I Lost $1,000,000 in an Online Love ScamJun 08, 2021
re-investigating the most shocking ways people are being duped is now the most popular
scambreaking hearts and bank accounts imagine losing $1 million to an
scama former intelligence officer says she
lostthe savings of her whole life from a man who cheated on her she from nigeria debbie is here with what she says all women should know thanks for being here i know you were recently widowed when this all started sorry but when you started
onlinethat wasn't dating it was just relationship building online you weren't interested in romance that's right i was looking for someone just to be a friend a partner someone who could talk to you about lou's death and about my life my kids and it was a friendship what I was looking for nothing physical, it was safe because it was remote and this man who called himself Eric contacted you.
What did he say about himself? he was a widower a widower had a son Kenny was 7 he was from London he was nice he spoke well which was funny because most men writing online barely knew how to write its like talking to a fifth grader so that he was very eloquent and said that he was well educated, something that i could connect with a man i could connect with. How would you communicate with him normally by texting without texting like typing today but I was typing and it was something like 4,000 messages, actually you know I have 4,000 pages of pages in German? through something we have four folders full of these messages which are actually the financial transactions each one of the financial transactions i kept a journal online so i copy and paste all the emails i had put them in a journal and then i printed them out thinking he had a family history one of the things that struck me one of the first exchanges you had you actually said something similar to him when he first asked you for money either am i an extreme jerk or this is going to be wonderful relationship so obviously something was clicking in your brain that something wasn't right do you think you just ignored that or not why i'm sure i ignored it because i classified myself as one of those goddamn yankees that don't give away money and i was very frugal so it was so out of character for me to just give someone money I didn't know if you ever asked for it. talk to him on the phone or meet him in person i did and when i spoke to him he had a british accent which fit the whole story perfectly he was from london and we were supposed to meet for xmas and it was great he was sitting set up hotel rooms and this was all going on until the 21st of December when there was a hiccup on one of his transactions and a payment didn't go through so he couldn't come so again I totally get it.
You are looking for connection on any level and I appreciate how painful it is. it's having
lostthe man you've been married to for so long and trying to keep in touch with the world draws you into relationships you might never normally have gotten into unless you're an intelligence officer, so that part of your brain is probably saying watch it and so what did you do right? My brother told me that too when they first found out about this. I said check the background. someone to be nice to me and when he first wrote to me it was interesting all i remember is at the end of his email he said he could call me eric cole and i thought that was a weird way of saying my name is so i called him i told him what did you mean by that i said it sounded funny he said oh it was franca lingua it's the way brits talk and i and i rationalize that maybe he said that because that's the way he talks and i would check things out he he would send me an address s of where his son was and I looked up the tit on Google Earth and, you know, he was an image analyst in the Air Force so he was looking at all the things around the house that he said was his and I visualized in my mind is this the place where he lives or could his family be there and everything fell into place or when i questioned something even though he always had a plausible answer.
I always do as to why I always do it. so convincing there's a playbook they know what to say Feroze and had no reason not to trust him Never heard of an online issue Dating my mom's best friend she met her husband online but this is all platonic now It's pretty simple at what point did he start asking you for money? It started very little at first. The first time he asked me. She was trying to get one of her friends online. He said if you could help him that would be great. I did and I guess that shows that he was willing, no he was very small he always can ay start small at seventy dollars he was pretty small what did he say about paying you back?
He would always pay me back as soon as his work and because I have a company and I understand that sometimes you don't get paid until after the job was done right, I understood that, and when all his expenses went up there and he couldn't pay them because he didn't they had paid, I understood it, I was helping him, he became part of my family and me. i think we would do anything for our family over the course of two years you say you gave him a million dollars more than a million more than a million and i didn't have a million to give i want people to know that i me because i felt he was family i found it i found it through retirement accounts i sold jewelry i sold trees i had investments i had because it was coming back to me always was that when i get there deb i will pay you back i will have the money in the bank was was I ask you this because I respect what that you do in his daily work, obviously, he is very considerate of many things.
