DENVER (CBS4)– A local woman has a warning for others looking for love after she fell victim to what’s called a sweetheart scam.
She claims her online match broke her heart and stole her money. Scammers find their victims by claiming to look for love on dating websites.
The cancer survivor didn’t want to use her name, but said when she met Alexander Bill on ChristianMingle, he seemed like a dream come true.
Bill reportedly told her he was a widower working on an oil platform at sea while his daughter worked as a missionary in Malaysia.
“He wrote me back and said beauty is like a tree, it grows from the inside out,” said the woman. “I thought here was a person who could accept me for me.”
After weeks of online conversation, he allegedly needed a favor– $1,000.
“His daughter needed money for an exam. Like a fool I went and sent the money Western Union,” said the woman.
She said he soon asked for more money but he disappeared when she said no. While the money is gone for good, the victim said it was her heart that was truly stolen.
“Being in my situation, I just can’t fathom how somebody can do this,” said the woman.
The Better Business Bureau said all the red flags were there.
“Sweetheart scams are some of the most shameful and most despicable because they prey on your emotions,” said Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Megan Miller. “They usually have a child or some health issue that they talk about a lot.”
The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant.