"My 78-year-old mother-in-law handed an envelope containing $25,000 cash to a Florida Lyft driver who showed up one morning on her doorstep during the early days of the pandemic.The cash was intended to bail out her beloved nephew from jail, where he sat after crashing into a pregnant woman and killing her. Or so my mother-in-law was told by the man on the phone who pretended to be her nephew’s lawyer. The man instructed her to tell no one or he would rot in jail. On two consecutive days, she made large cash withdrawals at her bank and the “lawyer” sent the Lyft driver to collect the loot.But there was no accident and no jail stint. My mother-in-law, reacting with her heart and not her head, was too scared to call her nephew or other family members to verify the tale. Days later, she mentioned to my husband that she had bailed the nephew out of jail — with no idea that she had been scammed.That was my family’s introduction to the pernicious crimes that strip senior citizens of their money and dignity. It also served as a wake-up call for my husband. He drafted a strategy to better protect her, which included overseeing her finances."
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|(Tara Anand for The Washington Post)|