Our Call For Action reports often highlight ways that seniors are taken advantage of... but I couldn't believe what happened to Milly Pietras.
Milly's one of the sweetest 84 year old ladies I've ever met.
She suffers from dementia... Also known as Alzheimer's Disease.
Her niece is her caregiver.
And when her niece was out of town... Milly was called on by a salesperson... who sold her a 3-thousand dollar Flter Queen system.
Milly Pietras says, "I fell for it. I'm sorry that it happened, but maybe I'll always remember this the rest of my life."
Those who know Milly say she's caring, sensitive and kind... so they're not surprised she was roped into buying something she didn't need... a 3-thousand dollar Majestic Surface Cleaner... And Defender Room Air Cleaner.
Her niece Sherry Staeben has power of attorney for Milly.
Sherry says, "the salesperson was aware that Milly couldn't drive... that I have the keys to the car. She also said she was aware that Milly didn't have a checkbook."
Sherry says what's most alarming... the sales rep admitted... she knew the only way for Milly to pay for the system was to withdraw cash from the bank. So she confessed to putting Milly in her car and driving her to the bank. The withdrawl almost wiped out Milly's account.
Sherry says, "Milly's never gotten in a car with anyone before... so I was shocked that Milly did get in the car with some strangers."
This Wells Fargo branch at Academy and Montebello told Sherry... The teller recalls the transaction. Their surveillance camera reportedly shows a man standing behind Milly withdrawing the funds.
Sherry says she begged the sales rep to make an exception to their 3 day refund policy, but she refused...so Sherry called me.
I talked to a supervisor with Health-Mor... The Ohio company which manufacturers Filter Queen... and she was very upset.
She not only apologized and promised to return Milly's money.... but also said the sales rep would be reprimanded.
Sherry says, "They said they were appalled that Milly was taken in the car down to the bank. And I am so grateful... I am so grateful because it's taken us a long time to save that amount of money."
The sales rep may not have known about Milly's condition... but that doesn't excuse her behavior.
We're glad Health-Mor rectified things.
Sherry has now put a block on Milly's account.. so this can't happen again. And that's good advice for those with relatives who also might need some protection.