WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Consumer Alert: Man scammed by online girlfriend

A story of betrayal and fraud involving an elderly man and the younger woman he met online. The victim in this scam lost everything.

"If she could think of a lie to tell my Dad about why she needed money - she told it," said Douglas Butler, the son of the fraud victim.

Douglas Butler is angry. His 80 year old father lost his life savings, more than $2 million dollars, to a woman he met online.

"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 Amy Kerkof, US Postal Inspector.

"He was very conservative, frugal and the idea that he was handing out money he would hand over 100-thousand dollars at a time….never occurred to anyone," said Baker.

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.

"This case was rather compelling and heartbreaking because the victim suffers Alzheimer's and was so far gone didn't realize he was a victim," said Kerkof.

Inspectors say con-artists often prey on the vulnerable and elderly.

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

"To me, when someone steals everything from you - it's everything," said Baker. "It doesn't matter what the dollar value was."

One takeaway from this story-- it's not only important to keep tabs on what your children are doing online, but your parents as well.


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