LPT: When visiting elderly relatives ask them if they've met any new and/or exciting people recently, it could prevent them from being scammed

LPT: When visiting elderly relatives ask them if they've met any new and/or exciting people recently, it could prevent them from being scammed

Everyone knows scammers online prey on unsuspecting people targeting lonely and gullible people. Commonly elderly people get targeted most. Asking them about new people can reveal if they meet new people overseas who the family may not know. It may not stop an initial scam but it can prevent future ones.

I met this wonderful young man the other day, his name was Jimmy McGill. He really likes Cracker Barrel.

Literally today I get a call from my dad saying that my grandma got a call from someone saying that I was in police custody and that I was heard I the background crying because my nose was broken and that he needed money to get me out. She was really upset about it and had it not been for my dad would have gotten swindled. Seriously fuck scam artists.

Great idea. I found another way really helpful. Don't tell them new versions of frauds /schemes. Tell them a story of how your (imaginary) friend got robbed off. And never advise them in the end. Never. Just tell the story. If they get inquisitive, answer their questions in detail. (important: never advise)

Elderly people mostly don't take your advice seriously. But they somehow are programmed to note and avoid things which resulted bad for other people.

I love the ebay scams where they ask you to send money by western union to a particular branch. I always tell them to go to western union in another town because I made a mistake and it got sent there for pickup. Then they call or mail and say it isn't there and I laugh at them. It's extra fun if you turn up too and watch them become disappointed. I only did this once though, the guy waited around for an hour and a half while I watched him from a bench. I bought a McDonald's chicken burger and made a morning out of it. Eventually he left and I went home and cleaned the kitchen.

I see almost dead people

My grandpa got a call saying that my brother was in some South American country and was in jail because they had found drugs in his taxi but would let him go for $500 since he passed the drug test. While he was out wiring the funds through moneygram, my grandma answered the phone and apparently my brothers drug results were wrong. He actually tested positive and they'd need $1000 more to get him out. My grandma knew my brother wasn't down there and immediately scolded my grandpa for not asking my mom first. They were able to get the money back since it hadn't been picked up yet, but who knows how many scams my grandpas fallen for?!

What are you the old person whisperer?

oh I saw his commercials. He's a good boy, just wants to help us make our wills.

He leaves, you go home to an empty and burgled house orchestrated by said con artist.

I know you're joking, but your comment reminds me that eventhough Jimmy comes across as a scammer, and has scammed people in the past, I don't think he's scammed any of his client's yet. At least the elderly ones.

The Sandpiper solicitation was ethically bad, but morally I don't see a problem with it since they were screwed over and he was helping them seek out legit representation. And eventhough he scammed the Kettleman's, they were shady as hell, especially the Kettle-MILF, and arguably deserved it.

With his elder law clients, he pulls the whole folksy, cracker-barrel routine, but I don't recall the show ever showing him pushing any of them into unneeded representation.

Ethics refer to right and wrong as governed by an outside source.

Morals refer to a person's own beliefs about right or wrong.

(I had to look it up too, just saving the next guy a google)

LPT: Scam elderly relatives so they can't be scammed.

Actually very good advice. I'm in a PhD psychology program and we have been learning about this approach in the last few weeks. The most effective type of support is invisible to the recipient.


Thanks for sharing!

Upvoted for making me search the difference between "ethically" and "morally."

"You met any exciting people lately?"


"Well I have. He's a Nigerian prince!"

We should help our elderly relatives. Make them aware of modern day scams. My mother contacted me several times throughout the years whenever she got emails from Nigerian Princes. I had to explain a few security things to her. I created bookmarks for her on the sites she usually visits. I also locked down her laptop so she can't install anything.

Here are a few things I told her.

Always be cautious if someone contacts you (via email, phone, instant messaging) and asks for credit card or personal information (bank account numbers, social insurance numbers...) or asks you to send money (western union, money gram, paypal...) Banks or the tax department will never phone you and just ask for your personal information. Call them back if you're in doubt using a number you find. Don't use any number or website they give you.

