Lowcountry veteran loses $15K to fraud

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An 84-year-old veteran and Charleston native recently discovered that his bank account had been breached and depleted of $15,000.

The victim, George Buero, asked his son to go get groceries for him. That’s when he learned that his bank account was empty.

“There were 26 years of my savings, that was supposed to take care of me when I pass away. That money was going to bury me and cover-up old debts I may have and it’s just gone,” said Buero.

His daughter, Carmen Conley, says the fraud started in April with smaller charges and continued until they caught it in June. Shortly before they caught it, the scammers hit hard, taking over $10,000 in just a matter of days.

“For me, for the family, I feel just literally physically ill,” said Conley.

Buero had been in and out of the hospital recently and had not been checking his statements frequently.

He doesn’t do online banking or make online purchases — he doesn’t even have a smartphone. So when he saw the charges to apps like Venmo, Uber, and Cashapp, he was confused. His bank, Wells Fargo, never flagged the suspicious transactions.

Buero filed a claim with Wells Fargo, which was denied, and filed a police report with the Charleston County Sheriffs’ Office.

We reached out to Wells Fargo regarding the issue and they provided the following statement:

“We do not discuss information about our customers or their accounts due to customer privacy and confidentiality. We can share that in response to this specific customer’s concerns, Wells Fargo conducted a thorough review of the customer’s account, and will discuss our findings directly with our customer.”

Wells Fargo

Buero now wants to warn other elderly customers of this type of fraud. He’s urging people to pay close attention to their banking activity.

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