I’d hope he’s at least getting laid, or some other form of gratification besides the warm fuzzies of altruism.

  15. chgoeditor says:

    Shaun writes, “Is there anything else we can do?”

    It sounds like you and your family live in another state, and these women who are taking advantage of your Grandfather are local.

    I’m going to offer a bit of tough love: If your Grandfather is more likely to believe non-relatives than his own kids and grandkids, you’ve probably been neglecting him. How frequently are you spending time with him? And how frequently are these women spending time with him? I’m not saying that these women are right–far from it, they’re conning him–but it sounds as if your Grandfather sounds a bit neglected or taken for granted by his family members.

    What can you do? I’d recommend you go for a visit…a nice, long visit. Show up and just don’t leave. Hang out and regain your Grandfather’s trust. And meet these women. Spend time with them. I bet they’ll make themselves scarce as soon as the family arrives and starts paying attention to Granddad again.

    • codepage9 says:

      @chgoeditor:

      Going for a visit sounds like a good idea, call it a family emergency and get some time off from work if you can. If not find out if anyone else in the family can go for a visit just to see on how he’s doing.

    • scoosdad says:

      @chgoeditor: I vote this as the best advice I’ve read on this problem so far. Family FTW!

    • juri squared says:

      @chgoeditor: I like this! The only thing is, if it’s dementia (like another commenter mentioned) instead of honest anger, it may backfire.

    • SlappySquirrel says:

      @chgoeditor:

      That’s great advice.

    • Skankingmike says:

      @chgoeditor: Great advice. Throwing your grandparents away (or parents) is the number one thing wrong in this country. I don’t know too many other cultures that see the Elderly as a burden.

      May I add to not confront the woman immediatly. Simply state you’re happy to see that your grandfather has a friend and you’d like to hang out with her as well. Try taking “family” photos of the woman/en as well with other people. Pe polite, if you still feel this is a scam (which it might be)then involve the police, then render your grandfather incompitant and control his assest. Only thing you can do really.

    • Anonymous says:

      @chgoeditor: “If your Grandfather is more likely to believe non-relatives than his own kids and grandkids, you’ve probably been neglecting him.”

      That’s not true. Sufferers of dementia often turn on their caregivers and loved ones first. They don’t act rationally, that’s why it’s called dementia. No amount of reasoning will help. The only way to solve this is to get control of the money.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      @chgoeditor: While going to visit might be a good idea, I’d be hesitant to call a stranger neglectful, especially in a situation like this.

      If grandad lives in Florida, isn’t there a good possibility he moved there on his own after retirement? The OP and his parents have their own lives and can’t be expected to give constant care to someone who chooses to move far away from them. Similarly: I went to college 1000+ miles from where my parents live, so I can’t expect them to swoop in and help me out like a lot of my classmates parents can. Does that mean my parents are neglectful? Of course not! I’m an adult, and so is grandpa. We can both choose where we want to live and how close that is to family.

  16. Project_J187 says:

    Tell the grandfather that he can do whatever he wants with his money, but instead of giving the ladies cash he should pay the bills that they bring to him. I seriously doubt that they are paying any legitimate bills and the requests for money should hopefully dissipate. Thats the best I can think of without getting police involved or having the grandfathers mental health evaluated.

    Of course if you do go the police route. Just spend a lot of time at the grandfathers, document everything that goes on and bug the lady by taking pics and asking a ton of personal questions. You might be able to scare them off before police actually have to get involved.

    • PlayerX says:

      @Project_J187: Yeah, honestly… who’s got bills totalling more than 10,000$/month?

      Clearly the grandfather is lying to himself, as well. I’m sure he must know what’s going on.

      I agree that at least one of the courses of action is to spend a lot of time with him.

  17. caj11 says:

    Okay, without knowing a lot more specifics of the situation (hard to give ideal advice on this) a few things come to mind here…

    One, if your family lives in one state and the grandfather in another, you need to get down there and be right in the face of this “gardener” and her friend, and “be polite but firm” as the earlier poster said. Speaking to the grandfather’s neighbor isn’t going to cut it. Just the mere fact that this gardener knows someone is on to her scams may get her out of the picture (but it may not once you’ve headed home and I’m assuming him moving up to your family’s place is not an option).

    Second, it sounds like your grandfather is a lonely person and is looking for some kind of validation which he probably finds through this gardener/scammer. You need to find a way to get him out of the house so he can meet other people in his age group. Surely there are a lot of senior citizen programs in the area. This might help fill the void in his life causing him to give so much money away. If he gets out of the house more often, there will be less time for him to be scammed by these people.

    Third, I know it’s been stated before, but look into what you can do as far as a legal guardianship arrangement goes. I know it’s not easy to set up, but it’s worth checking into. Forget the Florida Abuse Hotline or anything operated by the state – talk to a lawyer in Florida that specializes in elder law and see what can be done. I don’t know how guardianship arrangements work and ultimately whether the lawyer answers to you or your grandfather, as I’ve never done anything related to that, so consult a lawyer in Florida. The amount of money paid will be small in relation to what your grandfather is giving away and well worth it.

    Just to relay an experience in my own family related to this- some jackass life insurance salesman/huckster sold a fairly worthless annuity product to my great aunt (I don’t completely understand annuities, but my understanding is that its residual value was about $6000 less than my great aunt paid for it). My own aunt (daughter of my great aunt) paid a personal visit to the huckster’s office, posing as a potential client and told him in no uncertain terms was he ever to contact her mother again or she would find something to sue him for. He gave the old “I’m sorry you feel that way” schpiel but he has stayed away from my great aunt ever since. Of course, my aunt only lives one exit away from her mother, so this is a fairly manageable situation.

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    My 75 year-old father suffered the same thing. “Lending” money to his “friends” by the thousands. There was nothing my sister or I could say or do to convince him otherwise. The only solution we could come up with is to put him in a position where one of us would “babysit” him.

    He doesn’t like to be told what to do, and will often do the opposite out of spite, so we’d “gently suggest”. He sold his house to move/retire down south to live with my sister and her family, his own idea. (whew!)

    Even the new living arrangement is not 100%. He has a new “girlfriend”. He pays when they go out and do anything because it’s “the gentlemanly thing to do”. My sister is on constant vigil over his money and accounts because my dad relays one girlfriend sob story after another about her son in prison, or her daughter who had a miscarriage, or her other daughter in an abusive relationship with “no way out”, etc.

    My sister and I can’t really complain much to him about it either, because then we get NO information and the affirmation “It’s MY life, I will do what I want, with who I want, and you’ll have no say in it!”

    It’s a very delicate and situation to be in. My heart goes out the the OP and others in the same situation.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      @MercuryPDX: P.S. The “Friends” he so greatly admired, trusted, and defended through thousands of dollars of “Loans”? They don’t talk to him and never return his phone calls.

      This is of course the fault of my sister and I who “have turned them against him.” (eyeroll)

      • samurailynn says:

        @MercuryPDX: I guess at least it’s my half brother that my parents are giving money to. They’re also still clear headed (even though my dad is now 71) so my reasoning makes sense to them.

      • Moonshadows says:

        @MercuryPDX: My inlaws aren’t even incompetent or getting scammed, but they are making enough risky financial decisions that the only future I can see is the one with them living in our guest room. No matter how they handle their money I have no expectation of any inheritance, but I would really like them to at least maintain their independance as long as possible.

        I could care less what they do with any extra money, I just wish they would take enough care that there IS extra money.

        • MercuryPDX says:

          @Moonshadows: I completely agree. If my dad leaves me nothing that’s fine with me, it’s not my money. I just don’t like that people see him as an easy mark to take advantage of and do so.

    • resonanteye says:

      @MercuryPDX: The elderly are fully capable of having girlfriends, without quotation marks. The comments on this post are a bit shocking to me- older people are vulnerable in some ways, yes, but they still have the right to spend their money the way THEY choose…not the way their children think they should.

      • MercuryPDX says:

        @resonanteye: I don’t entirely care about how he spends his money, but would you not be concerned when your elderly parent “lends” money out to “friends” and then asks you for money to help pay his mortgage this month?

        And I know the elderly are fully capable of having girlfriends (or boyfriends). A woman who sees my dad as a “meal ticket”, and makes up wild stories that tug on his heartstrings in an attempt to get money out of him is a “girlfriend” and not a girlfriend. Surely you can see the difference?

        So if he wants to go blow $500 on vitamins and supplements at GNC, or buy the latest doo-dad advertised on late night TV, more power to him.