Never click links in your email especially anything related to online banking. Always use your saved links. When in doubt ask someone if the link is safe. Or use a url checker.

Learn a bit about how urls are formed and remember the ones you usually use.

Banks should be using https. If not be wary of submitting any personal information on these sites.

Never sign up for free trials of anything if they require a credit card number.

Don't just click buttons if something pops up on the screen. Always read the prompts. If it is forcing you to do something you're unsure of then do nothing and call me.

My granny got a similar call -- the guy said something like, "Granny, I need your help," and went on to explain how he was in Mexico with friends, and they got pulled over, and his friends had drugs on them...blah...blah...need a bunch of money to get out of jail. When she asked who it was, he just said, "Your grandson!" She asked which one, and he said, "The good-looking one." She knew at that point that any one of her real grandsons would have identified himself by name, so she told him all her grandsons were ugly and hung up.

Agreed. I work as a front end manager at Walmart and we see our fair share of people who have been scammed. Today we had a gentleman who was out $5000 because he got a virus on his computer telling him to call this number and send this money or else he'll lose everything he has. He fell for it and tried to stop the transaction but it was too late, the person already got the money.

They're everywhere.

The word "burgled" will never look normal to me.

but who knows how many scams my grandpas fallen for?!

He has been bailing you out of jail since grade 8 without a simple "thanks" from you

"Fist bump"


They'd never hear you.

My grandmother got a call from a scammer, saying my cousin was in jail and needed bail money. My grandmother said to the caller, "I'll have to ask your grandfather first," and the caller replied, "Yes, please do!" And she hung up. My cousin would have known that our grandfather had died a few years ago.

That can be a legit thing though, there are recorded cases of ransomware encrypting files and only providing a key for a bunch of money. Some businesses realized the data was valuable and even if the encryption was breakable, it would cost too much money/time and they needed to data, so they payed the toll. Surprisingly in many (or at least some, I don't have concrete numbers on me) cases they actually did get a working key and all was well.

I still don't suggest paying, but it can be calculated risk to solve the problem. I'm only really talking about ransomware specifically here.

Thats a great idea, thanks. I was just getting really bummed by my in-laws who keep calling me asking if I have done anything interesting lately, and I can never remember what I did at that moment. So I have been declining their calls lately until my guilty feelings get to me. But I can ask them this question instead.


But if my support is invisible, how will I get credit for being a great friend/spouse/child?

A few years back my grandma got scammed for $10,000 from someone in South America pretending to be my cousin and stuck in jail. We wouldn't have ever found out either, since the scammer made my grandma promise not to tell anyone, but my uncle noticed the money missing from her accounts and finally forced the story out of her. She was so embarrassed that she didn't want anyone to know what happened. My other grandparents got a similar scam, but figured out before it went anywhere.

Yea my grandparents almost got scammed but they're smart enough to know how to check it. Also my aunt was there to help.

Two summers ago my grandparents got a call saying I was driving in downtown and got in a terrible accident and that I was going to go to jail for reckless driving. But also the crash had put me in the hospital and that I would need bail money to be sent to me. My grandparents were worried sick and thankfully my aunt was there to say "well hey, I'll come down to the hospital and help you. We won't transfer the money over the phone." Then whoever it was hung up and my aunt called my phone, and I was washing cars and hadn't been driving all day, and I got the call and answered it to the madness of claims my aunt was asking me about. I obviously denied all of them while being completely confused.

Some people are fucking assholes

Don't put it off too long. Nothing like a clean kitchen.

They don't know they're almost dead.

I had the same scammer call my grandma.

Why would you go and do that?

Btw one good thing to know is that location doesn't mean anything for Moneygram. Money sent to somewhere inside the USA can be picked up in Nigeria.

It's what normal people say instead of "burglarized".

Emphasize on #1 that NO LEGIT COMPANY REP will ask for your password

My parents were scammed and it came in the form of "help". Older folks need a lot of help. Yard work, cleaning out garages - you name it. What happened was that the person went to my mother for payment, then went to my father for the same payment. This happened for weeks.

