Leilani from South Africa was talking to a man named Cogswell McCarthy who claims he lives in Turkey for work. She was really heartbroken due to a divorce in 2012 and wanted to date to move on from it. He messaged her on Instagram and then later continued their relationship on WhatsApp. What started off as friendly turned into a trusting relationship until she realized he was a romance scammer who duped her out of $3,000.
How Did She Meet the Romance Scammer?
She isn’t on a lot of social media sites or dating sites because it’s not for her. However, she does go on Instagram occasionally when she is bored. She then opened up her Instagram and saw that she got a message from him. There was only one picture of her on Instagram, and she thought the person liked the photo and approached her.
They had a nice normal conversation. Instead of him being overly flirty right off the bat, they started having a normal conversation about COVID-19. When he started talking about the economic and physical impacts of the coronavirus she thought it was interesting and she enjoyed the conversation.
What Was Going On in Her Personal Life?
She did not catch feelings for the romance scammer right away. When they first had conversations, they would more-so talk as friends. Then one day, he asked her if she was single and if she would get in a relationship with anyone else again. She said she would get into a relationship again if her situation would permit it.
This is because she has a busy life dealing with her brother who has been battling a drug addiction for the past six years. She’s also looking after her parents because they are just as stressed out as she is with her brother’s addiction. Because of this, she gave Cogswell her WhatsApp number because she got annoyed with Instagram’s messaging feature.
One day, her brother overdosed on drugs and almost died. His heart stopped working three times. She was holding his hand through the whole thing and waited for the EMTs to show up.
Why Did She Catch Feelings For Cogswell?
It was a really emotional time for her battling her brother’s addiction and Cogswell was really supportive of that. She felt embarrassed because it’s not always easy to admit that she has an addict in her family. Cogswell reassured her that she shouldn’t feel embarrassed that she has an addicted brother. She thought it was amazing that she could talk to someone, and was grateful that he showed he cared while she was going through a tough situation. That was when she started to develop feelings for him.
He’s sweet, supportive, had all the qualities you look for in a relationship. With that, she developed feelings for him because he helped her cope with the circumstances she’s dealing with in regards to her brother’s addiction. He was the person she went to when she was having a hard time and the rock in her life she needed.
She had a hard time connecting with people after what she went through and she also has to look out for her parents. They were dependent on her to give them support since they have been going through the same stresses as her.
When Did He Start Asking Her For Money?
Its always been a dream of hers to go overseas. She started planning a trip to meet him, and they were both so excited about it. She took out a loan at the bank to be able to book her trip through a travel agency. She said she needed the confirmation from the hotel so that she could apply for a Visa and he kept saying he hasn’t received the money yet.
He was also asking for money to get a phone and a laptop. He claimed he lost them, and needed new ones to keep in contact with her. She sent over the money so that she could keep in contact with him while she was flying, and went back to planning her trip.
He contacted her again and asked her when she was going to contribute for transportation to pick her up from the airport. She was pissed because he had been waiting to meet her for almost a year and now he needed gas money to go pick her up. She told him that she was really losing her feelings for him because if roles were reversed she would’ve been so excited to get him at the airport.
He told her to please help him with the gas money. Since she knew about his financial situation and how he was broke, she agreed to help him pay for the gas. She went onto Google to try to calculate how much gas he needed to pick her up from the airport. She calculated how much money she should transfer for his gas money and came up with $230. He then told her he was in pain and needed pain killers, which required him to ask for more money. She transferred another $100 for this too and helped him out.
How Did She Realize it Was All a Scam?
The day of the flight she was really hungry but due to COVID-19, there wasn’t much food on the plane. When she got off, she went to the hotel shop so she can eat something. After this, she tried contacting Cogswell and he didn’t respond to her emails, calls, or text messages.
This is when she realized it was all a scam when he refused to talk to her. Heartbroken, she still decided to make the most out of the trip and sightsee statues and buildings and also went on walks. She wants women to not go through what she went through, so she posted his picture on scammer pages. Her golden rule for online relationships is DO NOT send money!
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you think you’re dealing with a romance 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 the 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 cargo 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 romance scammer you are talking to.