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Protecting yourself from scams and unethical practices


Tadoo
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As in all beautiful retirement communities there are people who choose to target individuals they believe they can take advantage of for profit.  I have recently experienced this first hand in your community with my father being a victim.  I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking to many residents who state this is too common an occurrence however difficult to monitor and prevent.  I am looking into the police and legal side of this issue in our case but thought why not start or keep the discussion going. The best way to monitor or address unethical people is to know about them and discuss with your neighbors, discuss with new people who are coming to join your community, discuss with anyone who has a vested interest.  

There are lawyers, there  are retirement residences, there are individuals posing as support workers or even worse posing as friends with the sole intention of benefitting financially. As a community you can prevent someone from going thru such loss and such a violation simply thru discussion.  Form a home grown better business bureau, a panel of residents who can confirm and research complaints, concerns and experiences.  

Issues that seem impossible to fix or simply convincing yourself that is just the way it is ...or it won't happen to me or my loved ones, those are the issues that need discussion the most. 

I work in policing and live in a city known for retirement opportunities. I see first hand these same issues and also see how the community can clamp down on these people who act as if they are a friend but their agenda is far from it.  I hope if nothing else some awareness or discussion takes place when you are choosing or referring a professional or member of the community to others so they can have a positive experience and simply enjoy their new life in such a wonderful location.  

Thank you 

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1 hour ago, Tadoo said:

With Alzheimer's it is difficult ...one of the reasons he was a target.  Simply trying to make people aware and be cautious 

 

Thank you. I understand your pain about your father. It's hard to monitor relatives when they're in another country. There are good care facilities here, also.

I had elderly relatives successfully targeted by caretaker thieves of various types, in California, New York and PA. It is disturbingly common everywhere, More common than we're generally aware, I think.

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I know the person that is being scammed, and it is such a shame.  One person claimed to be a friend of his, and had the victim sign away his car to this stranger.  When the daughter came here to see her father, the enemy would not let her have her father's car. She had to go to great expense and work to get her father's car.  This older gentleman is a sweetheart and would not ham anyone.  I can't believe this thief is treating the victim this way.  Beware of people who claim to be friends of older sick victims.  They are able to get all of their valued possessions and money, and because the victim's mind is not right, they can walk away from the victim and laugh.  BEWARE!!!

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28 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

Where was the caregiver? They have a special duty with memory care clients.

Apparently the "caregiver" was the perpetrator. Their special duty was to rob them. Sadly a growing form of crime to include hired professionals as well as family. Shameful. 

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It was not a doctor ....the medical field has been fantastic as have most of the people there.  This was a so called (canadian) friend who took control of the finances and worked wth a lawyer who we have since found out did some questionable work for dad in past. There were documents recently found during dads hospitalization dated this December giving this person his car computer and all his possessions, we have also uncovered a new will written at a time when the Alzheimer's was already evident leaving the lawyer a chunk of money and this friend signing it as a witness. They continue to present as being ethical or doing what they felt was best ..clearly per documents and actions that is simply a scam. 

To be clear the money that is now gone from the Mexican bank accounts and his possessions per his original will were to go to the Lake Chapala area children and women in need.  I have taken what he has left and that he is no longer able to enjoy or use and with the assistance of some true friends donated them to local charities per his original requests.   

If you have a good take on who you are dealing with professionally or personally that is fantastic....for those who maybe needing legal services or a personal caregiver simply suggesting you ask around and talk to friends or family so they can be in the loop. 

 

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6 minutes ago, court0503 said:

Posting specifics on the Wall of Shame Facebook page would be a real service to the community. 

Posting specifics would also be a real service.  Many of us do not or will not use Facebook and that should not be required in order to benefit from valuable information.

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This is so unfortunate, I have seen Gringos  taken advantage in almost everything.  Unfortunately most depend on people who speak English and they feel comfortable.  I even know of a lady who had a very trusted lawyer and yes he speaks perfect English and this lady died.  When her daughter came down, oops the lawyer showed her a Spanish will that gave all to the lawyer.  And yes you all know who this lawyer is.