There is more stuff. Old friends who went to school with my great aunt used to come to visit her before she died. It was strange because this started up out of nowhere. We thought it was great. After she died, we discovered that she had made a mammoth charitable gift to an organization that one of her friends was connected to. (My aunt had no affinity towards this type of charity so we suspect a con.)

So yes, suspect people but tragically, elderly people are ripe for the picking when it comes to con artists.

I have a friend who has a podcast called Distorted View. Years back he really couldn't believe that old people could be scammed so easily. So he went through the white pages and picked an old lady name, like Gertrude or something and randomly called them through skype.

An old lady picked up, and he just went "Hi Grandma!" and the lady initially sounded confused and was like "who's this?" and he said something like "You don't recognize your favorite grandson(or something similar)?" and she says her grandson's name out loud, so he goes "Yeah, it's me." and she started talking to the host like it was her grandson. He quickly ended it with something like "I just wanted to call to say hello" and ended the call.

It was a quick bit for his show, but if you had bad intentions, it's easy to plan these calls out a few weeks apart and use social engineering to get a lot of info from older people.

Sadly your grandmother did not assume her grandsons were that smart, she knew they were dumb enough to say something like that but she was brutally honest with herself and knew deep down she had no good looking grandkids.

Yeah, I just told my grandmother the other day that if I ever got arrested I would NEVER call and ask her for bail money. That it is a scam, and if it's not just let me rot in prison.

Cracker Barrel just hasn't been the same since they fired Brads Wife after 11 years of faithful service.

Haha clever. Might have to try this one day

OP had enough time to waste his morning watching a scammer and laughing. I don't think OP cares much about when he eats his chicken sandwiches. Keep it up OP! You are a true hero.

Also, if they get spooked, you can pat them on the head and slowly feed them a sugar cube.

Motion to rename "upvote" to "fist bump" for one day of the year. All in favor, fist bump.

Better life pro tip. Visit your elderly relatives frequently if you can. I waited until my grandad to die before I started visiting my gran weekly (sometimes more). Don't be that guy. We chat about everything, I'd know straight away if there was something amiss.

I had the same scammer call my grandma. I kind of left home for a while because my life was all fucked off. Said I was in Mexico. Whole family called me freaking out. Really makes you want to find these people and do some serious torture.

I wonder how many people have data on their computer more valuable than $5000 which they don't back up.

And then once you find out, assume the role of said elderly person so you can troll the scammers for months to come.

Certainly wronglarized

Post it on Reddit. Get karma.

My grandma lost over $100,000 through a series of 50+ transactions over the course of a year to an "international lottery". She had to sell her house and move in with her daughter's family to recoup the money she lost.

My dad was pissed because he and his father (before he died) had been warning her about these scams for years.

Fuck scammers.

Sometimes I wait outside the old people's home dressed as the grim reaper just as a gentle reminder.

My family member's was ~$650 worth of bitcoin, not $5000.

That said if it is a work computer with important customer files for a contractor, or you are dumb and didn't back up Phd work or something like that it may be worth well over $5000. They normally only give you 24 or 48 hours to cough up the cash or they delete the encryption key.

There is no excuse in this day and age for not being backed up though.

There's a very clear difference, that some people, not me, understand.

Until it works the other way around :( . I used to volunteer for nursing homes talking to elderly people who didnt have much family or usually their family just didnt give a shit about them.

There was a few elderly that I was really good friends with. One in specific, had 2 daughters that NEVER visited him. It was kind of sad, but he said they lived in other states, so it wasnt that bad.

I knew him for like 4 months. Eventually one of his daughter finally showed up. Surprise, surprise, she just wanted daddy to sign his will for her.

Honestly I dont really know what they talked about in specific, but it ended up with that crazy woman finding me while I was volunteering and accusing me of trying to steal her inheritance and scamming her father. I stopped volunteering after that :(

I never saw him again. One of the nurses called me a year ago and told me he passed away.

