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Alzheimer's Society Innovation Hub

Scams! Are vulnerable people being scammed without banks knowing or being unable to stop transactions?

by Michelle Davies | 5 months ago | in Banking and dementia

We have heard from some carers about their loved ones investing money in scams, on these occasions many months or even a year before any diagnosis of dementia. In these cases the carers were not aware of their spouses investments, some were made through their family run business accounts and resulted in losing tens of thousands of pounds. The carers were aware of their loved ones having some mild cognitive issues at the time, but hadn’t felt they were ready or able to seek help and didn’t know about the investments until it was too late. The diagnosis that tended to follow in these cases was a diagnosis of fronto-temporal dementia.

We would like to know is this issue something you have experienced or know of someone who has? Do you think this is something which is still happening, with banks being unaware or even unable to stop such transactions when a person may be having cognitive difficulties prior to having a diagnosis of dementia?  If so, vote for this challenge.

edited on Nov 16, 2020 by Michelle Davies
Michelle Davies

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Jennifer Bute 4 months ago

This is difficult but once one knows there is a problem it is easy to alert the bank and set up a checking system to all money movements over a certain amount That is what I have done and they have authority to contact my son if they are concerned


Matthew Harrison 4 months ago

This was a big problem with my father. He got sucked into a scam, 'irish lottery' sending endless cheques for £91 to the scheme, convinced he was involved in a business deal, and was destined to get a big windfall. We had endless discussions and arguments, going through the fineprint on the letters, looking on the web, and nothing would convince him to stop (he lived on his own at the time). It was the loss of dignity for a previously sucessful business man to admit that he had been scammed and the money spent already had been wasted. We estimate he spent ~£10k on this scam. However, it was one of the major factors in us arragning live-in care for him (at a cost of around £60k / year). So from a purely financial perspective, perhaps the scam was cheaper. Of course, the care became necessary for many aspects of his daily life in the end, but it was a complex issue. He was obsessed with this lottery, on his mind most of the time, and driving irrational behaviours like leaving the house in the middle of the night to go to the postbox to meet 'lottery deadlines', and writing endless letters to the lottery organisers.