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Love is priceless, but for Dennis, it has cost him over $200,000. In a shocking and sad Dr.Phil catfish episode, we meet Dennis who was divorced for 25 years before he connected online with the beautiful “Kimberly Escobar.”
Appearing on television in late 2017, he told Dr. Phil she was the “woman of his dreams” who he planned on marrying and couldn’t imagine his life without. He attended the Dr. Phil show taping with his mother, who had also gotten scammed by lending her son $20,000 which went to Kimberly.
The main problem is that Dennis and Kimberly have never met. Everything he knew of her was through their online and messaging communications.
Claiming she was originally from Chicago, in the United States of America, Dennis felt a lot of empathy for Kimberly’s plight and struggles. According to the stories she told him, she had been traveling in South Africa with her daughter, when she experienced a batch of bad luck. Not only did she get into an unexpected car accident, but her passport expired, and her money was stolen!
Her extended stay in South Africa was made worse by what Dennis refers to as a “corrupt government.” He hoped to meet Kimberly after she returned from a flight in Amsterdam, which he helped facilitate. After all the money he has given her, Dennis doesn’t blame Kimberly, but international efforts for failing to bring her and her minor daughter home.
Sure Kimberly is whom she claims, Dennis shows Dr. Phil her passport and a check she sent him. Leave it to Dr. Phil to send a reporter to Amsterdam to uncover the truth and let Dennis finally come face to face with his beloved “Kimberly.”
When Dr. Phil’s reporter, Levi V. went to visit Kimberly’s supposed address in Amsterdam, the “home” address ended up being a short-term apartment location. Kimberly claimed she was staying with a woman named Deborah – who worked as an airline attendant and took her and her daughter is out of the goodness of her heart.
Levi asked the front desk and residents if Kimberly’s photos looked familiar, but no one recognized her. Another hole in Kimberly’s story came when the reporter polled residents about their cell phone reception. Kimberly often claimed hers was “spotty” in Amsterdam and was why she couldn’t “talk” but no one else he interviewed complained of any problems.
Dr. Phil also sent another reporter, Jim C., to “Kimberly’s hometown,” in Chicago, to investigate if she ever lived there and owned an antique business, like she told Dennis.
The home address Dennis had been given for her didn’t even seem to exist as more than an empty lot, nor did anyone in the neighborhood recognize her. The antique mall did not have her registered as an antique dealer or any record of her name.
Finally, Dr. Phil connected with “Kimberly” on FaceTime and told Dennis she was in the building. Upset, Dennis said she better have “his money.”
Instead, in a shocking twist, the beautiful in-person woman Dennis thought he was in a relationship was also a victim. Working in the beauty industry in Texas, her photos and identity- via images- had been stolen without her knowledge and used to catfish Dennis (and who knows how many others).
The woman Dennis thought he knew in the photographs had a real name of Alicia. She was surprised to find out that the image on the fraudulent passport use by the catfish was stolen online from her beauty workshop postings.
There are very few legitimate reasons why people you have not met or only know online need money. Always do your research and avoid getting in too deep, emotionally or financially, with anyone you have not met and known for some time.
Unsure if you or someone you love is being catfished?