I heard that an elderly woman received a phone call. The caller told her that her grandson had been arrested in a foreign country and needed her to send him bail money. I heard that she said,"Well, I don't have a grandson but I would be glad to help out." The story and parallel versions are told to highlight scams perpetrated by those preying on the elderly. But I wonder.
A man died in our neighborhood and his friends cleared out his house. They found rooms completely stuffed with objects and trash. He had made a habit of calling tv shows that sell things and buying their stuff. He had told a friend that he liked having something, anything, delivered and he didn't really care about the cost.
If you found out that your grandmother was sending money to somebody who supposedly needed money, you might advise her to reconsider. I imagine quite a few people would use strong language, more or less insisting that any such pay plan be abandoned. Similarly, if you found out that your grandfather-in-law was buying junk just to have something delivered, you might use strong language and other measures to stop or discourage such purchases.
I am not writing to support scams or poor use of money. It is very likely that better uses of money, spent for causes with much better credentials, could easily be found. I am writing to say that older people may be in a position to want to help and to be able to support something they believe in. I have read of Reverend Ike, who died in 2009, saying that you should send contributions to his ministries because doing so would make you feel good.