Rip-Off Alert: Elderly victim with Alzheimer's loses everything to woman he met online
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
The story of an elderly man and the younger woman he met online is full of betrayal and fraud after he lost everything.
Douglas Butler is angry. His 80-year-old father lost his life savings -- more than $2 million -- to a woman he met online.
"If she could think of a lie to tell my Dad about why she needed money, she told it," said Butler. "Dad's always managed his own money. He was very conservative, frugal and the idea that he was handed away money, $100,000 at a time, has never occurred to anyone."
"She told him she needed the money for breast cancer surgery, to purchase a vehicle, to fix up her home, and also to pay off debts, to leave her job and to be with him," said U.S. Postal Inspector Amy Kerkof.
Seattle postal inspectors began tracking bank records and found the suspect was spending the money on a new house, new equipment for her family farm, and additional land.
"This case was very compelling and rather heartbreaking because the victim suffers from Alzheimer's and was so far gone that he didn't realize that he was a victim in this case," said Kerkof.
Inspectors say con-artists often prey on the vulnerable.
"Currently, we are working on getting funds back to the victim," said Kerkoff. "The farm equipment and other assets are being liquidated and we hope to recover funds to return to the victim's family so they can help pay for his medical care."
"To me, when someone steals everything from you, it's everything. It doesn't matter what the dollar amount is," said Butler.
One takeaway from this story is that it's not only important to keep tabs on what your children are doing online, but your parents, as well.