By | June 25, 2012 20 Comments

An elderly couple scammed, and refuse to believe they were scammed

“He was always very nice,” Miriam Parker, age 84, said of the man who scammed her and her husband out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s an unbelievable story of how the elderly are defrauded, and how they refuse to believe they are being defrauded, which sets them up for losing even more.

Read Elder fraud: One couple’s losses and hard lessons, on

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This couple, as the article says, were highly educated. It sounds like their minds were slipping a bit, but it also sounds like greed.

I’d venture to say that, because of their age, they weren’t too savvy when it comes to Internet predators.

That the woman still thought her kids were out to ruin her chances for wealth, not too sure about that. Denial, greed, or her mind’s gone.

The guy who took their money? He’s gonna go straight, he’s gonna return to Canada and MAYBE take care of his aging father, and then in classic P fashion said, “Look how this has ruined my life. You think I care about them?” You never did, Bozo.

I feel most badly for the children.

Ox Drover

The article mentions the thing that I have found both professionally in working with families and patients of elderly who are losing their judgment but are not actually “senile”—that early stage where they lose their judgment in making decisions etc. is the most difficult.

Some research shows that the inability to tell an “obvious” lie from the truth is one of the first signs of this state of poor judgment and it is what makes these elderly the MOST VULNERABLE victims for the scammers.

The elderly are not “insane” or even “demented” but they lack the critical judgment to discern truth from fiction.

A while back I talked about my elderly neighbor who was being scammed by a meth-ho that he picked up in a wal mart parking lot….and he was starting to lie himself in order to con money from friends and neighbors, even stealing gas out of his daughter’s parked vehicle when she wasn’t home, and other such things, yet he was not So far gone that he could be “declared” and put away even for his own safety. It is not against the law to neglect your own care, even if you are suffering from poor judgment.

Scammers know this and play this for all it is worth!

My mother, after being scammed screamed out in frustration, “but they were ALWAYS SO RESPECTFUL TO ME!” LOL Yea, I was not “respectful” but they were so that meant that they were telling the truth and I was lying! LOL (i.e. I didn’t tell her what she wanted ot hear so that meant I was not respectful!) LOL

I too feel badly for the children, it is always painful for children to have to become the parents of adults who no longer have their judgment intact. Having worked with these patients and their families, and seen the way it causes pain and frustration on the part of all concerned, I know it is never easy. The early stages of the senility are always the worst and most painful.


He looks nice, he acts nice, he talks nice – how can you think he’s not being nice to me? He’s doing me a favor!

My mother was scammed out of about $650 or so from some guy who called the house who promised to sell her time-share for her. I forget why he said that he needed the money.

She thinks she is the smartest of the smartest and was mortified that she sent him anything. I asked her why she hadn’t discussed it with me. She looked very sheepish, but the smartest of the smartest don’t ask their kids for help.

Later on, she denied that this ever happened.

I will never forget the day that she told me. It was one of the very few times that she has ever admitted that she was wrong.

This was when my son was very little so her mind was fine. It still is, as far as I know.

She was greedy, that’s all.

this article was triggering. it’s amazing how the spaths can make us believe the unbelievable.

I just finished reading a book about cog/diss.

It addressed how elderly people are conned and how to get them to see the truth.

The problem with getting them to see the truth, is that their kids will tell them how stupid they were. The key is to tell them how their GOOD features made them vulnerable. Explain to them that they are trusting and good people and taken advantage of because of that. This makes them much more open to believing that they’ve been conned.

Interestingly, I’ve also read that sometimes narcissists end up in therapists offices. The only way to succeed, even part way with a narcissist, is to kiss up to them first. Once you’ve done that, they are more open to hearing what you have to say.

It’s sad that this is the only way that works for some people because that’s exactly what spaths do to con. The love bomb goes in first, then the devastation.

I’ve been to spath websites where spaths discuss their strategies, and they do say that narcissists are their favorite food. ugh.

ash phoenix

Skylar, are there seriously websites where these sickos hang out and discuss their strategies?? That creeps me out. Talk about an unholy cabal. No wonder spaths seem to share the same vocabulary. Have you noticed how many times the words: ‘soulmate’; ‘perfect match’ etc crop up in the stories on the Blog? (Exspath used those on me too). They have obviously learned certain ‘scripts’ by rote!


Skylar, it is truly mind-boggling. The article was, indeed, triggering and I felt frustrated for the victims, as well as for their adult children. HOW can adult children “protect” their parents when the cog/diss or reduced judgment is so overwhelming?

