New Yorker scammed by online friend
A 26-year-old New York woman has been left in a state of fury and disbelief after she was conned out of US $3,000 by a man she met online.
The woman said that the man befriended her on the social media site, Facebook, and within two weeks he had a sad story. He was stuck in Jamaica with his daughter, after being robbed, and needed funds to get back to the United States of America, where he claimed he lives.
"He messaged me at first to say he wanted a relationship and after we exchanged numbers he started calling me from a Jamaican number. So I asked why are you calling me from a Jamaican number, he said he was in Jamaica visiting because he had death in the family. But they got robbed at gunpoint, they are dying of hunger and they are stuck in Jamaica with no money, so he asked if he could borrow money from me until he got back to the States," the victim told THE STAR.
In one of the messages sent by the apparent conman, the unsuspecting New Yorker was made to feel that she was his last hope.
"Me a beg yuh, me nah ask again," the man pleaded in a voice message sent to the unsuspecting woman in New York.
"Me swear pon me mother and me father life, me not even a ask bout me. Me a beg yuh do it fi she, as me come you get back the money. It's not even about me, yuh understand, that's the end of it, me nah ask nothing else, a swear to you," the message continued.
The woman said that she was at first reluctant to send the money as she was mindful of scammers.
"I told him I wasn't going to send any money because I don't even know his real name. He then told me his name and I did some research and realise someone did exist with the name, it matched the picture and he had a daughter for real," the woman said.
On March 23, she sent the man the first US$500 (approximately J$77,000), and within a month she had sent him a total of US $3,000 (approximately J$460,000).
"I kept sending him money and all but in different people name because he said he couldn't collect the money in Jamaica," the woman said.
The man reportedly told his new found friend and financier that he would have returned to the USA on April 24, at which time he would have repaid her. When that date passed and the woman failed to hear from her suitor, she realised something was wrong.
" I tried calling and messaging, and all now I can't hear anything from him," she told THE STAR. "Right now my mother is sick and I can't even find the money to help her."
She said that she decided to check the man's name on Instagram and was shocked to discover that another person, who lives in Scotland, uses the name that the man gave her.
"When I started telling the guy on Instagram about the situation, he said a lot of girls reached out to him claiming that someone on Facebook with his picture asked them to send money and all," the New Yorker said.
"Some investigation needs to be done because they need to be stopped. I have all the receipts of the money and who I sent it to," the woman said.