Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a Hoax-Slayer reader as a warning to other Internet users. Names and other details have been changed to protect the privacy of the victim.
Well, I don’t quite know where to start because there is so much to tell. My name is Jill, and I unfortunately was the victim of a romance scam. In April of 2013, I received a message on Facebook from a man named Giovanni. I hesitated to reply because I had never responded to a man online before.
I should have gone with my gut instincts because he ended up truly breaking my heart, so much so that I am leery of any relationship now. I am so very embarrassed that a woman of my age was so easily duped. I’ve never had a problem meeting men because I am a very beautiful woman inside and out. I have a heart of gold and would help anyone in need within reason.
Like I said, I began communicating with Giovanni in April of 2013 and he just swept me off my feet. He was just so charming and said the most beautiful things, actually everything a woman loves to hear. That did throw up a red flag, but I really wanted to see how far this online relationship would go.
We talked every day, and he told me that his wife had died of breast cancer and that he had a daughter, Jennifer, who was 13 years old. He said that his daughter was all he had and all he lived for until he met me. He told me that when he saw my picture, I swept him off his feet, and of course when I saw his picture he swept me off my feet as well.
He told me that his daughter needed a mother figure in her life, and I was so excited because I wasn’t able to ever have children. Our conversations went on for about two months and then I got a phone call from him one day telling me that him and his daughter were stuck in China because they had gotten beat up and robbed the night before and he needed some money to pay for the hospital bills because Jennifer was hurt badly. I told him I didn’t have any money to send, and I wouldn’t send it if I did. I do not give men money especially a man I have never met in person.
That didn’t stop him from sending me emails and messages online, so like a fool, I thought he really cared for me. He would tell me how much in love he was with me and that when he returned to the United States he wanted us to be together forever.
To make a long story short, this went on for 6 months. He now said he was in Malaysia and that he would have women send me money to send to him so he could come back home to the States. He said he was an artist and was born in Scotland and raised in Amsterdam, Netherlands and had just recently moved to the United States to start a new life.
The last straw for me was when he had someone send me a fraudulent check for $5,890.00 and told me to deposit it into my account and withdraw the money and send it to him by Western Union. I wasn’t about to deposit it into my account so I took it to the same bank the check was written on, and they told me it was a fraudulent check so I told them to keep it and send it to their fraud department, which they did.
Don’t be a victim like I was. Meeting men on line isn’t for me ever again. I want to thank God for Blessing me with the ability to go with my instincts and my God given intuition.
During the course of the scam, Jill received a number of photographs supposedly depicting the man she thought she was talking to online. However, she later discovered that the images had been stolen from another source and reused without their owner’s knowledge or permission. The man whose identity and pictures were used by the criminal is innocent and a secondary victim of the scam.