1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

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help needed - junk mail

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by louisa, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. louisa

    louisa Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    my grandmother has a huge problem with junk mail and junk competitions. we have halted anymore being sent through to her, but she keeps spending hundreds each month on these cons and we are at a loss of how to help her. we have signed up with the local police and her address has been protected, but apparently we cannot stop the mail of 'companies' she is in correspondance with. she refuses to allow us to have her mail re-directed so we can sort these con letters out. we are really worried now as she is spiralling into debt. is there anyone who has handled this before? all advice would be gratefully recieved.
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Louisa, this is just off the top of my head. Would she really know if you had her mail redirected.!!! Just don't tell her, and after sifting through the mail maybe you could co-opt a neighbour to deliver same.

    Just an idea. I realise you do not want to be underhand, but I cannot think of anything else. Take care, Connie
  3. louisa

    louisa Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    thank you connie for your reply, we have thought about it, but it requires forging her signature, and she gets upto 10 posts a day (all the orders she has to place to claime the prizes) that she would notice. she is so defensive it is very difficult, we will be keeping that as a last resort though.
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Louisa, so sorry. Of course you are in possession of all the facts, so can see more of the problem. Can't think what else to suggest. Let us know if you come up with a solution. Regards, Connie
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Frankly, I'd forge her signature.

    Not to be recommended for anything financial or legal, but to divert mail....

    I know it is not a comfortable thing to do.

    The alternative is to try and identify the places she is writing to and contact them to explain the problem. If they won't desist then threaten them with exposure to TV's Watchdog or similar.

    The problem then is how she initially contacts the companies - if she uses adverts in papers and magazines, then you are back to square one, running all the time to try and catch her up.

    Try the Alzheimer's Society Help Line for advice.
  6. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    Has she set up an EPA (Enduring Power of Attorney)? If so you would not be forging her signature , just signing on her behalf. When Aunt went into a care home and we re-directed mail we were amazed (and horrified) by the amount of "begging" letters she received. We wrote to all of them direct and most did stop but there are a few that still come through. If I ever get time I will be following up on these few but for the moment they go where they belong - in the bin! When we were clearing the house we found literally hundreds of them.

    - When we are up at the house checking it over I have even had phone calls direct from some of the "charities" asking to speak to her - they go away with a flea in their ear but heaven knows how many try to ring when there is no-one there to answer. It makes my blood boil that someone so vulnerable can be targetted in this way.

    I have no objection to supporting genuine causes but believe we should all be allowed to make our choices through personal experience and by identifying them ourselves - as difficult as it is for the charities to get the support they need this is not something that should be allowed to be sold direct.

    And there are some very doubtful organisations out there...

  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Regarding all the unsolicited junk mail - and phone calls - you can stop the UK ones by connecting to the following web site:


    No signature required.

    It does not cover situations where someone is already on a database of respondents [where they have responded to an advert or mailing shot], or where the call comes from outside the UK.
  8. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    You could phone up all the companies who bother her and pretend on the phone that you are your grandmother. Lie to them and say that "you" (your grandmother) has moved house, and ask them to send correspondence to a "new" address (such as your own address). Then hopefully your grandmother won't get any more mail from them. I don't know if this will work, it depends how many different databases her address is on.

    This kind of marketing/scamming is incredible isn't it? I recently got a letter delivered to me at my Mum's address (I used to live there, but I moved out a couple of years ago). The letter was addressed directly to me, and was asking if I wanted to sell the house (it was from an estate agent). How on earth did they get my name? I have never registered with that or any estate agent using my Mum's address!
  9. louisa

    louisa Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    thank you all for your suggestions, i shall be following them up and will let you know how they went. if there are any more ideas i would still be grateful. Im writing to my MP for help with this as well as I can't believe there is no legislation that protects vulnerable people from these companies.
  10. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    South Coast
    My husband used to pick up the mail and hide it or destroy it if I didn't get there first!

    We live within a few minutes walk of our local sorting office, so I went in and explained the situation to the manager and asked him if he could hold our mail for me to collect. He and the other staff were very understanding and for several months until my husband was admitted to hospital I used to pop in on my way to the shops (usually with my husband, who never questioned the new postal arrangements!) and collect our post.

    Of course, this only works if you live conveniently near to your local sorting office.

    Good luck with all the things you are trying, but if all else fails and I were in your position I would follow Brucie's idea and forge a signature (awful thing to have to do, but one gets used to doing awful things, like lying to one's nearest and dearest, I found).

    As well as the Mail Preference Service there is also a Telephone Preference Service. I registered with both and it has almost completely eliminated unwanted mail and phone calls.

    Best wishes

  11. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    we only tell white lies and with the best possible intent,we all do it so don't feel too bad about it.
    I am not sure but I think mail can be left at a local post office for collection
  12. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Post box

    My husband spent many months hiding mail from me - always with the best intention of surprising me with something nice / interesting when I returned from work. Problem was, that he would either forget that something had arrived, or he would almost certainly forget where he had put it 'for safekeeping'. - For an avid book collector, the possibilities of tucking away envelpes were, of course, endless. The easier 'hiding places' were on top of the fridge or kitchen cupboards, but I am afraid we missed bank statements, hospital appointments, a whole number of things.
    I felt very guilty for spoiling his little bit of fun when I purchased a metal letter box. Amazingly, he has never noticed it is there, nor has he questioned why there is less mail these days. Some of it still comes through the door, because some postmen simply ignore my yellow notice asking them to leave mail in the mail box ....

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