        I draw the line at “lending” his “girlfriend” $2500 so she can fund her son’s prison commissary account and move her daughter out of an abusive environment because she claims the state won’t help her. And this is the wrong thing to do by your standards?

  19. jodles says:

    Hire a private investigator or at least try to dig up as much dirt on her and her friends as possible. That way if there’s any more reason for concern, you have lots of evidence to go to the police with.

    • NightSteel says:

      @jodles: I like this advice. If you can find out any personal info of the scammers, criminal background checks would be good, too.

      Though, the advice other folks are giving about going down there and spending time, recording, taking pictures, asking questions, etc, is good, too.

  20. Canino says:

    Sounds like he DOES need to be put in a nursing home and have his money managed by the family. Like others have said, have him adjudicated incompetent and take over the bank accounts.

    • Solo says:

      @Canino: Sounds like he is spending/giving away his money freely, without being coerced and his children see their inheritance shrink as they speak.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This might constitute financial abuse and most likely elder abuse. Check out this link

    http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx

    Also, check out help4srs.org for more links and references.

  22. drierp says:

    over 10k a year is a taxable gift. Call the IRS on them, you may even get a reward..

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard about this before, and it’s harder than you may think to get a court to declare someone legally unfit to handle their money. The court may very well agree with you that Steve is making a bad decision, but as long as Steve understands what he is doing, the court can’t declare him incompetent.

  24. kwsventures says:

    I thought Anna Nicole was long gone.

  25. windycity says:

    Contact this agency [elderaffairs.state.fl.us] . They can point you in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, scams like this are a rather common occurrence in Florida. You’re lucky you caught it in progress; many times a person’s life savings are gone before the family realizes what has happened.

  26. bobpence says:

    Could the bank be of any help, e.g. if the parents have access to the account they may be able to ask the bank to look for the sort of patterns they look for, if they look for patterns.

  27. DeadWriter says:

    Look for the Long Term Care Ombudsman in your area. They deal with all issues dealing with elders and their rights. Also, consult NPO’s specializing in elder abuse. There is also nothing wrong with filing a police if you believe that the woman is making fraudulent clams and that it is costing your father money. If you talk to the local beat cop, he might just pay a visit when he sees the gardeners car and simply inquire about their name, etc… It make make the gardner prone to leave if they have a past history as a grifter.

  28. Anonymous says:

    He is a victim of “Elder Abuse” .
    There are laws against this in many states. Check also with the local Dept of Human Services. Many times a Social Worker is called in to be the intermediary.

  29. Justifan says:

    just make sure her next request is to help pay medical bills on shattered knee caps.

  30. Norcross says:

    I live in Florida, and there are numerous cases like this all the time, although not all of them are scams. Many more are just old men (and women) who are lonely. If the spending is getting in the way of him being able to support himself, then by all means intervene. However, if he is ‘spending the inheritence’, consider this: it isn’t your money yet. You haven’t done a damn thing to earn it. So get out of the way, let Steve enjoy whatever time he has left, and move on.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I have a relative who is mildly mentally incompetent who had the same thing happen–this relative is younger, in his 40s, and had money from his dead parents and a minimum wage job. He met a woman in her early 30s who became his “friend”, her whole family was involved with this as they supposedly treated him like a member of their family while he was “friends” with this woman and a couple of her sisters. After a year or so of siphoning his money was gone and so were his new friends and family. The whole time his immediate family who was close to him was begging him to realize what he was doing and how they were taking advantage of him… but these people made him feel like he was special and he was important… it was like a drug that made him feel good so he couldn’t stop, I’m the women probably probably probably performed a few nasty deeds as things went along…

  32. speedracer2787 says:

    Contact your local news agency which normally have reporters that investigate local frauds. Get them to do a story on your grandfather (even if he doesn’t want it). You will get a bunch of people on your side and hopefully the gardener can be shamed into the open.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Someone should try telling the gardener that Steve is running out of money and can’t support her friend anymore- and see what the gardener does.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Why does everyone assume this is a scam and that the grandfather is mentally incompetent? This letter is written by someone who is seeing his potential inheritance go down the drain and is going to be pretty biased. I’m not saying the elderly don’t get scammed at an alarmingly high rate, but you should get a little proof before throwing around accusations such as this.

