He called St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who found that the woman had wired $700 to a Nigerian account on Friday.
“She’s behind on her rent, you know, and this has been going on for years, so it’s just unbelievable that people would do this to somebody so vulnerable,” said Hayes.
Investigators said someone in Nigeria who calls himself James Coleman told the woman that he needed the money for sick relatives.
The woman said he also told her that if she sent money, he would buy her whatever she wanted, such as a house or a car.
A deputy who looked at her phone saw that she’d received 121 calls from the same number since 1:28 a.m. that day.
WJAX left a voicemail for the number. No one has returned the call.
“She obviously is very vulnerable," Hayes said. "I mean, she has the beginning stages of dementia. She’s lonely. The only person calling her is this person who’s looking to take her money."
Hayes worries that the woman is going to relapse into sending more money to the scammer. He said he’s going to stay in her life.
“We got together yesterday and did a little shopping. She’s very nice,” Hayes said.
Hayes said he hopes people will look a little closer at their elderly loved ones’ habits.