My brother has an master’s in business and had a very successful career. He is not, by any means, “stupid.” But, he has been scammed several times, and I don’t want to go too in-depth about his own issues (I’ve got my OWN to sort out!), but he’s got a shame-core that’s pretty solid, and no interest in sorting it out. He’s probably lost well over 100K in bad investment schemes – that I know of. That doesn’t include giving money to people “in need.”

And, he’s not even ELDERLY!

Skylar…….that is terrifying to me that there are websites that discuss spath strategies. I mean, it’s simply terrifying.


Ash, you BET there are – ever heard of “NAMBLA?” It’s a group of men who have a sexual interest in boys. They discuss how to choose the easiest target, how to ingratiate themselves to these victims, and how to move in for the proverbial kill.

Before the interwebs were in every home and on every cell phone, these predators would either have to sort out their schemes, alone, or supress their vile interests. Now, it’s a predatory free-for-all that has been ostensibly protected by “free expression.”


ash phoenix

It is simply revolting – I don’t even want to think about it! But forewarned is forearmed. As parents / grandparents/ aunts/ uncles etc. we all have to do our bit to educate and protect the children. I am going to ensure that mine read ‘Red Flags’ as a start.


Law & Order SVU did an episode on NAMBLA.

I don’t think I could look at websites like that. It would be too triggering.

Sky, what’s the same of the book you just finished?


I feel that the issue is that there have always been predators – throughout human history, there have been the overt predators, and the opportunistic ones, and this is part of the Human Condition, IMHO.

What does a lioness look for when she’s hunting to feed her cubs? She looks for “tells” of the infirmed, the tired, the slow, the weak – the vulnerable. This instinct is a mechanism for survival, and she hunts without malice. Human predators, on the other hand, hunt with malice and that is what separates the intentions.

Human predators aren’t looking for vulnerabilities so their offspring survive. They’re “hunting” other human beings for their own gain – sexual, financial, whatever.


Ugh, Truth, you are so right. Explotation to the nth degree.

Ox Drover

The elderly who are in the EARLY stages of losing their judgment, like Doug’s dad that sent the woman $1.2 million dollars, usually have some idea that they may be “losing it” because they become forgetful—where did I put the car keys or forgetting to pay the light bill….but they don’t want their kids to know about this, and they DENY it.

My neighbor “grandpa” that was scammed by the meth-ho he met in the parking lot, who showed up every first of the month when he got his check and disappeared the day it was gone totally DENIED he had any problems. My egg donor was actually DRUGGED by the Trojann Horse Psychopath, to the point that she was slurring words, could hardly walk and was sleeping most of the time…but she denied totally that she was drugged. I personally would have thought that she would have jumped at the chance ot say “Oh, yea, that wasn’t me,, I was DRUGGED” but instead she denied she was drugged. I’m still not sure why.

Her judgment is not good, and after being told 9 years ago not to drive after her two strokes, she has recently decided she is quite capable of driving again. I had her insurance agent speak to her about this and she became very angry that she would be thought not safe to drive.

Funny thing, my step father who was always the driver if we were in the car, WILLINGLY TURNED OVER THE CAR KEYS to me when he got cancer. Daddy was an excellent driver and had taught driver’s ed for several years…but he didn’t have an emotional problem in admitting that maybe it was time to turn over the keys. Egg donor on the other hand has a control issue I think. He didn’t.

Most people want to remain independent, and as I have aged I have realized there are things I no longer am capable of doing for myself. Admitting this inability to do the things I enjoyed doing when I was younger, more able to do physical things, is sort of difficult, I admit. Asking for “help” in doing things I have previously done for myself is also difficult for someone who is as independent as I am. I enjoy “doing for’ myself, but sometimes there comes a point when we must admit (if we have good judgment) that we need help.

As judgment goes, but the desire for independence stays, sometimes the elderly become a danger to themselves in managing their finances and become perfect victims. As my egg donor screamed after the arrest of my DIL and the Trojan Horse “but they were ALWAYS SO RESPECTFUL TO ME!” LOL


OxD, you are so spot-on. The early stages are the easiest to exploit, I imagine. The “forgetfulness” and denial aren’t pronounced enough to be rendered as a true condition – just a symptom. And, that is the precise time when concerned family members are sort of held in suspicion.

And, the denial is something that I can completely understand. Heck, I was in denial about the nature of this progressive disease, and I would push my body past the limits of its endurance just to prove a point that I wasn’t “sick” and that I could overcome this by sheer force of will.


Oxy-your egg donor denying she was drugged. It is a physiological condition called cognitive dissonance. Read the book, “Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me.” I can’t think of the authors name. Of course it wasn’t your egg donors mistake that she was poisoned but cognitive dissonance still explains it. What I gathered from the book is that it is an ego thing which causes a complete disconnect from reality. Very excellent book. I learned a lot about my behavior and my n/h’s behavior when I read it.