In the back of his mind, he claimed to be a successful businessman. Did he ever wonder how a successful business can't have $90 to pay a friend or more importantly? a million dollars to pay for the bigger things he's trying to do I probably thought that, but at first it was more fun and I didn't do it until the end, when I added it all up, I didn't realize how much I had. I actually gave it to him because it was over the course of the two years, then he borrowed money from his royal family to give it to him at the end, I did, I borrowed it from my parents and that's what I regret the most is that I I put them in and I feel so bad I sent them back and my dad said, "you know there was a time when I questioned, but after two years, how can someone lie to you for two years and leave?
That's extraordinary." things, but the moment comes when Debbie finally finds out she's been conned out of a million dollars or more, they're back with
lovescam expert Vinita Alexander and Debbie, a former intelligence officer who says she was cheated out of over 1 million dollars from an online romance scam ok so debbie two years into this relationship all online with this man you thought was called eric he said call you eric what how did you find out who he really was, he went online one morning and said Deb, he was texting me, said Deb, how do you do it? i feel about forgiveness and for an hour or two i put on my spiritual hat my biblical hat and i had talked about having forgiveness and i said eric is something wrong i did something wrong that you need forgiveness and he says i have something to tell you that it's going to hurt alone I needed to know that you could forgive me before I do this so are you sure you want to do this he said I have a confession to make that this was all a scam he told you he told me that and I was looking at something like you are you sick there is something wrong here and I said what do you mean it was a scam he says it was all a lie and at that moment I'm thinking you're not lying to me now I said you're going to have to prove to me that this is a lie and he said I'll go live online so apparently in yahoo chat there was a little camera and this little screen and the bottom of my computer pops up and I'm looking at a young man with brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin and a big smile on his face, why do you think? with me and I don't know if that's part of the con now but I hope some of my kindness in the last two years has rubbed off on him and his conscience finally caught up with him because he actually said can we continue this in a flat? of course, I'm thinking no, absolutely not.
Anyway, he didn't have money to continue, but he wanted to continue. friendship and when i saw his face it was a gift from god i think in an instant my story and my heart got disconnected from my eric because im looking at joseph it turns out his name is joseph from nigeria not eric from london yes i said why , why did you do this, why did you confess, most scammers don't confess and he said it was because he needed my forgiveness, i think he had some kind of spiritual awakening, not sure what it was but ok and i figured it out that I needed to forgive myself I needed to forgive myself so I could move on but it's a very hard thing to do you tried to get your money back I know that's interesting I got the folders and I went to the FBI the next day with all my paperwork and they said Deb unless you can bring it here in the states there's nothing we can do for you oh my god and when i heard i just shut down i said i won't tell anyone. i was ashamed i was guilty i was vulnerable i was so upset an and you know i took all the things you feel that many others feel you just told me you had contact with three women see this week online romance scams are very common because the numbers in this the FTC estimates that 143 million dollars was lost last year from people being scammed, there are probably many more because most people don't speak exactly and that's what people don't want to be vulnerable enough to tell me. they cheated and their families, you know, they get mad, their friends get mad, what's the first step if? you, if you have been scammed in this way, what do you do?
I think the most important step is to tell your family and friends the people who
loveyou because you will need them and as you go through all the next steps of protection. yourself financially calling the police blocking contact with a person so they can't contact you again you're going to need your friends and family that support system i think is vital actually because the emotions you go through and the range of emotions and the devastation that can be paralyzing, it's actually huge because most police stations and law enforcement don't know how to deal with the victim of this can make you feel bad and they make you feel very bad a woman told me the other day to shoot because we encourage people to report just the numbers are there and she said Deb I came out of it feeling like I was rigged yeah and I will never speak to anyone again and that's the problem I heard. this all the time yeah you know go away and think he's going to get help and come out feeling like we're going to change that this season is about the power of each of us to make a difference so you have anywhere the dust denounces these crimes or have your friends who have been scammed report them, you can go to dr. oz calm down for a link directly to the FBI Internet Crime Reporting Form anyone can fill out that form to report or prevent other victims from being taken advantage of our minute dating expert Alexander has the top three ways you can spot someone a scammer and might help someone close to you, maybe even stay with us, be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don't miss a thing and remember to check back often for updates.
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