    • cwsterling says:

      @ThoraBabawaba: you also really have to look at the flip side and think, what if the OP is just looking out for their grandfather because they don’t want to end up footing the bill for the nursing home/assisted living home when all is said and done. No where in there did it say that the OP wanted the money, what if the OP just won the lottery..there are many different ways to look at this that aren’t clearly told in the given story.

      • Feminist Whore says:

        @cwsterling: It’s not even about having to pay for possible future expenses, it’s just heartbreaking to see someone you love, a parent or grandparent, being made a fool of and being swindled.

        Even if the old man had all the money in the world, and his kids and grandkids were wealthy beyond imagination and didn’t have to worry about future bills, that doesn’t mean you are OK with people coming ’round to rip you-n-yours off.

  35. CColdsmoke says:

    Get the names of the people involved. If you don’t know their names, ask Grandpa if he will allow you to run a background check on these people because you’re worried that you might have seen one on a Wanted poster or on TV. Or, if he’s been writing checks in the account your parents have access to, see if you can find names on a canceled check. Run a background check on them. If you have any friends in the police force, they may be able to check for known aliases of these people. You might also want to snap a picture of the gardener and see if you can match it to a mug shot book at the local PD.

    If you get concrete proof that these people have committed this type of crime in the past, then take it to the police (or FBI if he’s been wiring money out of state).

  36. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Several great ideas in this thread. I particularly like the “have a family member move in with grandad” one. This is what I might do:

    Since you can’t convince grandad, you’re going to have to convince the women.

    If the police and the “elder abuse” division aren’t helpful enough, hire a private investigator. Have him find out EVERYTHING about these women – real names, where they live, where they work (if they do work), cars, houses, friends, relatives, EVERYTHING – as well as finding out exactly what they are doing with/to grandpa.

    After that, well… it depends on what is actually going on. The final answer might be to give the pile of evidence from the PI to the police. Or it might be to let grandpa keep his far too expensive companions.

    Most likely it will be talking to the women themselves (not grandad)and letting them know that a) you know everything there is to know about them; b)they need to disappear from grandpas life muy pronto; and c) what the consequences will be if they don’t. If they don’t leave, enact consequences. If they don’t leave after that, lather, rinse, and repeat, with more/better/different consequences.

    If they still won’t leave after you reach the limit of what you are willing to do in terms of consequences, start preparing the spare room in your house for grandpa’s arrival.

    Good luck, and I hope whatever you do decide to do works out well.

  37. bohemian says:

    My grandmother had a similar problem, but hers was giving money to televangelists. Someone tipped off the family and we drove across the state to grandmas with all the aunts in tow and pretty much told her she comes voluntarily or we go to court the next morning and take control of her affairs. These televangelists were actually calling her house trying to milk more money out of her while we were there.

    In this case gathering as much info as possible and either have a few people help or find a P.I. and figure out who and where these two grifters are. If you have control of his affairs and have enough info on the grifters I can’t imagine law enforcement or a states attorney could turn down the issue.

  38. stevgex says:

    I ran into a similar issue with my step-father some years ago. I’m in CA which has some fairly strong elder abuse laws but, the police don’t seem to know much about how to proceed.
    Find out as much as yu can about the “gardener” (i.e. name, license plate of her vehicle etc.). Contact a P.I. to get as much background info as possible. This should only run a couple hundred dollars. Document as much of the financial shennanigans as possible and take the your info to the DA. At least in CA, we were able to more done this way.
    Be prepared to be fairly confrontational with your grandfather and have as manty other family members to back yu as you can. My step-father was initailly relunctant to make a complaint. I gave him the option of making the complaint or having my siblings and I put him under a conservatorship. He made the complaint.
    Long story short, because of the woman’s previous criminal record, she was sentenced to 12 years.

  39. orlo says:

    If you grandfather is actually receiving sex-services from both women 5-days a week, the 10k is being well spent. Make sure these women are good looking and clean, present some cheaper alternatives.

    If not:
    1. Since your parents have access to an account, they should empty it
    2. Come up with you own scam to beat the gardener to the money.
    3. Anonymously hire someone to “take care” of the problem

  40. ironchef says:

    call Elliot Spitzer.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Just let Grandpa live vicariously through his last years… After all, you’re not after his money. And if he blows his money away before kicking the bucket, you can always say “I told you so!”

