Andy's Got Your Back on a "sweetheart swindle" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Got Your Back on 'sweethearts' swindling the elderly online

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Douglas Butler's 80-year-old father, confused by dementia, lost his life savings -- more than $2 million -- to a woman he met online. Douglas Butler's 80-year-old father, confused by dementia, lost his life savings -- more than $2 million -- to a woman he met online.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - Love on the Internet was a trap for a father with Alzheimer's Disease.

Douglas Butler's 80-year-old father, confused by dementia, 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," Butler said.

"She told him she needed the money for breast cancer surgery, purchase a vehicle to fix up her home and also pay off debt to leave her job and be with him," said U.S. Postal Inspector Amy Kerkof.

Postal inspectors began tracking bank records and found the suspect, Shea Saenger, was spending the money on a new house, new equipment for her family farm and additional land.

Butler's father was so deep into his dementia, he didn't even know he was a victim. Inspectors eventually arrested Saenger. She was convicted and sent to prison.

"We are working on getting funds back to the victim," said Kerkof. "The farm equipment and land and other assets are being liquidated so they can pay for his medical care."

The take-away of this story:  we have to keep tabs on what our seniors are doing online as closely as we monitor our kids. Report any unwanted contact to U.S. postal inspectors at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov or to the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Elderly abuse resources

Updated:

Click here for Andy's links to the National Center on Elder Abuse and the Aging Commission of the Mid-South.

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