Good ol' Jimmy, he always does right by his Elder Clients.

Fuck Chuck

This happened to a family member. They paid and their stuff was released.

I'm 72 y.o. I'm always meeting new people, some of them have known me for years. Also get to hide my own Easter eggs...

Wolfie's fine honey. Wolfie's fine.

I agree with your last sentence.

I was woken up at 3.30am one day to my mom calling me in panic and frantic voice. She kept on calling my name while sobbing and I couldn't understand anything she said. I hung up and not a minute later my dad called and explained. Apparently someone had called to our landline at 3am saying that I was being held in the police station because of drugs posession. They asked for money, but my mom already being hysterical so my dad took the phone and they hung up.

That day I got back from work around midnight, went to bed at 2am, and had to leave for work at 5.30am. I ended up talked and tried to make my mom calm down until 4 or 4.30am. Fucking assholes cut my precious sleeping time and made my parents panic.

Hospitals can't have their patient files compromised

? By that point they have already been compromised and the hospitals should be alerting the patients of the data breach

Money gram is by large sketchier than western union. Western union is used by a lot of legitimate transactions every day. They don't want scammers using it but they don't have the power to stop it without making the service harder to use. Like moderating the internet. The nature of the product is dicey.

Pro-tip, elderly people are just us except older

Part of how the scam operates is that they explicitly tell the party being scammed that they can't tell anyone about what is going on or try to get a lawyer involved. They often will make up some plausible reason why they can't tell anyone about it while threatening the safety of the presumed family member in distress.

Nobody backs up shit.

Source: I'm in IT.

It also happens to hospitals, and the ransoms will be for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hospitals can't have their patient files compromised, so they pretty much must pay. Scammers got em by the balls, man. Scary shit

So you will ask them this question instead of them asking you that question? Wut

Dicey but it actually was useful when I got myself into some trouble in Cambodia, I was robbed then my motorcycle decided to die on me so I was stuck in a small town with no cash. Got my mum to withdraw some of my cash and send it to me.

It's expensive though, there are far better options if it's not an emergency, but if you need money sent across the world that day it's a decent option. They almost blocked my mum sending it because it was so similar to scams though...

The real LPT is always in the comments, one slight improvement : kill and take the money of elderly relatives so they can't be scammed for anything, they could still get scammed for something you didn't think to scam them for otherwise

I know I am late to the party but for REAL people check on your grandparents.

My grandpa used to walk to the grocery store all the time across the street from where him and my mom stayed to get bread and small stuff. The people are familiar with him and it is not a bad part of town.

One day this FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT LADY pretended she knew him from a doctors office and tried to him to fill his prescriptions. The pharmacy (thank god) didn't have any refills for him. She told him to buy some ibuprofen and advised him to take an ungodly amount, watched him put his pin number when he as paying for it and then stole his wallet.

She was in scrubs. Everyone that worked there just thought she was his helper and he was confused when he was acting like he didn't know her. Luckily that day we had an ice cream date set up and I just happened to offer to pick him up from the store. We were able to call the bank and cancel all of his cards, and I had to call poison control because he had waaaay too much ibuprofen.

What a shit day. People, take care and check in with your resident old people. I literally tore that store the fuck up, I asked every employee what this chick looked like, asked for the tapes, placed a report, I was like hell on wheels that afternoon. It could have gone SO much worse.

Hang on, who says burglarised? :/ (figured I'd change it to an S since I'm British :p)


Upvote for admission of googleage instead of /sub/iamverysmart'ing your explanation.

That's often the best way to share a summary of a new field to someone. You don't send papers until they are already familiar with the subject.

Mmmmk lol time to get off Reddit for a while, maybe some fresh air would do me good

It could make them think they should meet new or exciting people.