Grace, the book is the same one that Just-us-5 mentioned.
I wrote a book review on my website about it.
The review is sort of an outline of what you can expect to learn about from this book. I wish I’d done a better job on the review, but I feel like I didn’t do justice to explaining how important it is to read this book.

Truth, you know we all have to fill a hunger. Animals do, people do. The problem with people is that some of us have a hunger that can’t ever be filled. And some of those resort to predation as a temporary solution. But as with all hungers, the need to hunt always returns.

kim frederick

Skylar, I enjoyed your book review. I haven’t read the book, but would like to.
Skylar, you might like to read, Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Purloined Letter.” I read it in a second book, entitled, “The Purloined Poe”. This was in a course of Literary Criticism, and Theory, and came directly before a second Professor assinged Girard. “The Purloined Letter, describes a triangle in which a sort of musical chaires game is played. This game is lost or won simply by what position in the triangle each player is in….and these positions are determined by the ability or inability to see…to see the other not seeing, to see the other seeing another not seeing….etc, etc, etc.
The second book, “The Purloined Poe,” is a remarkable collection of essays that speak to Poe’s game, and sort of reflect it’s action.
This collection contains essays by Jaques Lacan, and Jaque Derrida, as well as other Psycho-analytical critics, Phylosophers, and others. I think it ould fascinate you, and lend you food for thought in your study of Girardian Theory and Psychopathy.
Google it and see what you think.

kim frederick

Here’s a link to Poe’s, Purloined Letter.

Thank you so much for the link, Kim.
I didn’t even think to look for the story, I just read the wiki about it.
Right now, I’m on my way out the door, will read it when I get back.

Glad you liked the book review. Like I said, I think everyone should read it. It’s so important to understand how we make decisions and how those decisions affect us.

In the book, they explain that most of the time we assume that people, like animals, will choose pleasant things over unpleasant things. Cog/Dis is why that’s not always the case.

see you later.

I read the purloined letter just now!
This is what I think: The man who stole the letter is a spath.

EA Poe described the 180 rule in the way the letter was “hidden” in plain view. The letter was placed exactly in the last place you would expect to find it, out in the open.

Moreover, the envelope was turned INSIDE OUT, the seal –which had been small and red — was replaced with a large black one, the handwriting which had been masculine and bold, was replaced with feminine handwriting. Everything was 180 degrees the opposite so as to be able to leave the letter in plain sight but not be recognized.

Of course the man was described as being a crafty and evil minister, too.

What is amazing to me, is that Poe described a spath to a T. His manner of behaving (staying out all night), the 180 rule, etc… is a description of a spath. That description of a spath is in plain view, yet nobody recognized it either. Further, the example of the boy who plays marbles by sizing up the intellectual capacity of his opponent, is more spath description.

I was particularly struck by Poe’s description of the WAY in which the child was able to “mirror” his opponent’s expression and then wait until his own thoughts also mirrored the opponent’s thoughts. Then he could predict what the opponent would do.

This story was written in 1845, but the theory of mirror neurons, very recently discovered, explains empathy in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY! According to this theory, we mimic each other’s facial expressions in order to “feel” each other’s emotions. We do this subconsciously, even infants do it.

Granted, the story was written before the word psychopath/sociopath was commonly used, so I don’t expect people from that era to know. Yet, why is it being taught as being about triangulation, when it is such an apt description of psychopathy? The guy could easily be the poster child for a spath.

You are always a source of inspiration and insight, Kim. Thank you!

Ox Drover

Truth, Yea, after the aircraft crash I had NO short term memory, and couldn’t remember watching a movie tomorrow that I saw it today, I would watch it over again and it might be “familiar” but I wouldn’t remember the plot.

It really FREAKED me out that I couldn’t remember things and my son would remember one thing and I woujld remember another and we would try to figure out who was right and who was imagining things. If we hadn’t had a good relationship we would have fought….like I have seen elderly couples fight about who is right about something because one or both of them forget.

The early stages where the JUDGMENT GOES first is the hardest part to diagnose and to deal with…and an adult child or other person cannot get legal guardianship at that point, they just have to watch daddy or mommy give away everything they own to scammers or con men. Not a darn thing anyone can do to stop them, they are legally adults and until they are “incompetent” they can conduct their business even if it is not “wisely.” The thing is too, that like that 90 yr old guy that married the blonde Marilyn Monroe bimbo…can’t remember her name LOL ROTFLMAO…he could do with HIS MONEY WHAT HE WANTED TO and if it was to marry a blonde bimbo with big boobs he could do that and his kids couldn’t stop him. Ohl, I remember now, Anna Nichole Smith was her name.

Well, I hear a water melon calling my name! LOUDLY!!!

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