People should learn the language and when in doubt of a document, have a translator put the document in your language. There are licensed translators in this area.  

Ask around if in doubt, get other quotes, do not be taken advantage of just because someone speaks English. 

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Sadly as people age they sink into depression, some are not only dealing with dementia but pain and loneliness.  While some people here have family members, a lot of people do not, and those are the ones that seem to be the most vulnerable.  We have vultures in the area that seek to prey on the elderly and sick people and as Daisy said a lot of it can be attributed to the lack of language skills.  

It is very sad when a person gives freely to the community, as the person being referred to in this post has done for many years, is taken advantage of so blatantly by supposedly professional representatives of the law and friendly faces that promised to take care of his financial affairs.  Simple math doesn’t take a genius to work out a solution.  When a person is getting a nice pension and only paying 6000 pesos a month for rent, questions are bound to rise!  

Thankfully this person has family and friends that care.  Hopefully something can be done to offset some of these people that prey on the elderly and sick.  

Thanks for the mention of the Facebook site Wall of Shame, that should be very interesting!

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If the lawyer changed the will when the person was incapacitated,  that is against the law.  If his doctor would sign as to his mental state at the time of the will, you can file a denuncia against the lawyer with the federal agency who oversees legal issues.

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  • 2 weeks later...

yes it is and we are looking into that as well as other options hearing this is not the first time for the lawyer and as far as the so called care giver we are certainly trying to determine if he has done this before..someone so focused on getting what he wants, it cant be the first time and he has lived there 15 years.   That facebook page of shame ..is it under chapala society ??

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On 1/20/2018 at 2:30 PM, Tadoo said:

The best way to monitor or address unethical people is to know about them and discuss with your neighbors, discuss with new people who are coming to join your community, discuss with anyone who has a vested interest.  

aka gossip.

Call the police:  Wrong country.

Get a lawyer:  Good idea, get screwed twice.

Of course the weak and feeble are most targeted.  Just watch Animal Kingdom.  It's the #1 reality of our planetary existence.   One born every minute.

Make up some fliers with his/her pix on it.  Drive round town and throw them out the car's window.  Taking his/her picture is easier than you might think.  Sorry for your loss.   

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Most Canadians may already be aware but the RCMP are in Mexico City and available to assist/liaise with the local police should you have a criminal issue.  Our dad is Ross Brownridge also in recent years known as the candy man.  Although his good nature and love to be around people initiated the giving of candy the illness magnified the gesture to almost an obsessive routine.  He trusted people and was clearly an easy mark.  We are still consulting with legal on charges and any other legal option against his so called friend and past lawyer, once that is concluded i will be posting all info for the community so you know the true character of these 2.

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Ross Brownridge, one of the nicest people I ever met. Anywhere. I am sorry to hear this. I only just found out through this forum that he was no longer in his own home, and now this.

I hope you have access to his computer with the thousands of photos stored on it, showing his many travels and friends around the world.

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It is not just the mentally challenged people that can have problems.  Recently on the Facebook page Wall of Fame someone posted how thrilled they were that strangers had gone out of their way to help them.  One evening they were having a few drinks in a local establishment and asked the waitress to call them a taxi to get home.  An unmarked vehicle was summoned, supposedly the personal vehicle of the owner of the establishment with her relative at the wheel.  As pointed out by another post, the gringos didn't know the owner or her relative, yet they got into a strange vehicle with the expectation of being taken home.  And they were.  BUT, what if the "helpful" folks weren't so helpful.  Would they have gotten into a strange car summoned by a stranger in the US or Canada?  I would hope not.  But here, other people are so friendly and helpful, what's the harm?  Not everything here is as it seems.  And one must still use common sense.  And perhaps look with askance at more situations.

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