My elderly slightly dementia mother was almost scammed but called me upstairs when the following call happened:

Her: Hello? Caller: Hi! Do you know who this is? Her: John? (My wealthy brother) Caller: Yeah, it's John. Hey I need you to send me $1500. I was in a car accident going to Randy's wedding in Las Vegas (Randy happens to be the name of one of her grandsons) and I broke my nose. Her: Randy got married? Caller: Yeah. But anyway, I need you to send me money because of my nose. Her: Why are you asking me for money? At which point she calls me upstairs to talk to "John" who then hung up.

It baffles me that so many older people seemingly don't have common sense. I understand if you don't understand the technology fully, but if you see an advertisement (just like you've seen for all your life and have always been skeptical of) doesn't mean you should click it. My grandfather uses the computer maybe once every six months, but doesn't even know how to navigate a webpage. He clicks on a clickbait ad every time. It's just... strange.

Phd program, links to wikipedia. Summarizes my academic experience.

My grandma had the same thing happen saying it was me stuck in a jail cell in Mexico. Luckily she mistyped her account number and didn't get the $50,000 transfer through. She asked my mom the next day if I was back home, safe, and she took care of the rest. Now my aunt controls the bulk of my grandma's finances.

Happy to know she'd pay that much for me though.


Oh yeah - jimmy is a shady lawyer but a good guy with a wholesome heart. I can only assume that his downfall into becoming Saul will be because of how desperately he wants his brothers love and his brother is the only person that can't see what a loving person he is deep down.

Got it: so I have ethics but I don't have morals.

McDonald's chicken burger? In the morning?

Dementia is a hell of a thing, they aren't nearly as mentally capable as they were when they were younger, hence why scammers target them.

Whos dan arcissist and why does he need a raise?

What? Location absolutely DOES matter. I'm a MoneyGram agent. Stuff like city does not matter, but state/country DOES. If I send a MoneyGram to Texas, I cannot pick it up in California, or India, or anywhere else.

Lol my Gram would tell them and 'me' to fuck right off and enjoy my time out.

I cannot believe to this day that so many people get scammed this way. They literally just give out personal and provate info on phone just because someone claims to be 'X officer' and 'checking on your Y account'.

I do tell my elderly relatives regularly about such things. Really, scammers and technology is getting way ahead of what people can keep up with these days.

Please explain.

This was good, and I wish I had more upvotes

There is so much wrong with this statement that I need a bullet list.

it's not an airport it's a air base

B-12 is a vitamin, it was a B-29

The B-29 is not a jet, it's a prop plane

It's not a fighter, It's a bomber

And it's background not backdrop. A backdrop is a background painted on cloth.


My friend's husband got a phone call saying they had his brother and that he owed them $1000. His brother is an unemployed drug addict so it wasn't too far fetched, and stupidly her husband said "You have [brothers name]?" They said "Yes, [brothers name]." They said they were going to kill him and come after his family if they weren't paid. My friend called me in a panic thinking they were gonna have to move and change their daughters school. I'm not sure how exactly they discovered it was a scam, might have been they called the police who told them that a lot of people had been getting similar phone calls. Luckily they didn't give them any money.

Are you also describing a sales tactic?

Brad's wife helped old people to not get scammed. After 11 years of outstanding employment, Cracker Barrel is the real scam.

Buy your relative a call blocker.

I use this one. I went from several telemarketing calls every day to receiving 1 in 3 years. All the box does it ask callers to press "1" if they are not a telemarketer. Strange, but it totally works.

This newer one makes adding numbers to your whitelist easier, but you really don't need a whitelist, except to add numbers for approved robocalls you are expecting. If you don't know the number, you can turn off the filter for a short time.

Happen to my grandma as well. Someone called her house claiming that he was my cousin visiting from the states but that customs were holding him unless she wired him $1500 to "get out". Funny thing was that his dad was with my grandma when the scammer called and he took the phone and told the scammer to go fuck himself cause he knew his son wouldn't come visit randomly without telling anyone.

My GF's dad recently told me about the woman from our local town who discovered a weight loss secret. Had to jokingly explain to him about the singles in the local area too.