DENVER (CBS4) – One Colorado woman learned a costly lesson in the search for love.
She trusted a man she met online and ended up losing more than $60,000. She is now hoping to help protect others from making the same mistake.
Law enforcement say the internet, along with many dating sites, make a “sweetheart scam” an easy crime. Online a person can pretend to be anybody they want to be.
The woman we will call Alexandria says she met her love online via Match. Another member approached her, saying he was in a relationship, but his boss wanted to meet her based on a profile that he saw.
Alexandria does not want to be identified which is why we blurred her picture and changed her name. She says she fell in love over emails and phone calls with a man allegedly named Harry Kane. They talked and emailed for a few months while he was overseas for work. “I saw that he had a house here locally and I thought, wow, that’s too good to be true.”
It was, she says.
The Central Colorado woman says she is ashamed that she was bilked out of $62,000.
She never even met Kane. After a few months of the computer courtship, her online love told her they would meet once he got back from business in Africa. He claimed to have an elevator installation company. That is when the requests for money began.
“It started out with maybe $500 dollars and then he kept upping the ante,” she says. “Then a crane broke down and he needed me to send money to fix the crane, so he could finish the job, Alexandria explains. She says that phone call was a $17-thousand dollar request. “It kept building up more and more and more,” she adds about the money requests.
Alexandria eventually reported Kane to the FBI but she says the agency has not even returned her calls.
As for her money, it is still gone.
“I feel so powerless,” says Alexandria. “I feel so stupid.”
That is why she is sharing her story with CBS4. She hopes another person does not fall prey to the popular sweetheart and romance scams.
“I want to help protect other women so this doesn’t happen to them. It’s made my life miserable.”
Law enforcement say sweetheart scams are hard to prosecute because the suspects are usually impossible to find, many times located in other countries, which also makes it a jurisdictional nightmare to even try to prosecute if they are found.