  42. cozymoses says:

    Are you serious? In this day and age it takes about 15 minutes to conduct a rather thorough background check online. I’d suspect that if she IS a scammer, she’s been around the block and has a record. If presenting that evidence to your g’pa isn’t enough, THEN pursue other avenues. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it can ward off a WHOLE lotta time and work.

  43. Corporate-Shill says:

    Time to figure out what is what.

    Contact the local municipal senior citizens program where Grandpops lives. There are usually social workers and special program staff hired to advised and protect the patrons of the program (who are frequent targests of many scams). These paid staff members are aware of the specific resources in the local community that can intervene to help protect and advise Grandpops or direct the family to local legal resources for further support if required.

    Even if there are no specific problems at this time (because Grandpops is fully competent and finacially stable while he enjoys the effects of the little blue pills he has been popping) the program can add him to their list of patrons to monitor for long term problems associated with dementia, poor diet or abuse.

    Remember the more people around Grandpops the less likely he is to have problems.

  44. gp5548 says:

    Do any of his children have power of attorney? This is important since they can control his assets. If no one has power of attorney, why not? Do the man’s children really care what he does? Your grandfather could be legally declared incompetent, he sounds like he could have dementia. The local police and the FBI would be very interested in this scam, they (FBI) usually won’t get involved unless the the crime involves more than $5000+. Since it sounds like this has been going on for a while there is a considerable amount of money involved. I’d call the police and the FBI and take whatever steps necessary to secure his assets, this is something his children should have be on top of if they cared.

  45. ninjatoddler says:

    Have the grandfather write up legal loan documents stating that the recipient WILL by all means repay the entirety of X amount by X date. A judge will be required to preside over those documents with a cast of witnesses.

    This will ensure grandpa gets protection from con artists.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I believe your grandfather has a kink these ladies obviously know how to gratify. That’s why he gets defensive, that’s why he pays out so much (see: Spitzer), and that’s why he’s lying to your family about why.

    Men’s kinks are extremely powerful motivators. Neither infirmity nor age makes them decline. Your grandfather’s generation found it much more difficult to find women who would satisfy unusual needs, much less do so along with any semblance of emotional caring.

    If a sexual kink is indeed what is driving his spending, then locking up his money, finding him a nice lady his own age or trying to bond with him yourself are not going to solve anything.

  47. Rhyss says:

    I worked for Adult Protective Services Social Worker for several years in Washington State. Although I cannot speak for the laws elsewhere, we have what we refer to as a “Sweetheart Scam,” up here, which sounds very similar. Our Law enforcement agencies are very aware of this scam as well. We were successful, although not always, in prosecuting for fraud, and theft by various degrees. We also have not-for profit legal agencies who could help with the civil side of things. My suggestion would be to try and involve whatever Adult Protective Services there are in that area, contact law enforcement, and contact legal services. These scammers are most likely professionals and are well known.

  48. FrankReality says:

    I had this happen to my elderly mother – unfortunately the scammer was my fricking brother. I found out about it from the neighbor who had given my mother some food after my brother cleaned her out of cash and she couldn’t buy food – she was living on saltines.

    Now – I’d recommend a “welfare check” and a referral to Adult Protective Services as mentioned by others. But, law enforcement should be contacted as well.

    And whatever action is taken, all of Steve’s children should be involved as a team effort.

    Believe it or not, the best people to tell you what’s going on may be Steve’s neighbors. So maybe a visit to Steve is a good thing, but while you’re there scope out the neighbors and develop a relationship so you can use them as reconaissance resources.

  49. DoctorVenkman says:

    I know someone whose elderly family member was abused/scammed (coincidentally, also in FL). He did some digging, and discovered that this was definitely a repeat offense for the scammer. Now he started a website detailing the scammer’s previous victims, including police reports, pictures, eyewitness accounts, and more.

    I doubt your grandfather is the first person to be scammed by these bitches. Try and dig up some dirt, after getting the police involved, of course. I would definitely advise making this incident public…get the local news involved, make a website, etc. Make the public aware of the scammers, hopefully stopping them in their tracks.

  50. resonanteye says:

    This story makes me SO glad I have had no children. If I want to spend my declining years blowing vast wads of cash on shystey hookers, nobody will stand in my way!

    Is he mentally incompetent? It’s not really the son’s place to say he can’t spend his money on his new lady friend. Really, what about the old man’s rights?

