Today we will be speaking to a woman named Debbie from Georgia. After the death of her husband, she was lonely and heartbroken. She decided to turn to online dating in search of a companion, and met Fernando on Christian Mingle & he ended up duping her out of $220,000 using another man’s photos. He claimed to be working at an oil rig in Toronto and would continuously ask Debbie for large amounts of money because he couldn’t gain access to his finances overseas. Debbie was able to provide the money to her romance scammer, Fernando, but how she got the money will astonish you.
Why Did She Join Christian Mingle?
Debbie’s husband had a lot of underlying health issues, such as diabetes and pulmonary hypertension. He was on an oxygen tank and relied heavily on his wife to be a primary caregiver. Together, they have a 20-year-old son with down-syndrome that they were taking care of. They were all working from home, where Debbie was homeschooling and tutoring kids. Because of all the things they were doing, his death came unexpectedly at 56-years-old. Everyone thought that he was going to get better, but he knew that things were going downhill.
They were married for 28.5 years, and was used to being there for him when he needed her. It was hard on her to be with someone for 5.5 years 24/7, just to have him pass away and not have that person with her all the time anymore. Because she was feeling lonely, her friends were trying to get her to try an online dating website called Christian Mingle. Thinking that it couldn’t hurt, she thought she would give it a try.
How Did She First Meet Fernando on Christian Mingle?
Shortly after she joined Christian Mingle, she met a man named Fernando who was the first one to show her interest. She couldn’t stop thinking about how handsome he was and let her guard down as she started to converse with him. They talked on the phone 5-6 times a day and texted him all day and night. He was sending her flowers and candy all the time to show her how much he cared for her and how much she could trust him. He claimed he was 59-years-old, was a widow of 5 years, and lost his wife to cancer. He also claimed to have a 19-year-old daughter in college.
They talked for three months, when suddenly things started to take a turn for the worst. He started to ask her for money, which at first would amount to $15,000 so that he could fix a machine on the rig. He promised to pay her back, and she trusted him as she got the money from her husband’s life insurance to pay him. What made this situation so believable to her is the fact that there was another person involved to help transfer the money to Fernando.
Why Was This Romance Scam So Believable to Debbie?
When another woman was helping transfer the money to Fernando, Debbie became a little suspicious but that went away when she looked up this woman’s banking information. They were able to verify the woman’s name, address, and routing numbers which made her think that this situation was legit. However, the suspicions quickly came back when Fernando came back and stated that he needed $6,000 to $9,000 more. His reasoning for needing more money was because he was having a hard time and couldn’t get off the rig to go on-shore.
She did not feel comfortable sending Fernando more money, and told him she couldn’t do it. He was so angry that she wouldn’t send him more money, that he threatened her and her child if he didn’t get the money he wanted. That’s when Debbie got the FBI involved to investigate this situation further. After dealing with this romance scammer, she is still trying to find love online through Facebook Dating since she assumed that it was safer but is realizing that scammers lurk on this site as well.
What Was The True Identity of the Man in the Pictures the Romance Scammer Stole?
Debbie reported the scam to a local office in Georgia and they are actively working on getting her money back from her romance scammer. She was able to figure out the true identity of the person whose pictures were stolen. The real person in the photos is Dr. Pinto, a world-renowned doctor living in Sao Paola. He is one of the most used faces in romance scams.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You Figure Out The True Identity of Your Romance Scammer
If you think you’re dealing with a scammer or have had your pictures stolen, Social Catfish is here to help you!
If you want to be a part of our next YouTube video or blog post and share your story, now is your chance. You can educate our audience about what you have gone through and make sure no one else goes through the same thing. All you need to do is email ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com, and we will get back to you with more details.
You can also reverse search any information you have on the Nigerian romance scammer to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image you can search it up in our search bar to see if there is more information on the suspected scammer you are talking to.