Loved and lost $20,000

Loved and lost $20,000

SINGAPORE - A special-education teacher's tale with her Internet lover started in September.

The 28-year-old met the man claiming to be an American on Facebook, after receiving a random message from him. And she came out of it about $20,000 poorer.

"He would call me every day and talk to me. He fell in love very fast. He would use (terms) like 'you are the one' and so on," she told My Paper in an e-mail interview. She did not want to be named.

The man claimed to have a child from a previous marriage, and it was his "emotional play" that convinced the victim.

"He sent me many pictures of her. He said he had no one back home, just his sister, who was not working and taking care of his kid," she said.

She claimed that she was suspicious the whole time. Nevertheless, she sent him money, over and over again.

Just two weeks after they started talking, he said he was going to Britain on business.

While there, he asked her to help him pay for his hotel accommodation. He said that he could not access his bank account in the United States because there was "funny activity" in his account.

Then, he had to "go back" to the US to get money. She paid for his "flight" back home but, halfway through the journey, he was not allowed to continue because he did not have the sufficient "basic travel allowance" required.

She sent him a further £4,400 (S$7,390) at that point. She did not go to the police, but went to the Embassy of the United States to verify his identity. They advised her to stop sending money immediately.

She did. But, even after she stopped answering his calls, he called her for three weeks. He also got a "lawyer" to call her to say he needed more money.

Asked why she had agreed to his requests, she said: "The problem is he was not like other scammers... He is still asking and he is still sticking to his story.

"His story seems to hold out. But the problem is so many misfortunes befall him."

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