    Maybe get an attorney to ask him to set aside a trust for the son, if he’s all that worried about losing out on his dad’s bankroll.

  51. resonanteye says:

    Also…if he had spent all his money at the track (as my grandfather did) would you still turn him away in his declining years?

    More information is needed here anyway.
    Is the old guy happy?

    Is the lady attractive? Do you want to put him in a home? Are you solvent enough to handle his needs in thirty years if he needs help? Are you relying on that money as a future windfall? Is he getting sex or companionship in a romantic sense?

    What if he goes out tomorrow and buys himself a futuristic car that costs 500,000? then crashes it?

  52. graceless says:

    Have you spoken to his mayor? Mayor’s actually do stuff, they know all the right law enforcement people, and can probably decern if Grandpa has gone around the bend, or is simply paying for sex.

    On the one hand, just because he’s old doesn’t mean he can’t do what he likes. On the other hand, if these are dishonest grifters, he’s in serious trouble.

    IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO OVER REACT THAN UNDER REACT.

    Good luck.

  53. Segador says:

    This sounds like my ex-wife.

  54. Chairman-Meow says:

    Gee something like this is happening in the scam capitol of the US ? Who would have thought ?

    What is it about Florida that seems to attract an unusual amount of con-artists, grifters, and other assorted scum ?

  55. pwillow1 says:

    I agree with the others who suggested hiring a private investigator. If the family has consulted a lawyer, the lawyer would probably have worked with some good
    investigators and can refer the family.

    It may also help to consult with a social worker in private practice who has experience in dealing with the elderly.

    Unfortunately these types of situations are all too common. Elderly who are isolated and lonely are easy marks for this type of scammer.

  56. bwcbwc says:

    If you’re confident that grandpa isn’t just getting some high-priced call-girl service and disguising it as loans, call the authorities. This probably won’t be the FBI, but the local police, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, or the Department of Elder affairs. There are a lot of special laws in FL to protect the elderly from this kind of crap, so even if the victim is “of sound mind”, others can press charges if the people receiving the money can’t show that it is being used for the purposes described and that they have the ability to pay it back. Regardless of whether grandpa is of sound mind, it’s still fraud if he lends them money “for a bodyguard” and they spend it at the mall.

  57. Anomaly69 says:

    I’m not suggesting you actually do this but, if you beat her ass into a hospital bed one dark night I bet she’d stop.

  58. bigdaddy34 says:

    Three things to do:
    1. Install a Nanny Cam without your grandfathers knowledge. You may be surprised what is learned. You can use the information to leverage the people to stop what they are doing and quite possibly retrieve the money that has been pilfered. The video may also be able to be used in court.
    2. Hire a Private Investigator to find out everything about the scammers & use the information to go to court, the news, etc.
    3. Also start a web blog detailing your struggle, and how things are going. You may be surprised at the help you may garner when other people see what is going on. Very likely they have done this before and you may be able to find other victims.

  59. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    I wouldn’t automatically assume he’s demented or senile; I know plenty of younger people who fall for “booty traps” too. Getting family nearby and involved is ALWAYS a good idea; the other posts on that were great. You want to make sure you stay on HIS SIDE, though, even if that means pretending you don’t disagree with what he’s doing. If he cuts you (the family) off and won’t talk to you, you can’t really help.

    Also, you don’t want to start a confrontation or interpersonal war, because it puts you on his “bad side”; but that doesn’t mean you should just let them keep coming around. If the scammers still won’t back off when your granddad’s surrounded by family, get creative about making their lives hell (preferably in ways you can totally cop to being innocent of) until they DO go away. There’s a lot you can do that nobody can prove isn’t just coincidence, like calling the IRS to get them audited, or, well…

    We had a jerk taking advantage of a family friend around here, but after the fifth consecutive time his car was vandalized (keyed, tires slashed, window broken…) when he left it parked outside her apartment, he suddenly began to lose interest. And we all just shrugged and said, “Darn punk kids!”

    I was disappointed, because I’d just gotten his address a few days ago and was about to start ordering him massive amounts of gay porn catalogs. *sigh* I did sign him up for the 700 Club as a parting gift, though.

    Family is there for you whether you like it or not, as my dad used to say. ;)

  60. Anonymous says:

    Doing some sort of background check or hiring a PI to see if these two have a history of fraud might help your case when you take it to the authorities.