Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Birthdays

Yesterday we celebrated Sweetie's 67th birthday - which I have been celebrating for awhile now as I've been saying for months that he's 67! Ah well, he's taken it in stride.

Dad took us to dinner at our favorite place and two of us enjoyed eating beef! Prime rib for Sweetie, rib eye for me and fish for Dad. Later we stopped at the grocery and picked up a pecan pie and strawberry cheesecake. Sweetie had stayed up til 5 a.m. yesterday so he slept in until 12:30 p.m. as did Dad. I got plenty of things done while they slept and occasionally checked to see if they were still breathing!

This morning I fixed the guys fried ham and eggs, toast, juice and coffee and now Dad has gone back to bed. Sweetie's playing Freecell and thinking, I'm sure. Once again the land contract payment is overdue and once again we're both holding our breath and hoping and praying it will arrive soon. If the buyers can manage to make payments for nine more years then we're free of the place downstate. If not, well, I really don't want to imagine that scenario. Like our banker here says: "Receiving payments from them, even if they're late, is better than them walking away. Look at them as though they're renters..."

Would be a great thing to do if we had several thousand in reserve.

In other news my Dad was the victim of a bank scam. We would never have known about it if I hadn't questioned him for the third time about a "book they're publishing" that he wanted to send a photo in to. Two days ago he said, "the nice man who called me already had my bank account number and wanted to record what he told me and my answers so it was okay to take money out."

This "nice man" called him about two weeks ago while we were either outside or not at home. The strange thing is he reached my Dad by calling OUR phone number. Few people know our number or that Dad's here and our phone seldom ever rings!

Two hours later a friend of his called. "We wondered if your Dad mailed his contribution to our ministry because we haven't received it," he said. By then it was too late to contact the bank but we stopped there yesterday. We surmise someone lifted his donation from our mailbox, or elsewhere in the process, then used the account info to access money. Dad's missing check has NOT been cashed but two ACH debits have gone through: the first for a small amount from one phony company; the second a large amount from another company. According to the bank, this is a common practice. The first is a "test run" and then the real damage is done.

Add to this pressure the fact that Dad gets confused and we have a real challenge on our hands. He also steadfastly refused to add my name to his account as an authorized signature because he claims my dearly beloved brother "handles everything!" My brother is his executor but is nearly always playing mercenary overseas. I emailed his long-suffering wife about the bank scam and she forwarded it to my brother. HE responded by saying I'm the one raiding Dad's account and that set off a round of fighting between the unhappily married couple.

My brother, who cheats on his wife and was fired from his assignment in Jordan, is now holed up with a "friend" over there while he tries to find an assignment in Kabul! Like his wife says, "Maybe a sniper will hit his target."

So, closer monitoring of my Dad's financial affairs is in order.

We also learned that local banks in this little corner of the world are not exempt from fraud. The bank's security person said attempts to steal account information happen daily and much of it ends up being unrecoverable. The scams happen quickly and the jerks change accounts, locations, etc. HOURLY.

Another reason to keep cash at home guarded by a loaded gun.

4 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Happy Birthday to your sweetie. And thanks for the heads up on how vulnerable our older folks are these days. We take care of the finances for both our parents and it is a daunting job sometimes. We have not stayed on top of things as much as we should and you really brought that need home to us - we will be watching much more. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

If the withdrawals are within the last 2 accounting cycles (2 months) you can submit a dispute form with the bank. You fill out the form at the bank.

Hope that helps.

Stephanie said...

Happy birthday to your hunny:) Sorry to hear about your dad. But I agree, do not keep money in the bank. I have a savings account strictly for cashing checks. Thats it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the update....hope it all works out