Turn to Ted: Credit card demands payment from older couple after identity theft

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Credit card demands payment from older couple after identity theft. (KTRK)

An elderly Alvin couple fell victim to a scammer who tricked them out of their credit card number. They knew better and reported the mistake right away. But Discover Card still tried to collect.

That's when the family turned to our investigative reporter Ted Oberg.

The scammer targeted an 88-year-old woman with end-stage cancer and charged thousands on her Discover Card. The debt passed on to her 90-year-old husband and the company kept trying to collect.

Eldon and Wanda Dulaney were married for more than 68 years. As they grew older, Eldon nursed his wife through her battle with cancer. And as she got her sickest, a scam artist -- the lowest of the low -- called one day to convince Wanda to give up her Discover card information.

"The wife was sitting there with terminal cancer and really not herself and she finally agreed to give the last 4 digits of our credit card number," Eldon said.

She reported it right away to Discover, but somehow that wasn't enough to stop the scammer who still rang up thousands on their bill from Florida.

"I said 'there's no way we'd been to Florida in 20-30 years,'" Eldon said.

At first, Discover was understanding.

The Dulaneys got two letters agreeing the charges were fraudulent and canceled the card. But then - a new statement and the old charges had been transferred.

And Wanda started fighting. She didn't know those were her final days, but she kept up the fight - getting nowhere.

"It sure made her last days more miserable."

Wanda lost her battle with cancer. The debt passed to Eldon and when he and his son couldn't solve it on their own, they got in touch with us.

"What are you going to do? It's kinda hard to fight a big company like Discover," Eldon's son Don Dulaney said.

We tracked the right people down at Discover and convinced them to take a second look.

"I'm very pleased with Channel 13," Eldon said.

When they did, Discover agreed, a grieving widower shouldn't have to pay nearly $10,000 in fraudulent charges.

Eldon doesn't want anything for free.

He's asked Discover to take the fake Florida charges off the account and he'll pay whatever he owes after that.

"It's amazing the difference it made," Don said. "They're calling apologizing to us instead of wanting us to apologize to them."

Eldon says his wife spent time on each of her final days trying to get up the energy to solve this. We're glad to have helped - sorry we couldn't do it sooner.

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Related Topics:
financeturn to tedscamscam targeting seniorscredit cardsfraudidentity theftAlvinTexas
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