We interviewed Lea Peterson who was married to her husband Paul, an active duty service member. He passed away while he was active duty from cancer 5 years ago. In January of this year, she decided she was ready to start looking for some companionship, some friendship, somebody to hold hands with. So the only thing she could figure out was to go online to a dating site. She ended up on OkCupid and that started the whole “fun time” of dealing with an OkCupid scam.
Here is her story:
From the time you met McMillan, how long did it take for him to start asking for money? What’s the back story that led to the OkCupid scam?
He supposedly was at the Gulf of Mexico working there. The WiFi didn’t work really well over there so we had to use Google Hangouts. About 5 weeks out there, they ran out of supplies, and since it was his contract he was the one that had to buy the supplies. He couldn’t access his bank to pay for it, so he asked if I would access his bank account, which I did.
He gave me the information and had a $3 million dollar balance in his bank account, which made me think was good. He had me pay 82-92% of the original bill and I shipped that out. I also shipped out emails for him to this company, but the emails were going somewhere else. It was a whole fraudulent setup.
I would get emails back with the supplies needed. So I sent out the first batch of money, and like a day or two later they told me that the order was complete, and that I just needed the final amount. I went back on his bank account and it said it stopped for fraudulent activity.
We had to wait for the supplies to be shipped from China to Mexico and I had received emails that once it got to Mexico that I had to pay port fees, customs fees, and that’s when I shut it down. He was saying, “We need to get this taken care of,”
I said, “Well, why don’t you ask your mom?”
He then sent back a fake text a day or two later that his mom sent him the money. And that’s when I knew something was wrong. But then he said, “You know babe if you could just cover this for me, I’ll get home sooner. I’ll pay you back. Everything is going to be great.”
And I fell for it, I drained my bank accounts for that first amount of money.
So he had actually given you some bank account details, you logged onto a legitimate bank account. You see his name and dollar amount and think he’s telling the full story. Why would you doubt that?
We would video chat with only me showing video. He would keep his video off. But I know the first amount I paid was $7,500 in total. I had a couple of different bank accounts because I had just moved, and he took all the money I had. I also knew that he kind of doubled down on the romance.
He would say, “Babe as soon as I get done with this, I’m gonna come home. We’re gonna get married. We’re gonna travel the world. We’re gonna retire. I’m tired of this, I’m over this.”
It ended up being a total of $25,000 I lost to him in the OkCupid scam. The thing that hurts the most is when my past on active duty, as a widow, I received a monetary gratuity that was meant to last me for the rest of my life. I had put that money into investments and I called my investment advisor to have them send me the money.
You were probably super nervous and anxious about this whole situation, once you finally got those reverse search results what was going through your mind? Especially looking at the actual guy’s wife?
I felt literally sick to my stomach. The guy I had fallen in love with was not actually the guy I had fallen in love with, he was a catfish. At that point, my heart broke my stomach, I was sick. I knew it was all a lie, but I couldn’t deal with talking to him or trying to do anything else about him.
There are going to be people that say “How foolish was she.” What do you have to say to those people?
In the army, I was in military intelligence. I am not a stupid person. When I was talking to people online, I would share that I had been scammed.
A gentleman said, “I could see those guys from a mile away, how could you fall for that?”
I told him, “Don’t you dare judge you have no idea what happened. You have no idea until it happens to you. The fact that you judge me is your problem.”
And I didn’t talk to him anymore. I researched every single fact he gave me, such as a copy of the contract he gave me. I looked it over but didn’t look it over hard enough. I went silent for a while and I texted him a bunch of Bible quotes about how evil it is to try to hurt a widow. Whoever was texting was confused, claiming that I was sick or going crazy.
I said, “No I know you guys are B.S. artists.” I never called him because that voice was the voice I fell in love with. That voice would’ve triggered too much and I didn’t need to put myself through that.
What are your feelings about people that scam in general?
At this point, I think that there’s a very special place in Hell for all of them. They try to justify it in different ways from what I’ve seen on documentaries, saying that they’re poor and we’re not. They need to find a better job. That’s not right, they’re doing evil.
I had no idea it was such a huge industry or that there was so much money involved with millions and millions of dollars. The more I research this, the more disgusted I am with it. I wish there were more steps we could take. However, as our technology approves so does theirs which makes it harder to find them.
What Did Social Catfish Find Out About the OkCupid Scam?
Our search specialist, Linnie, ran an in-depth search on McMillan. She found that the emails he used to communicate with Lea were not attached to anyone’s name. All of the phone numbers he used were fake phone numbers that could not be traced back to anyone’s address.
The website that was used to track the packages was a fake website with no advertising or any reviews. The contracts that were sent to Lea had many grammatical errors and misuse of punctuations and capitalization. The contracts also had fuzzy letters and mixed colors and fonts. The real man’s name in the photos is Tony who is actually happily married living in Georgia. These were all signs of an OkCupid scam.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Your OkCupid Scam Along with Other Scams
Social Catfish is here to help with scammers! If you would like your story to be featured on our YouTube channel and blog so that you can help educate our audience on the dangers of scamming, email us at ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com.
You can also use our reverse search platform to look up any name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. This will help you avoid any OkCupid scam that comes your way!