Sunday, January 06, 2008

IMPORTANT - Scam Alert

Sent in by a Chaptzem reader

I heard a most distrubing story,
especially because of how innocent the matter looked, at first.

There was a mother who was in her
last days because of the machla disease. She already arranged what
to do with her estate.

Here comes some "chassidishe" lady,
with her daughters, visiting the mother, on the pretext of Bikur Cholim, right? Who would question that?

Well, her daughters started to sing, so the son left the apartment
so as not to hear kol isha.

GET THIS! When the son returned,
the mother told him that this lady
asked her to sign a Power of Attorney form. Fortunately, the mother had enough left in her to sternly say, "LEAVE ME ALONE!..."

I mean, what an ingenious scam,
yet, legally, a big problem for the true heirs had she signed that form, CH"V!

Baloney!!! Let's hear specifics from the family it happened to. Hearsay - is the most damaging thing in our community today and has destroyed so many families and lives.


don't believe this scam at all


You Misnagid! Self hating jew stop making lies!


It probably did NOT happen, but it COULD happen. When Bikur Cholim accepts volunteers, do they know who they're accepting? Are the volunteers interviewed or screened? It's asssumed that if s/o is volunteering, they're innocent.


Isn't this a wake up call for our community? When are we going to see that not everyone wearing a sheitl or a shtreimel is what they should be? Just because you wear the garb, doesn't mean that you are an honest person.


Actually, and I almost (ALMOST) hate to say this, I was involved in a situation where the exact same thing happened, except it was a man, nebach who was dying, and the Rabbi, from a certain, ahh, sect, came in, and asked him to sign over power of attorney before he died, which he did not do either, although after he was niftar, the rebbetzin came to the family, the mother and single daughter, and asked, as they were sitting shiva, for a HEFTY donation, claiming that it was what the niftar would have wanted them to do. They also politely declined, because they were in deep hurt at the time, but later they thought about it, and were so so dissapointed in the alleged rabbi and rebetzin. I was there when it happened, so I'm not surprised by this story. I also know that by posting this, I am sure some of you holier than thou folks out there are going to yell, and scream, and tell me how wrong I am. that's fine too, but i was there, and I did see it.


why didnt they call shomrim?


I agree with the previous two comments, hence, this story and the sheilehs about its authenticity make absolutely no difference in my life.


it sad to say but it can be true. i know personally of such a story but it was just done by one of the kids themselves who wanted everything written over to themselves and not to have to share with siblings and it happened. they just put papers there to sign and the sick man doesnt even realize what he is signing until to late


Someone might be trying to pull this scam, but a Power of Attorney (PoA) must be signed by the principal and witnessed and notarized to be effective.

You just can't get someones signature on a PoA. If it is not notarized, then it is not legal.


How dare you call me a Misnagid!
All I can tell you was that the
attempted victim was also
chassidish. Happy now?!

As for specifics ( requested by
"Baloney")- WHAT!- you think I
should publicize their names,or
even my own, so such scammers
can come and give us tzuris for
exposing them?! Nice going



These are powerful documents that should not be signed without consulting an attorney.


Please let me clarify a couple of
things here.

When I wrote "Pretext of Bikur Cholim," I did not mean from the
wonderful organization, well known as Bikur Cholim. The visitor came on her own, as if to perform the "mitzvah" of bikur cholim. Yeah, sure, really more like something else than mitzvah.

Another thing. They were not related, but, yes, they did know each other, even before she got sick. Good to have "friends," right?


a POA does not need to be witnesed. In addition there were two people so one could be a notary, or they get get it notirized later. An acknowledgement would allow for a notary to notirize later. As for a Rabbi doing this, unfortanatly it is not so uncommon. But we can not fix the world so just beware.


Yes. I know of a story, not to long ago of a Rabbi, who tried to take away assets, bank accounts and a house from an older person. He tried to have the older person sign documents leaving the assets to the Rabbi.


A similar thing happened to an elderly cousin of mine. She lived in Brooklyn but owned an apartment in Yerushalayim. In her final months she was visited frequently by people who actually were very kind to her and helped her tremendously. She even visited them on a number of occasions. After she was niftar we found that she had left the apartment to them. I'm not suggesting that anything untoward occurred, but it seems that these things do happen. It's certainly easy to unduly influence someone in such a situation, and let's face it, doing bikur cholim doesn't entitle you to more of a yerusha than the family, generally speaking.


"Someone might be trying to pull this scam, but a Power of Attorney (PoA) must be signed by the principal and witnessed and notarized to be effective.

"You just can't get someones signature on a PoA. If it is not notarized, then it is not legal."

Yes, but suppose the lady was a notary (it's fairly easy to become one), and the PoA was in favor of, say, her husband or her corp. or charity or whatever. perfectly legal.


Just clearing the air here but as a Trusts & Estates attorney I can tell you that a POA is only good as long as the person is still alive. Once the person dies the POA is null and void and any transfers of assets made after the time of death are voided. In addition, the holder of a POA can NOT write a Will for the person who granted the POA. It's simply not allowed by statute which means that, other than the opportunity to make transfers while the person is still alive, the holder of a POA does NOT control and does NOT determine who will get the person's assets will pass when they die.


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