At Social Catfish, we interviewed a woman named Val who started talking to a man on Zoosk. He contacted her first and won her over with his sweet words since the other men she talked to weren’t as friendly. He claimed he was an architect and told her that he needed to go to Turkey for a job so they couldn’t meet in person. He sent her airline tickets and a passport to prove he was real after all the times she would question that he was a romance scammer. One day he asked her for $3,000 and after many nights praying she decided to send him the money. He also asked her to dive into her 401k to take out a $50,000 loan so that she could bail him out of jail. Now she is starting to regret her decisions and is wondering if he really is a scammer after all.
Want to learn more about her story? Click the video below to find out.
How Did Val First Meet Her Romance Scammer?
After meeting her on Zoosk, the romance scammer started flirting with her immediately to make her believe that he was interested in her. He would also call her every night while she was on her way home from work to show how much he supposedly cared for her. His life seemed pretty lavish to her when he told her about his life. He claimed that he lived in Beaverton, OR which is a really nice area. He told her that he had an 11-year-old son with his ex-wife.
He has asked her to move in with him and marry him multiple times. She told him that she listens to music in order to understand how she was feeling, so he would send her songs about how he felt about her, and then she would send him songs about how that song made her feel.
When Did the Romance Scammer First Start Asking Her For Money?
He claimed he was an architect and claimed that he needed to go to Turkey for a job so they couldn’t meet in person. As soon as she was about to block him due to suspicions of being a romance scammer, he sent her airline tickets to go see him and a passport to prove he was real.
However, her son started to claim that his passport might be photoshopped as he started to create a fake passport in front of Val. While Val still had suspicions, the romance scammer started asking her for $3,000 in order to purchase materials for his job. After many nights of praying, she decided that it was a good idea to send him the money. She thought that since he claimed to be a good Christian man that he couldn’t be someone who scammed people out of money. She wasn’t getting any weird vibes and her intuition and gut told her that he was a real person.
The romance scammer thanked her immediately as they were talking and promised that he would pay her back right away. He said he was going to get the job done and wanted to hire employees to work with him. He asked Val to get on his account and claimed that he couldn’t get on his bank account due to the poor service in his area. As soon as she accessed his account, he wanted her to pay bills but couldn’t access the code to make the payment. It showed he had $3 million, but couldn’t access it due to poor signal. However, this is a fake website the scammer created to show how much money they supposedly have so that victims feel safe sending over their money.
Why Did She Take Out a $50,000 Loan?
A few weeks went by and she didn’t hear from him for a while. Finally, he texted her, letting her know that he had been arrested. When Val asked why he was arrested, the scammer stated that he needed to send her a document. The document claimed that it was from the Turkish Taxation that claimed he needed to pay $98,000. He told Val that he needed her help collecting this money to get him out of jail. She told him she didn’t have enough money to give him and he suggested that she check her 401K for it.
She thought about it and figured that she would check into it since she worked at the same company for 37 years, but still felt uncomfortable doing it. She still had another loan to pay off due to her husband’s burial. When she did her research, she found out that she qualified for a $50,000 loan. They said that they would take money out of each check to pay herself back, and figured she could earn extra money herself if she did this. He also promised her that he would pay her back before she had to make the first payment. She told him I can’t make the payment if you don’t follow through, and he kept promising her that he would. She also had other people that helped her get the rest of the money and sent it all to him.
She prayed about sending all that money to him and couldn’t think of any red flags as to why she shouldn’t. She did a video journal after she sent the $50,000 and when she goes back to watch it, she is amazed as to how she was so smart to think about it before sending the money yet still went through with it anyways. However, she remembered the $10 million that he was going to get paid so she figured she would get the money back. Now she knows that she will never get the money back and that he is a scammer. She is stressed out since the money will be automatically taken out of her checks each month and can’t afford it.
Val’s Gut Now Tells Her He’s a Romance Scammer
She was upfront about how she can’t trust people and he kept saying how he understood that. Now after this experience, she feels like she really can’t trust anybody. She didn’t even realize he was a scammer until she asked her son for some money and asked her what she was talking about. He brought up the fact that she has never asked anyone for money. She states she was better off not trusting anybody and believes that God is teaching her a very valuable lesson that cost her $53,000.
Val reached out to Social Catfish to have someone help her figure out whether this guy was real or not since she was still hoping he was real. Her son told her that we were going to prove he wasn’t real. She has had visions about him being real and him being disappointed that she couldn’t trust him as she went on Social Catfish. Then she thought all well because she realizes that if he is a real person, he is acting like a scammer. Her intuition is now telling her he isn’t real as opposed to before.
Social Catfish Figures Out the Romance Scammer’s True Identity
Linnie first took a look at the love letters the romance scammer sent Val that made her fall for him in the first place. She read them several times to find anything that might have been off and he was consistent with the words that he would say to her. As Linnie reads off a love letter, Val realizes how familiar it is, and Linnie tells her that the romance scammer got these paragraphs off of Google.
Next, Linnie took at the monetary receipt that Val received, showing that she wired money to someone. Linnie revealed that she probably wired her money to a real person who would then send it to the romance scammer. This is called money laundering, and the person who received Val’s money probably doesn’t even know what they are doing. They probably don’t know why Val wired the money and think that they need to send it to the scammer for an emergency.
Next, Linnie takes a look at the banking account the scammer sent to Val. The first time Val was on his account she remembered being uncomfortable but the scammer insisted that she go onto the account. The second time she went on the account, it was labeled as suspicious for fraud.
When Linnie investigated the website, she found that it was hosted by GoDaddy.com with no known owner, it wasn’t interactive, and there are no branch locations for the bank. A bank would be transparent with who owns the website and who they are, but this website isn’t giving us that which can confirm that it’s not a real banking website.
Linnie looked at the images of who the scammer claimed he was. She found out that his real name was George and he is a former state social attorney in Mexico. There are many videos of him speaking to the public and Linnie thinks that the scammer took these videos and recorded over them what they wanted to say before sending them to Val.
Val was disheartened to hear that the man she was talking to wasn’t real. However, she was also expecting it with all the red flags that she saw about him. She is still processing this news and is choosing to be strong.
“It’s only money. Nobody lost their lives, nobody died. I was not married to the man.”
She is disappointed that he took her money, but thinks that it’s more her fault than his for falling for it. He also distracted her from a project she was working on, so she plans to go back to working on that project. She doesn’t plan on entertaining foolishness anymore. As scammers talk to women, they will say anything the woman wants to hear to groom you. So she says to watch out.
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.