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Utah Man Says Scammers Took Over $200K From Elderly Mother

HOLLADAY, Utah – Jeff Tiede said he feels helpless as scammers have continued to take thousands of dollars each week from his elderly mother who lives thousands of miles away.

He said his mother, 88-year-old Delores Tiede, is a widow and lives alone. He was first alerted that something was wrong when an investment manager told him she was taking large amounts of cash out of one of her accounts, multiple times each week.

Since he had some access to that account, Tiede was advised to check the transactions online.

“So I did, and my eyeballs about popped out of my head,” he said. “There (were) large sums of money between $2,000 and $9,000 dollars taken out in cash, multiple times per week.”

In trying to talk with his mother about it, Tiede said she only says that she cannot talk about it.

“I don’t know if it’s been through email, phone, cellphone, I don’t know,” Tiede said. “She won’t say a word to any of her friends, any of her relatives, any of the law enforcement people, any of the elderly services.”

Tiede said a sheriff’s deputy in the area was able to notice that his mother was using the cash to buy large amounts in Nordstrom’s gift cards after an area bank alerted police to the unusual withdrawals. He said once his mother realized he was checking into the matter, the scammers told her how to move the money to a new bank account.

“Over the course of time, she said it’s for taxes, it’s for health insurance, it’s for pills, and all these things were a bunch of lies,” Tiede said. “I talked to the bank. I talked to the teller, general manager, fiduciary, private investment person, their legal department; the bank can’t do anything because according to her, she doesn’t have a problem.”

Tiede said he’s learned a couple of things that could have helped him, would be either full power of attorney or guardianship, but since neither one of those were ever set up, he has no power to intervene.

“It’s very frustrating because I seem basically helpless,” Tiede said. “We need some legislation that has been changed so we could at least put a freeze on their accounts during an investigation process, so if there is something shady, there’s a way to shut it off.”