The family of an elderly London woman bilked out of her savings is sifting through the financial wreckage after police slapped a 50-year-old man with a string of fraud charges.
The niece of the 84-year-old woman, who declined to be named to protect her aunt’s privacy, is warning others — especially people with elderly relatives — about just how easily seniors can be taken advantage of.
“You save all your life and then you trust one wrong person and kaboom, your life is changed. You don’t know who you can trust,” the niece said.
London police announced the charges Thursday following a three-month investigation.
Police said the man was a neighbour of the elderly woman and befriended her in 2015. He earned her trust by helping with errands and repairs to her home and used her information to open online accounts, police said.
The woman didn’t have any children and lived alone in her single-storey east London home until the spring, her niece said.
She moved into the modest house at her aunt’s urging, after the neighbour tried to move his daughter into the home as a live-in helper.
It was a proposal the 84-year-old didn’t like, her niece said, and one reason the woman reached out to her family for help dealing with her neighbour.
“He had also talked her into letting him keep her bank books at his house and when I moved in, she was trying to get her bank books back,” the niece said. “She wanted to go to the bank to check on her account.”
Unsettled by the situation, the niece and her elderly aunt made the rounds to the banks she dealt with, four in total. What they found was staggering.
Read the full story over at The London Free Press.