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.
I have been scammed of $33,500 over the internet by a man who goes by the name Paul, a Dutch man, Civil Engineer and widower.
I met him online through Yahoo Messenger in October 2011. I was going through a difficult time personally and wanted to meet some friends. I knew people that had met great people online so I thought I would try it. Paul reportedly was born in Leiden, Netherlands, attended the University of Leiden and got his engineering degree in Amsterdam at the university. He was married to Kate who was killed in a vehicle accident along with his son, James, in 2008 in the west business district of Amsterdam. (He later changed it to his daughter, Jackie, and told me I misunderstood. Hmmmm.) That’s how he ended up in the US, because he lost “everything” and came here to recover.
He went to Dubai right after I met him online to bid on a huge building project (5 star hotels) that was to give him funds to start over and help support missions, especially orphanages overseas. He said he was a Christian and knew the Bible quite well. While he was there, he became ill and required hospitalization. That was the first request for money. He said his bid was taking longer than expected and with the needed funds for the hospital he was going to be jailed if I couldn’t raise the funds to help him. So I sent $1250 to a “friend’s wife, Monica” in the Philippines. Next it was a request for more, $2000 to the same person.
Then he wanted to come home and needed $5,000. He was stranded in London because his valuables, passport and money were stolen by an Indian taxi driver. Then he was taken in by a “cop” and his wife in Manchester where he did house work and cooked for them to pay for his room and board. He needed $15,000 to pay his immigration attorney and leave the UK for the US. I wired this to another “friend” a Chinese man from Shanghai who was going to fly the money to him in London.
I questioned him every time and he always had a good excuse. He always promised to pay me when he got here from his bank in Bristol, TN where he had cash in the lock box at Wells Fargo. I became suspicious and he got upset, telling me he was going to send my money back. By that time I had closed that account after I realized I sent him my personal info on the receipt he asked me to email to him.
He always played on my good heartedness. I sent him $1,000 for medicine for his high blood pressure and food. He left Manchester after he “got a letter from his bank” attesting to his wealth and identity and went to stay with his sister, Jan, in Hampshire, UK. He borrowed money from his sister against her home and she was going to lose her home the first of the year if he did not get back to the US to send her the money to pay off her debt. That’s when I sent the final $2000 cash for his plane ticket to his “friend” in Laurel, MD, US who owned a business called Friendly Car Sales.
He promised me he would not disappoint me or hurt me, etc. you know the rest of the lie…..
I was just like everyone else, lured in by this male siren who spoke the language of true love or so I thought. I have filed complaints with the IC3, US Secret Service, local Police Department and Bank of America Security Department. I was intrigued by the details that this thief has memorized or maybe its all in a book that he refers back too, I don’t know. I do agree that this guy is very, very good at what he does for a living. I have talked to him on the telephone and also on webcam. I was fooled by his looks and personalized details to me.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!