The daughter of an elder fraud victim is sharing her story, warning other families of online scammers after her father lost everything to what he believed to be an online romance.
Angie Kennard joined “Fox & Friends First” Wednesday to share her story after her late father, Donald Griffith, lost $750,000 to a ring of Nigerian scammers.
“Stay as involved as possible, seek an accountant, financial advisors early on as possible so that you understand what they’re going through and what their situation is,” Kennard told co-host Carley Shimkus. “Keep them away from dangerous Internet sites and just do as much as you can. Early on, I wish I had been a little bit more forceful in the situation.”
Kennard said her father thought he was involved in a romantic online relationship that eventually drained his entire savings account over the course of three to four years.
But even after an FBI investigation, Griffith never got his money back.
“They would tell them how much they loved him and that they were abroad working on a project and needed some funds before they could come over to the United States,” Kennard said. “He would just keep giving increments of money up until $40,000 at a time, and then eventually his entire life savings.”
Kennard’s tragic story comes after the FBI unveiled more than 90,000 elderly Americans were scammed out of $1.7 billion in the United States just last year.
Romance scams, tech support, and identity theft are some of the most common types of online scams, according to the agency.
“He actually just stopped taking care of himself,” Kennard said. “He was 83 when he passed away… He just deteriorated. He wasn’t eating well. He ran out of money, and by the time I really learned the magnitude of this, it takes time for the FBI to do the investigation.”
“Apparently we uncovered this whole group of Nigerian scammers that also scammed other elderly people,” she continued.