Editor’s Note: Yesterday, Lovefraud posted a story from a reader whom we’ll call “Maura.” She describes how a female sociopath latched on to her recently widowed father, took over his life, and tried to hasten his demise. Read the story. Following are tips that Maura and her family learned the hard way.
Our Advice On How to Protect An Elderly Relative
This is our advice based on our experience to best protect an elderly relative should they marry a sociopath or a gold digger:
1. Immediately hire a private investigator to do a background check on the new spouse. Verify marriage status, divorce and marriage history, career history, credit history, bankruptcy, ancestry, court records, previous lawsuits, registered businesses, property ownership, number and names of children and siblings in the family as well as trade and university qualifications. You can investigate this yourself but it takes a lot longer and you may not be aware of the places you need to search or have to pay to access the site.
2. The new spouse will probably be estranged from most members of their own family and claim their family are bipolar, crazy, dead, ill or live interstate. If estranged, find out these family members’ names and the towns where they live and contact them as soon as possible. They will be grateful you called and tell you more about the sociopath’s true nature. Use an alias if you have to. The ex will tell you exactly what you are up against.
3. Educate yourself as well as everyone in your family about this disorder. Read and research as much as you can. Know the sociopath’s modus operandi and the red flags. You may only see some of the red flags. Know that behind closed doors your elderly relative will be continuously subject to all their deviant behavior. When you know how sociopaths think and behave, it helps you to preempt their devious behavior.
4. Make a written and photographic inventory of every item that your family or elderly relative owned prior to associating with the sociopath. Include brand names. This will prove the item’s existence and condition when the new spouse breaks it or claims it as their own later on. Copy or scan all your family photos and keep them in a safe place as they will be disappear or be destroyed. Find some pretext to get hold of the keepsakes, heirlooms and mementos. Replace them with fakes if need be.
5. Use your Iphone to covertly photograph every page of the sociopath’s address book. This will be invaluable when you begin exposing them.
6. Locate and photograph all the passwords to every account of the elderly relative. You can then keep an eye on the accounts and know if they are being drained.
7. Never believe a single word the sociopath says, no matter how charming, gracious or supportive they may seem. However, to the sociopath, pretend you believe them wholeheartedly. Maintain a polite, friendly demeanor and flatter them. They will look for any excuse to blacklist you.
8. Ninety-eight percent of what the sociopath will tell you is completely fabricated. Always covertly check up on their stories or claims about anyone or anything and question the veracity of such claims with family or friends. Communicate regularly, openly, and most importantly, directly with family and friends, rather than through the disordered sociopath. The sociopath will seek to create mistrust and create division by lying to you about others. This is how they destroy relationships and gain control, over incoming and outgoing information. Their ultimate goal is to have total control over your elderly relative.
9. Record every conversation you have with them on your IPhone. This is VERY IMPORTANT. This can be done with the cover closed. Never let the sociopath know that you are aware of what they are doing, but instead act very impressed by their grandiose claims. Ask innocent, leading questions in the course of the conversation, for example when, where, why and how, and record all answers. Listen, observe, record, and then store all the recordings to a safe place. You can also buy USB sticks or keys on eBay that are actually recording devices. Attach to your key ring etc, turn on, and casually leave lying around the elderly relative’s home. Do not let anyone know you are doing this. Type up transcripts of conversations. This is very revealing as to how what they say just doesn’t make sense. It also shows how devious and manipulative they are in.
10. Never confide in the sociopath or divulge any personal information or feelings about yourself or anyone in your family. It will be used in a smear campaign against you at a later date. Be dull and uninteresting in their presence, minimizing one-on-one conversations. Talk about the most mundane things. When they ask questions about you or your family be vague and forgetful or change the subject.
11. Refrain from emotional displays such as tears, anxiety, disappointment, anger, hurt, or fear as that tells the sociopath what upsets you and how to hurt you further.
12. Whenever you deal with them be cool, calm and business-like. Show no fear or weakness and never apologize to them or beg and plead with them. When the sociopath creates drama or pressures you for an immediate response to any issue, always say that you will think about it and get back to them.
13. Always have another person/relative present whenever you visit them. That way everything can be verified by your witness.
14. Never let the sociopath mind your house, pets or children. The sociopath will snoop and rifle through every drawer and paper. They will also use this as an opportunity to covertly pit your children against each other and you.
15. Make sure that either you, other family members, the family lawyer or accountant have medical and financial power of attorney for your elderly relative. Keep these documents in a safe place. At some stage the sociopath will try to gain control of this for their own personal gain.
16. If you suspect the sociopath is cheating in their relationship, tail them or have your friends or a private detective do so. If possible obtain photographs of the liaison. Install a tracking device on their car.
17. If the sociopath ever wants you or your family to sign or witness anything, insist on reading all the fine detail in the document first. If they pull the line “Don’t you trust me?,” just smile and say you trust them implicitly, but that you always read the fine print first as you only want what is best for them, and you would never forgive yourself if they were defrauded in any way. Never be bullied with the excuse that it is urgent.
18. Never let the sociopath have access to you or your family’s computer, email, address book, financial records, investments etc.
19. Never finance, bankroll or become a business partner in any of their business ventures. They will swindle or bankrupt you.
20. Never rely on the sociopath’s hearsay as to what a doctor, lawyer, accountant, police, pastor etc said. Deal directly with these people and always VERIFY. Obtain your own copy of this documentation and keep it in a safe place.
21. Remember that sociopaths fear being exposed. They do not want the truth about them to be known. Keep records of every interaction with them. Who, what, where and why. Events, actions, words spoken, date and time and place. This will confirm your recollections against their warped version. Build up an arsenal of evidence with documents, recordings, texts, emails letters and transcripts. You then have a rock solid case.
22. Always stay in touch with your elderly relative, despite the sociopath’s efforts to keep you away. Let the elderly relative know that you support and care about them. You are just waiting to help anytime if and when needed.
23. Sociopaths fear losing control. Love to them means ownership and control. The elderly relative belongs to them. The sociopath loves this elderly relative in proportion to how much they can use them. Their loyalty ends where the benefits stop. When sociopaths lose their grip or control over someone, the mask of pretension will be dropped and you get to experience their full on rage.
24. Covertly videotape their rages. Install a Nanny -Cam to find out how they treat your elderly relative when you aren’t there.
25. Keep copies of your elderly relative’s birth certificates, drivers license, bank accounts, passport, loan documents, car registration in a safe place. Backup everything on your computer.
26. Ensure that your elderly relative’s will is in the form of a testamentary trust. Check this regularly as the new spouse will at some stage make themselves the sole beneficiary.
27. Find an aggressive, pit bull lawyer as soon as you suspect that the new spouse is a sociopath or gold digger. This lawyer must have experience in dealing with sociopaths swindling the elderly. If you are involved in legal proceedings know that the sociopath will lie under oath and expect outrageous, false allegations of abuse and hostility. Expect false claims of living expenses and needless delays. They see ultimatums or pressure as threats or games. The sociopath does not play by the rules.
28. Remember that the more charming the sociopath is, the more suspicious you need to be.
29. Unfortunately there is no known help for a sociopath. They cannot be fixed, healed or helped and are incapable of any form of change.