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    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    My DH is 57, diagnosed about 2 yrs ago. (I am also 57). Due to some issues last year, I have checked his email when I am concerned. He started spending ALL his time attached to his laptop, so I checked his messages again.

    Anyone dealt with spouse's involvement in internet scams? Apparently DH has fallen for a "romantic" scam. For those of you not familir with this, someone (beautiful young women with photos) emails that she has seen his profile/photo/etc. and thinks he sounds wonderful, etc. Then, after a few emails, "she" admits problems cause by a family member who also controls her money.........she "needs" help to get out of this situation, will come to meet him, etc. I check the credit card stuff and he know this, so he couldn't use that, but apparently, due to a potential job situation, has sent copies of driver's license, resume and military id!!! I see identify theft in his future....

    It gets even better that that. He is going to set up an off-shore bank acct. (thru agent this lovely young women suggested) to hide his assets before the divorce ( to me) so they can get married.

    Anyone been dealt with this before? Unfortunately, I was so angry, I said a few things that alerted him and I suspect his email traffic was trashed. Overseas phone numbers are in his cell phone.

    I would appreciate any advice.


    I do have an appt. with an attorney tomorrow
    I feel for you. I'm not wise enough to give any advice but I am thinking of you.
  2. this to your local police department and they will know what to do.

    What a mess.....
    PatB, I am so sorry! Last year, when my husband started going on the internet, and received a couple of e-mails of the sexual nature, I started disconnecting the computer from the DSL line before going to work each day, so that he didn't have access to the internet. I would plug it back in at night and use it, then unplug it when I went to work. He was to the point that he had no idea HOW to plug it in or where. After a couple of months, he stopped even trying. He forgot how to get online and I leave it plugged in now, and check IE history every few days just to make certain.
    I have no idea of any advice to give you in your situation. It's gone beyond my capabilities. Speaking to an attorney and reporting it to the police so that they can hopefully stop the ID theft and take care of her at the same time sounds like your best choices. Can you get the numbers off his cell phone for the police as well?
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    Unfortunately, DH is competent enough to yell when internet access is out and does not see a reason why he should have access. I did ask my son (DS is grad student and living with us and a computer student) to shut the wireless off so I could sleep the night I discovered this mess. DH immediately found a few unsecured wireless accesses in our neighborhood.

    He is competently impaired enough to not see all the flags in this scam, but still has a lot of computer skills left. I don't have any of the emails either. Can you complain to police about potential identity theft if the person involved doesn't see the potential?

    I hadn't thought of giving police the phone numbers. He guards the phone carefully and even that may be problematic, (phone calls placed are routed thru an operator), but thanks for the advice. I can't wait to see my phone bill.

    It is really scary how many scams are out there and how many people fall for them. Most of them are conducted by pros (in many countries) who know how to avoid getting caught unfortunately.

    I did speak to the Alzheimer's Assoc locally and they suggested giving any info to the Attorney Generals office.

    I do plan to schedule another exam with our neurologist asap since there has been a dramatic progression in the last year and that may be helpful in any legal steps I may need to take.

    I am trying to determine what steps I can take to protect him and our assets without causing more problems. I can track his phone calls now, but if I discontinue that line, he could get one on his own that I couldn't monitor. If I remove the computer, he can buy another, etc.

    I don't have anything useful to suggest, just an interesting observation. In today's local paper was an article about a scammer, from Nigeria, who stole photographs off the Internet of one of our local models. She had photos of herself in skimpy bikini's, etc. to persuade photographers to hire her. The scammer did exactly what PatB experienced.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    Holy smoke.

    Notify the credit agencies about the potential ID theft. They will put a big warning flag on his credit report, making it harder for ID theft to do damage.

    Notify any banks where he has accounts of any sort, to make it harder for him to move any money. If you can, change the numbers on the accounts, and on any credit cards to which he may have access.

    Google for ID theft on the web, and see what advice is given there.

    Find a way to swipe his cell phone, while he's in the shower or something. AD patients are always "misplacing" things... And give the phone to the police, so they can get the phone numbers off of it.

    See if your son can retrieve any of the emails. Just trashing them doesn't actually get rid of them -- it only changes the "address" so you don't see them any more, and the space is available for overwriting with new stuff. There is software available to help retrieve things you've trashed.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    Thinking some more ...

    There is also "spyware" that you could ask your son to install on your husband's computer. It's used to track what children are doing that might get them into trouble -- you may be able to track what your husband is doing and provide evidence for the police.

