A 48-year old married woman with 2 kids was seduced and duped out of $7000, by an online boyfriend whom she had never even met. The woman, identified as “Alice”, became infatuated with a man she met on Facebook, who claimed to be a Chinese businessman living in Canada.
Alice received a Facebook request by the scammer in December of 2017, and the two started talking on a regular basis. According to Alice, their conversations became more frequent and eventually they exchanged phone numbers.
The two had developed a close relationship to the point where it seemed like the two were in love. This, however, would not last.
In March 2018, the scammer requested Alice’s address as he wanted to send her a package from Canada.
A few days later, Alice received a called from a man claiming to be an agent from a courier service. The agent claimed that Alice’s parcel was being detained at customs and that she would need to pay a $2000 tariff in order to receive it.
On the same day, the scammer made a call to Alice to notify her that he had sent out the package.
The scammer told Alice that the package contained jewellery, a laptop, a computer tablet, a handphone and US$25’000 in cash.
Alice believed the scammer’s tale and transferred $2000 to the courier company.
The following day Alice received a second call from the courier service, claiming that her package contained documents that would need to be declared and that the fee for doing so was $5000.
Although she was suspicious, Alice wasn’t about to let money get in the way of love. This time, however, she needed to withdraw money from a joint account she shared with her mother to make the payment.
Weeks later, a different agent called her, requesting an additional payment of $26,700. Finally, Alice decided to make a police report. The police confirmed that she had been the victim of fraud and due to her timely report, she was able to recover the money that was stolen from her.
Alice’s husband never learned of the existence of her online boyfriend, or how close they were to losing thousands of dollars.