Police say elderly couple fell victim to financial fraud in Horr - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Police say elderly couple fell victim to financial fraud in Horry County

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. -

When an elderly man and his wife from Horry County both suffered broken bones, they hired a home health care nurse to help.

"She came across as very trustworthy, very friendly, and we didn't have enough cash so we had to give her one of our credit cards to go to the grocery store," explained the victim.

He said they suspected nothing out of the ordinary, until the phone rang later that week.

"We found out when Citi Bank called that she had been buying personal things for herself, not just groceries for us. We were shocked. We felt violated. We felt that we had liked and trusted this young woman, and she had really taken advantage of us," the elderly victim said.

Unsure of what to do, he turned to Steve Mantell from Guardian Fiduciary Services for help.

"They needed some assistance, and I do this for a living," Mantell said.

Mantell investigated the fraudulent charges on the victim's credit card, and handed the case over to the police.

"I went to several businesses to try to get the subject captured on the video surveillance and the actual receipts where she had signed her name," explained Sergeant Mark Bonner.

Police arrested Ashley Medlin on charges of exploitation of a vulnerable adult.      

They say that in less than one week, Medlin spent more than two thousand dollars with the victim's credit card.

"The more they get away with it, the more it just snowballs and it just keeps going, there's really no motivation for them to stop once they've lost the conscious thought that I'm doing something wrong," said Srgt. Bonner.

But police said there are things you can do to prevent this from happening to you.

"Report it to us, ask questions, get involved. Just be careful when you invite people into your home or you start giving people the power to sign your name, you need to make sure that person is very trustworthy," Srgt. Bonner said.

Mantell added that it is also important to be cautious when trusting family members with your finances because many elderly fraud cases involve relatives.

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