After Repeatedly Loaning Her Online Boyfriend Money, Woman Finally Realizes She Was Scammed Out Of $100,000

It's hard to believe in this day and age that people will fall for internet robbery scams, but it's still happening at an alarming rate. While it may seem like a no-brainer, when you're involved with someone and feel close to that person, it's easy to talk yourself into the idea that you're doing the right thing. One recent victim says she never expected her first online relationship to come to this.

Patricia Meister, a 64-year-old woman from Queensland, Australia, was very new to Facebook. When she got a friend request in 2015 from a total stranger, she didn't think that there would be anything wrong with accepting it. Things spiraled out of control from there, and before she realized it, she'd been taken for thousands of dollars.

Meister struck up a friendship with the person, who she thought was a business man from Italy. The two flirted and things seemed to be going well. She'd never tried online dating before and had only used Facebook for business purposes, so Mesiter was completely naive about how online scam artists can wedge their way into your life and get your trust.

"We started chatting. he was charming, smart, and educated," she said.

The long-distance lovers progressed from Facebook to phone calls, and they were talking on a daily basis. The boyfriend then said he ran into some trouble, and asked her if he could borrow a small amount of money. Meister agreed and sent it to him.

“I guess at the time, I was going through a period in my life where I felt isolated,” Patricia said. “I’d been single for a while and I’d never been on dating sites.”

He continued to push Meister for more smaller sums, always having an excuse. Meister was willing to believe him.

“It didn’t feel right but I thought, ‘Well, it’s not a huge amount of money to lose.’ It wasn’t a huge request so I did a wire transfer to him,” she explained.

Excuses continued, and the man always had a problem in which a credit card wasn't working, or money owed to him wasn't coming through. Meister kept getting roped into sending him money, and the amounts started growing larger and larger. Before she knew it, she was sending him thousands at a time.

The man kept promising Meister that she was going to be paid back, and she trusted him. She waited patiently.

It all hit her that she'd been scammed when she received a phone call from a total stranger. The caller pretended to be a friend of her online boyfriend, and said he'd been in a terrible accident.

"My stomach dropped to my shoes. I knew at that point, I'd been scammed," Meister said.

It turns out that her Italian businessman boyfriend was a professional con artist from Nigeria. He was in the habit of preying on lonely women.

Meister says you shouldn't judge people who find themselves the victims of these professional scammers. “People think you’re stupid but they’re not walking in our shoes,” she explains. “It’s not a matter of being stupid. Even the most intelligent, educated women are getting scammed."

Meister's money is long gone, but she's hoping that something good can come out of the rubble. She hopes to help others and prevent them from suffering the same ordeal.

“I know I’ll never get my money back but all you can do is raise awareness,” she said. “There’s a lot of lonely people out there; the dating websites are riddled with scammers.”
Source: Little Things
Photo: Little Things

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