Elsie (in Chicago) fell victim to a romance scam – this is where the scammers get to know their victim online then gradually change the relationship to one of taking, until the victim comes to realise what’s happening and ends the relationship.
But, is it that easy to recognise that you’re being scammed?
Elsie lost her husband and didn’t find it easy to move on with her life.
But several years later she wanted to try so she joined Facebook to engage more with people.
She was approached online by Donald who was working on a project in Toronto. He needed to send some work meters in advance of his arrival in Chicago in coming weeks and asked if she would mind accepting a parcel delivery.
She agreed as long as long as it wouldn’t cost her anything.
She received a call telling her that the parcel had been delivery to the depot and she needed to pay $65 to have it released for delivery to her home.
Elsie didn’t like that and refused but after a long story about how common underpayments are, she relented and paid up.
Laster that day another call from the depot to tell her the package contained a lot of cash and did she know anything about this.
She didn’t but now had to pay a further $250 for the package to be released and it could only go to her as it was addressed to her.
She then called Donald and the story gets more complicated but you can see how the scammers are gradually putting more pressure on Elsie and trying to get more and more money by different pretexts.
Donald was supposedly then too sick to travel to Chicago but the package was essential, so he begged her to accept it.
Elsie ended up paying more under the threat of being involved in money laundering if she didn’t and the demands for money kept becoming larger and more insistent.
Elsie ended up stressed and seriously out of pocket before she stopped taking the calls.
Beware, because these romance scammers are very professional in how they operate and they know how to be convincing and even at times threatening.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.