LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) — A woman is out $175,000 after falling in love online. She told 6 News her story with the Better Business Bureau and police at her side.
“I sent him some money, and from then on it always seemed like there was a situation he needed money for,” she said.
The victim, who wants to remain anonymous, says she thought she found love online. The woman was told by the suspect they could not meet because he was in Africa with his 15 year old daughter. The man, who claimed he was an engineer and had a gemstone business on the side, brought up money about three months into their relationship.
“I have to get cleared the gemstones and there is a duty that is due on them,” the victim recalled the scammer telling her. His pleas for money kept coming.
“Then they were on the way to the airport and they got into an accident and his daughter was injured.”
By the time she figured out it was a scam, she had lost $175,000. The Better Business Bureau says these scams are very common.
“At any given moment there are more than 25,000 fraudsters online interacting with victims,” said BBB Regional President Jim Hegarty.
The losses range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Currently one of my investigators in the unit is investigating one where just the victim in Lincoln has sent over $400,000,” said LPD’s Sgt. Steve Wiese.
It’s keeping police investigators busy. The victim has a warning for those who are asked to send money to someone they have never met, she said, “Don’t send $10 anywhere. It is very devastating and emotional, then you’re angry at yourself.”