Hackers stole the identities of an elderly couple who passed away in Surfside condo collapse.
Antonio Lozano, 83, and his wife Gladys, 79, were sleeping on June 24 inside Unit 903 of Champlain Towers South when the structure suddenly collapsed, leaving 79 people dead.
Their bodies were identified through DNA matching after their son Sergio, who lives across the street from the building, provided a sample.
Sergio said that hackers stole his parents’ identities, opened up fraudulent credit cards, and emptied their bank accounts.
The hackers reportedly used the Zelle digital payment app to withdraw cash from the bank accounts on July 7 – the day of the elderly couple’s funerals.
Speaking to WSVN-TV, Sergio said: “I have an apartment on Champlain East where I could see my mom cooking and my dad watching TV from my apartment, from my terrace.”
“That Wednesday, the 23rd, was his last day at work, which he was here,” Sergio said.
“We had a final dinner together, and they left the apartment at 9:45, and at 1:20 in the morning, it was the collapse.”
He was sleeping when he heard a loud explosion, and when he looked across the street, he saw the building collapsed into a pile of debris.
“I grabbed a pair of sneakers and ran down, and I got there with fire rescue and Surfside Police,” he said.
“Mom and Dad are dead. The building’s gone.”
The elderly couple were laid to rest on July 7. But hackers were already using their information to steal their identities and money, Sergio said.
“The day of their funeral, they began to process [the account], and after they’re dead and buried, they’re stealing from them?” Sergio said.
“It’s just wrong, just wrong.”
“I find it totally devastating, after losing my parents, that I have to deal with all the estate issues, and now I’m having to deal with somebody stealing from my parents,” he added.
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