A Grieving Son Blames Bank Over $732K Con

Dayle Hogg says TD Bank shouldn't have let his father wire the money
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2019 5:20 PM CST
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A screen capture of the image used by the Robert Hogg's online scammer.   (YouTube)
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(Newser) – Dayle Hogg is hopping mad over the $732,000 his dad sent a romance scammer, but doesn't seem to blame him. "There should have been red flags going up all over the place at the bank," Hogg tells the CBC. "He had no history of sending money anywhere outside of the country until this point. Something should have happened to stop this." But Robert Hogg, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 67 last September, was allowed to wire money 19 times over eight months between 2017 and 2018 at his local TD Bank branch in Whitby, Canada. As instructed by his scammer—the non-existent "Sophia Goldstein" he met on Match.com—Robert told bank staffers the money was going to "friends" to build a house in Malaysia. Robert even opened a $300,000 line of credit to send more when his own investment accounts ran out.

Robert's family only found out after he died. "Initially, it was just like a punch in the gut," says Dayle. "I felt bad for him that this situation had happened." After all, Robert's wife Kathy was taken by cancer in 2015 and Robert was diagnosed a year later. But then Dayle got angry and complained to the bank's ombudsman, who later issued a report exonerating TD staffers. Robert's house-building story was "consistently told," per the report, and it "is not necessary to ask a customer to provide proof to support a story like the one he told." Now Dayle has told police, who seem uninterested, and still communicates with his dad's scammer in the hope it will lead to an arrest. "Sophia" is apparently unaware Robert has died: "Try [sending] $5,000 if you can," she writes. (Speaking of scams, one school got conned out of $9 million.)

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