Deb is from Virginia and met a guy named James on the YouVersion Bible App. He claimed that he was working on an oil rig in Norway. Deb thought that he was innocent since she met him on a Christian app. However, an oil rig scammer will trick their victims on any platform they can. This is why it’s important to know the experiences Deb has gone through and the red flags to watch out for when talking to someone online.
How Did Deb Meet Her Oil Rig Scammer?
James contacted her through the YouVersion bible app, even though she was not looking for a relationship. She was grieving her husband who passed away in July 2020 and joined a community of Christians during this time, which is where she met James. He messaged her claiming that he was looking for friends, and would compliment Deb on her looks by telling her how beautiful she was. He stated that he wanted to get to know Deb better, so she shared her digital memorial of her husband with him.
After sharing her whole story to James, he would send her a plethora of Bible scriptures to remind her that she can get through this and everything will be ok since God takes care of the widows. This made her feel comforted and believe that there was life after her grief. James claimed that it would be easier to communicate with her on Google Hangouts, so they moved their conversations over to this app.
How Did Deb’s Romance Scammer Ask Her For Money?
He claimed to be working as a marine welder off the coast of Los Angeles, so she would wake up in the middle of the night just to talk to him. One day, he wasn’t responding to her messages when she texted him. He then replied the next day that he was sorry he didn’t get back to her, he claimed that something terrible had happened at his job. He claimed that he was supervising thirty-five men and that seven of them were injured pretty badly. She contacted her friends after this accident and prayed for everyone’s safety.
The day after he told her about this accident, he messaged her stating that he needed help with a favor. He asked her if she could help him get into his funds and transfer his money over to him. She tried to get into his bank account, but it wouldn’t let her. This was due to the fact that it was a fake bank account log-in screen that the scammer created to make it look like she couldn’t access his account.
He asked her if she could loan him some money since she can’t log on to his bank account. At first, he asked her to pay him using gift cards which cost her $250. Since she knew she could afford that, she agreed to help loan him this amount of money. He then asked her to be honest with him, then continued to ask how much she could possibly loan him. He claimed that he wouldn’t be able to get a hold of his money while being in such a bad situation. She then asked him how much he needed and volunteered all the money she could to help him.
She originally wanted to send him money through Zelle, but he insisted that she use Bitcoin and Steam cards to send him the money. He sent her the contract of his company, showing her a false promise that she would be able to get her money back. While this was going on, he was telling her how much he loved her and claimed that he wanted to start a life with her.
The Oil Rig Scammer Stole Photos from Mike Holmes!
He would send her videos of the pipes going into the water, the waves of the ocean, and him on the boat. He sent her a photo with a hard hat on, and to some people, that photo may look familiar. The man in the photos is Mike Holmes. The scammer used his photos to dupe Deb out of money. Holmes is a contractor and host of the show Holmes on Homes which is popular in Canada.
Her son sent her a photo of this same man from the show, so she sent it over to the scammer and asked what was going on. The scammer claimed that the photo was fake and turned the argument back on her. He was angry and asked her if she was being serious. He asked her if he would really do something like that to her and was appalled that she didn’t believe him. He told her that she should know he loved her.
She stopped letting her son know that he was contacting her again and they were continuing to talk to one another. He stated that he could explain everything once he was able to see her in person. However, she felt ashamed for continuing to talk to him, since her husband passed away five months ago and she was already talking to someone new. Her son caught them talking again and gave her an ultimatum: it was either her children or the scammer.
She didn’t want to lose her family, so she stopped all communication with the scammer. She then noticed that the Zelle statements were showing up on her bank account and knew that her son was going to know something was going on so she told him everything.
The thing that baffles her is it wasn’t even a dating app. She states that she wouldn’t have gotten on a dating app while going through her grieving process. In total, Deb lost $8,000 to the oil rig scammer. To this day, the scammer still tries to get in touch with her and still sends her things. She did this show because if she could stop one person from going through what she went through, then it would totally be worth it. There was no indication that there was anything evil about it at all, but even the Bible states that Satan knew scripture, he just knew how to turn it around to deceive.
Red Flags That You’re Talking to a Romance Scammer
- Scammers are everywhere, they aren’t just looking for victims on dating apps.
- Scammers prey on vulnerable people. They commonly look for victims who are widowed or are going through a hard time.
- Scammers use apps like WhatsApp and Google Hangouts because it’s easier to erase and delete the conversations once they’ve scammed you.
- An easy way to spot a scammer is if they tell you they are an oil rig worker or they are currently in the military.
- Never send money to anyone online. Scammers will ask you to send them money through Bitcoin or gift cards most of the time. If anyone is asking you to send money through these methods, then chances are you are most likely communicating with a scammer.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
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.