Invisible Man: W5 Documentary on Romance Scams
Could the life of someone you love to be lost due to the ‘invisible man’? While the term might sound like something out of a comic book, this story of a Calgary woman, Colleen, is genuine.
At the age of 61, Colleen would end up dead through suicide. Her sister Karen Ringham has her theory, a belief that Colleen was killed by the invisible man.
Invisible Man: Romance Scam Network Uncovered
Colleen was a striking woman, and she and her sister spent a lot of time together over the years. What her sister Karen couldn’t save her from was love. When Colleen connected with a man named Ryan Scott, through a dating site, she fell for him quickly.
Colleen told her sister that her new online love interest, Ryan Scott, was the “love of her life.” It only took days for her to feel in love and weeks for the new online couple to agree to be married and travel the world. The problem is that this man did not exist and was an invisible scammer.
Ryan Scott had all the clues of being a scammer, and Colleen, herself, was part of a romance scam. However, Colleen believed Ryan was who he said he was. The scammer created a persona that said Ryan worked on an oil rig over the almost two year period they dated.
Despite the length of their 22-month long relationship, they never met, nor did they even video chat. Regardless, Colleen was in love with the blonde-haired Ryan enough that she would give him about $1 million.
The money requests didn’t take long. “Ryan” began asking Colleen for money shortly after meeting online. Karen told Global News that the invisible man soon told Colleen that his bank account was frozen and that he needed help.
Colleen used all the money she owed other places and had received from selling her home. In total, she gave the invisible man a sum of $960,000, almost 1 million dollars!
Who Was the Invisible Man?
The real man in the photographs that Colleen received was actually of a Canadian man named Tommy Kean. His photographs have been a scammer favorite for years and used to trick many people. Tommy has been interviewed and estimates that at least 70 to 100 women have reached out to him, having been conned by scammers using his photographs on fake accounts.
Scammers use photographs of him, his family, and even his children by posting pictures that his daughter has cancer. Kean was never contacted by police about Colleen’s death and was unaware before the media contacted him.
Likely, Colleen wasn’t only scammed by one scammer, but a group of scammers. Although she left a 3-page suicide note which detailed the financial loss and timeline of events, she did not kill herself because of money alone.
Instead, the scammer or scammers behind “Ryan Scott” had developed an elaborate scam also to make Colleen believe the police were after her, and she’d be arrested and sent to jail. None of this was true, but Colleen was terrified enough to die over it.
Karen, trying to be a good sister even after her sister’s unexpected demise, had the W5 investigate Colleen’s computer since the police had not. The verdict?
Colleen was likely scammed by a “crime syndicate” named The Black Axe. They are present in Canada and as many as 26 countries.
Although this knowledge may comfort Karen, it doesn’t bring her beautiful sister back to her.
How to Keep Safe from Dating and Romance Scams
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know online. Knowing someone through the internet does not mean they are a real person. Money requests are almost guaranteed to be a scam.
- Don’t wait, wonder, and worry! At Social Catfish, you can unmask your scammers by searching name, email address, image, username, and phone number. Check the photos of anyone you connect with online. You can use Social Catfish. We scan the web for matches using our high powered algorithm to get the best search results!
If you feel like your situation is dangerous or if you have experienced financial loss, contact your local police department and report your experience to the FBI’s IC3.
Go to Social Catfish to find out details about your invisible man or woman! If you want extra support or need to find the identity of a particularly cunning scammer, hire one of our Search Specialists.