MIAMI (WSVN) - An alleged con artist is facing serious charges after, authorities said, he swindled an elderly South Florida woman out of tens of thousands of dollars in savings by posing as a financial adviser.

The 87-year-old victim, who wants to remain anonymous, said she met Carlos Garcerandevall through a friend.

“I totally trusted him because he was sitting in my home many nights and having dinner,” she said. “I sort of adopted him.”

Investigators said the woman was conned by a convincing but phony stockbroker who slithered into her life, posing as a new friend and financial expert.

“I liked the fact that he had experience in the New York Stock Exchange,” the victim said.

She said Garcerandevall earned her trust enough to give him checks for thousands of dollars to buy recommended stocks.

Some, she said, did well, but when it was time to collect returns, or even just to get back her initial investment, he always had an excuse.

“It was always a story,” she said. “He never gave me my money back.”

The victim said the money to buy stocks came from a second mortgage she took out with plans to put her grandson through college.

But then she met Garcerandevall, and over the course of a year or so, that money disappeared.

“He pocketed my money, $72,000,” she said.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle did not mince words when discussing the case.

“It’s so vile to prey on our most precious and vulnerable elderly,” she said.

Fernandez Rundle said financial crimes against the elderly are rampant.

“They’re dealing in fraud, they’re dealing in vulnerabilities, they’re trusting that people will trust them,” she said.

The victim’s son said what his mother went through serves as a warning that the theft and exploitation of the elderly can happen easily, sometimes by those we think we know and trust.

“It’s painful,” he said.

“This was a real stab in the heart,” said the victim.

Garcerandevall is facing charges of elderly exploitation and grand theft. As of early Saturday morning, he remained behind bars.

If you think you’ve been a victim or know of any fraud or elderly exploitation, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has a fraud hotline you can call. That number is 305-547-3300.

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