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Ask Amy: Neighbors worry about financial fraud

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I live next to a sweet elderly widower, "Fred." We check in on him once or twice a week. He's told us he has a brother and nieces and nephews that live a few hours away.

A few months ago, Fred asked for my help with "something on the computer."

I went inside his house and he handed me handwritten instructions, saying he needed help connecting his checking account to a money transfer app, so he could send money to his niece. He asked me to send her $500, and then had me write out instructions.

I didn't think it was my place to question this.

Yesterday, Fred and I were chatting, and he said that he was worried about this niece, as she was fired from her job, didn't have a car, and might have a drug problem.

I immediately became concerned and asked if she was taking advantage of him. He seemed slightly offended, became dismissive, and then changed the subject.

 

I can't stop thinking about this. My husband said I should disconnect his checking account from the app (yes, I remember his password), but I feel like Fred would just ask for my help to connect it all again.

I don't have the names or contact information for his brother or any family.

What should I do?

-- Worried Neighbor

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