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Clues (blog)

Woman loses $100K in online dating scam

A woman in Canada went into debt to send her date (whom she'd never met) $100,000.

Pat Leary of Victoria is hoping her story will help others to date, well, more smartly. Back in January, Pat met a man who called himself Fredrik. The two spent months exchanging several dozens of emails and talking by phone.

“I put my heart out there and I trusted,” Leary told CTV News in Vancouver. “I just wholeheartedly believed in the love he said he had for me and I was reciprocating it.”

Leary fell hard for Frederik but the two were never able to meet because he was allegedly working overseas on a project. Frederik, a con artist, claimed to be a Vancouver engineer. After months of courting, he said he loved her and asked Leary for a loan so he could complete his work and return home to finally meet her. Leary then went into debt to send him $100,000; though she says she lost much more than just the money.

So, what can you do to avoid a similar fate?

  • Don't send money - ever; PS you are not an ATM
  • Be wary of anyone who says they are working overseas and cannot meet
  • Always meet in a public place after a few emails have been exchanged; this isn't the Victorian Era no need to pen (OK, type) letters back and forth
  • Use Google Image Search to check if your date's picture pops up elsewhere and if it does, check why