    Also, most email programs have ways to block spam, blacklist unwanted email addresses from contacting you, etc. Perhaps your son can set that up on your husband's email when your husband isn't around. Service providers usually have ways to block / blacklist, too. Your service provider may be able to tell you / your son how to go about preventing these scam emails from ever reaching your husband.

    I'm wondering if the service provider would have any way of tracing earlier emails. Emails can stay on the server for days or even weeks, if not set up to delete as soon as they're delivered.

    Address book! Most email programs maintain the addresses that are used, so you don't have to keep looking them up. See if your son can figure out how to make copies of the email addresses your husband uses, and provide that to the police.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    My husband, by the way, fell for several on-line scams, but nothing as ominous as this. He thought he was going to get something for free on some rather questionable web sites -- credit reports, for one thing, from what looks like a legitimate credit report agency -- and gave out his debit card number. I saw automatic deductions that I didn't recognize coming out of his checking/debit card account, realized someone had gotten the number from him, hauled him to the bank, and changed the account number. (It was kind of easy to tell he hadn't purchased anything in Singapore recently.)

    After the third time, I simply told him I was going to have to keep his card, and if he wanted to buy something on-line, to just let me know and I'd help him. He wasn't a happy camper, but he gave me the card.

    Fortunately, he's never been particularly computer-literate. He asked me to handle his email correspondence a couple of years ago, so none of those rotten scammers has been able to get through to him that way.

    Makes your skin crawl.
    It does. Fortunately, my husband's meagre computer skills were the first thing to go, but I have to watch phone calls.
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
    Thanks for all your suggestions.
    I am feeling a little better tonight. After checking some more emails in another account, it appears DH couldn't/wouldn't come up with funds to seed the scammer's plan and he is getting the cold shoulder from his new friends. Hopefully is isn't just an attempt to get him to pay out. I have checked credit reports and so far ok. Plan to put some freezes on those to ensure it stays that way.
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2008
    I can see I'm lucky. My husband just got bored with his computer and his email. His virus checker kept the worst of the scams off the computer. At this point I'm doing what little email he has left coming in from my computer on the Web. The only reason I'm keeping the address alive is in case someone from his past starts sending him mail again. The last time that happened, I sent a message explaining what was going on. There are a few more people out there who deserve an explanation, but only if they try to contact him. Otherwise I will let it slide. If he is sick enough next Christmas I'll send out one more Christmas letter explaining what is going on to everyone. If not, I'll probably let the whole Christmas letter and card go.

    By the way, if the original poster has an ISP that allows Web mail, that might be a good way for the son to check up on what kinds of mail his father is getting and from where.
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2008
    This morning I met with an attorney about my concerns over this potential identity theft/scam. She suggested I get conservatorship and this way I could not only protect our funds from this scam, but also any others he might fall for. She also brought in a partner who handles this and she is proceeding on an emergency conservatorship.

    I called his psychiatrist and he said he would sign paperwork indicating he is unable to manage his affairs (this is not required, but helpful as a judge won't contradict the dr.) All the pros and cons were carefully explained (and my DS was there for support).

    They will serve him papers (and I was offered the opportunity to be there at the time or not), and I should consider that he may blow up over this. He will be appointed an atty. to insure his best interest, and hopefully he will not realize that this may not be the same as what he wants. He may hire an atty. of his own which will be more money and he would pursue DH's desire, not necessarily his best interests.

    DS has acquired access to the accounts and I now get copies of all his ingoing and outgoing mail. I will email the atty. with copies of what I have which she believes will help. It is classic scam stuff.

    This morning has been as emotionally exhausting as the original diagnosis was, but I have no doubts or regrets. If our positions were reversed, he would do the same.

    I strongly suggest that anyone whose spouse has any access to a computer or phone (regardless of skills) do some searching and acquaint themselves with the countless scams out there so they can be aware of what could happen and possibly see the warning signs.

    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2008
    Thanks for letting us know how things are going. I've been worried about you...
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2008
    It is a very scary situation, but I feel better having a plan in place, although it will be difficult. I had to call other two sons and inform them about this. The court will send them letters, so the atty. recommended let them know in advance. DS3 lives with us and see this stuff happening, but the others see him only every few months, so one was in shock and the other wants me to keep him happy, involved with activities, etc. See some denial in that kid.

    p.s. first grandbaby is coming in Nov.!
    • CommentAuthorjoyce43*
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2008
    I know you can contact the credit bureaus and let them know you want to be contacted by phone if any applications for credit is requested under your husbands social security nmber.

    This is a very scary situation and I would make sure to contact the police about it.