Ready for your weekly slice of catfish pie? Not only do we have one shocking romance scam story to share, but two! Imagine writing a profile so enticing that you’re all the rage on a dating website?
A woman who lost $510k did just that and now believes that what she wrote might have led to the con that cost her half a million dollars. Meanwhile, a disabled man resigned to a wheelchair, losing $300k to an in-person con artist!
Internet Romance Scams Stories
Man Loses $300k in Romance Scam After Wife’s Death
Walter Zutell. He and Joy have never met but share something in common. They both lost around $300k to a scammer. However, Walter met his scammer face-to-face.
Walter uses a wheelchair to go about his daily activities. He had a spinal injury at one point and then lost his wife to a heart attack. That combination of tragedies made him almost give up on love, but he wanted someone to share and enjoy his life with. He would always miss his beloved wife, but he was lonely.
His next love interest seemed to be a perfect match. She was a compassionate, personal support worker, and assisted those with physical limitations. The new online couple talked for six months and then met in person. Over four years, they met up in person about six different times.
Although this woman was real, she seemed to be in it for the money, more than Walter realized. She began to ask for small amounts of money and later, even a car (supposedly to “visit him more”). When she claimed that she needed medical procedures, he began sending her tens of thousands of dollars.
She promised to pay him back but, like all scammers, never did. The woman disappeared and stopped returning his calls. He was left with the fear of losing his home and crying himself to sleep, hoping for a miracle.
Victim out $510k After Online Romance Scam
Meet Joy – An attractive, middle-aged brunette who never thought a con would happen to her. Joy only wants to be known by her first name, as she is still uncomfortable knowing that she was the victim of a scam. She signed up for Match.com when she became single after separating from her husband. She made her status “recently separated” and, then, “divorced”, which she thinks let scammers know she was able to be conned by a romance scammer and freshly single.
Michael Vinci was not the real name of the man who began interacting with her, but she didn’t know that. He said that he was an international businessman, and they started to email and text. She received love letters that warmed her heart. He seemed to be reliable, and it wasn’t until about six months in that he asked for a short term loan to help him out with a business deal.
He wanted thousands (over $300k) of dollars sent to him. Joy knew it was a large sum and had planned on using that money to buy herself a new home, post-divorce. However, she loved this man and believed that he loved her and would pay her back. She wired the funds and was, near instantly, ignored by the man she thought was a kind-hearted gentleman named Michael.
Even worse, the money she withdrew was from an investment account, which led her to owe to the Colorado Department of Revenue (making her total loss about $510k). She was in such bad financial straits that she had to move in with an out of state relative.
Joy now knows that she gave up the money she had because she wanted to love and to be and feel special, unfortunately, It cost her more than a broken heart.
Could you fall for a romance con? Do you think that Joy or Walter should have known better, or could the scam happen to anyone? What punishment should scammers face when they are apprehended after depleting someone of their life savings?
Search your online contacts by name, username, phone number, profile picture, and email address! The barrier between being conned and keeping your money safe in your bank account is Social Catfish’s high powered algorithm-based search.