How did this happen?


Registered User
Sep 17, 2007
Just feel as though I need to get this off my chest!
My father who is in early stages of this disease has managed to get himself a credit card from the bank which he is merrily spending on!! Thinking that it is a new debit/cash point card, unbeknown to me and him that he is clocking up amounts of money, which to be fair is not too much but is elevating due to the late payment. I am not sure how he managed to get this as he is a pensioner and has a limited income. It is hard to stop this happening as he seems to say yes to everything and anything, on the phone or otherwise! We have now explained to him, removed the card and are in the process of paying this amount off but how will we know that it will not happen again. I have tried to speak to the bank and they say that they will log it on their system but I am not sure that I believe them!:( :


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
My mother use to do that use her credit card , rather then money .

does make you wonder how the banks can give him a card when on a low income. sure someone will have more advice then I , in how you can prevent that happening again in the future


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
You can write to an address (sorry dont know what it is) but I'm sure someone will, where you can stop junk mail, this may cut down on some of these credit card companies sending out application forms. I think there is also a way of stopping sales phone calls, but you would need to speak to BT about that.

Best wishes


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi Steviel,

I'm sure I'm not alone in receiving at least one offer of a new credit card in the post every day. Credit seems so easy to come by, and we are all being encouraged to get more and more in to debt. We had a client who successfully obtained a credit card even though he had been declared bankrupt. :eek: So I'm not surprised that your Dad obtained a card.

Do you know if he applied by post or over the telephone? To avoid unsolicited sales calls see

or for unsolicited mail

Hope I'm not breaking the new advertising code Brucie which I confess I have only glanced at.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I have no idea if this would work, but it occurs to me that in the same way you can place a letter on your file at the credit reporting agencies explaining an issue with your credit, could you not place a letter explaining this situation. Now I can see there would be downsides to this, not the least being that the letter would have to come from your father, and that might be impossible.

I suspect that this happens more than we hear: companies are so eager to push credit on their customers that an elderly person who owns their own home free and clear and who pays their bills on time might have an excellent credit score. Of course a sure fire way (I would think) of ensuring this doen't happen again is not to actually pay this bill off, therby trashing his credit, but I can see that this would be drastic step to take, as well as extremely distressing to your father, so I'm not actually advocating it. There might be some point though, instead of simply paying it off, going to a debt counsellor (contact your local CAB for referrals) and getting them to negotiate a repayment schedule. That way, a report would go to the credit agencies so that no more offers are likely to be forthcoming.

Edited to add: see this story here There's also a list of organiszations that may be able to help.
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Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi Steve .....

Sorry not meaning to scaremonger, but it was the point at which I recognised (amongst other things) that mum was entering into financial 'contracts' of which she had no real understanding that prompted me to register EPA.

However much we try to protect from 'junk mail and marketing' there might always be someone on the High Street or even knocking on the door to whom dad might say 'yes' ......

One benefit of having registered mum's EPA is that the 'corporates' that used to inundate her with 'junk' have now also removed her name from their marketing lists ........ damage limitation on what she may ever receive that she could attempt to sign even if the contract was invalid ....

A downside - but illustration that even declaring 'mental incapcity' and registering EPA doesn't afford full protection unless you are there to grab the post as it arrives - I have just this week removed a piece of 'spam' marketing received at mum's address .... addressed to my father who has been dead some 8 years ..... How lucky was I that she didn't ring the number given to 'claim the prize' allegedly being held in my deceased father's name .....?????:mad:

It seems 'nigh impossible' to completely prevent exposure to scams or marketing ....... unless anyone knows different - and therefore please enlighten me!!!!!!! :(

Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I think you've done all you can do practically, Karen. Mail I suppose you could have redirected but that won't stop phone calls, or things stuffed through the letter box, or people who call in person. One slightly bright side about the letter addressed to your father is that means they are working from an extremely old mailing list, which should cost them money.

Edited to add: what is really worrisome about steviel's situation is that is sounds like the card was issued by the bank where a current account was held. I mean it's one thing to try and stop scams etc, but this is a company that, theoretically, has a relationship with the account holder and should have had some inkling that encouraging an elderly account holder to go into debt is less than fiscally responsible. But of course, I'm sure they don't look at it that way.
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Registered User
Sep 17, 2007
Hi Karen
Yes we are going to do EPA asap and that should allow us to talk to the bank regarding Dads card. Yes it was allocated by the bank that he already had an account with so they know all his incoming amounts and outgoings!!
But without EPA I am unable to talk to them, however wonders will never cease my sister has helped me sort this one out and we have paid off the credit card and cancelled it.
Until the next time!!!! A big shame as he seems so vunerable.


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Registering with the Telephone Preference Service will stop many, if not most, telemarketing calls. This service is free. Details here:

Similarly, registering with the Mail Preference Service will stop many junk mails

Unfortunately, as we have found, if you ever respond to junk mail, you tend to go on a "mugs list" that these companies all share with each other (that is particularly true of those "you have won a prize" scams). Also, be aware that some mail order companies have one body but many faces; if you look at the adress, you will see they are all the same place issuing a bunch of catalogues. For example, my dad was merrily frittering his cash away a few years back ordering overpriced tat - half a dozen catelogues but all the same address.

Both MPS and TPS are run by a voluntary code, so there's nothing in law that says firms must subscribe to them - but many do. They will not stop calls/mails from outside the UK.

If you pay your line rental to BT on your landline, you can ask BT to block Premium Rate dialling on it (it stops these numbers being dialled out) - this is also free.

Other providers may charge for it.

We did this and when dad persistently tried to dial to see what "prize" he had won (always a holiday), he just got the number unobtainable tone, so we told him "well they must have gone bust or been dodgy then"

Similarly I cooked up a tale, about one place that was sending us a bunch of catalogue, I said they'd been done in America for selling unsafe goods...

Sounds dreadful, doesn;t it, but needs worked.

dad is no longer frittering away hundreds of pounds every month on tat. He always used to say "I like getting a parcel", I think he used to get bored, so it was something to look forward to, but he;d already emptied one of his reserve bank accounts doing it.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
The company that shocked me as Mum was sinking into the dementia with their marketing at the time was Readers Digest. Mum had bought from them, so at first we didn't think it unusual but then heaps of books started appearing which she told us she was buying to stand a chance of winning their prize draws.

I will say though that Readers Digest were good when we explained to them what was happening and took back quite a few unopened parcels of books. However it took quite a while for the advertising literature to stop.

Like many others she was also caught out with the foreign prize draw scams and everytime I visited she had yet another of these! It is so difficult when a relative lives alone to control this.



Registered User
Sep 17, 2007
Hi All
Thanks for all the tips regarding stopping sales calls to my father, we have done this but it was a year or so ago so maybe I need to update this.
All your advice and comments really help.
many thanks