If you listened to episode 4 of my podcast I had Special Agent Marie Smith from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation on. She just sent me this story and I had to share it with you all.
In the past month I’ve talked to several women who were victims of the oil rig romance scam. These are their stories (cue Law & Order theme song):
One lady was sending money to a guy in a neighboring state at the direction of her scammer. The guy she sent money to was a former victim, turned money mule. Turns out he was victim of a romance scam in which he was “dating” an Army general woman he met online. When he ran out of money, the scammer turned him into a mule. It’s also worth mentioning that he was married! This is just like I explained to you when we discussed the anatomy of the scam. They use and abuse these victims and then turn them into perpetrators.
One lady had driven over 300 miles to try to put money into a bank account several states away. The bank she needed to deposit at was a local community bank that did not have a presence in her state. When she got there, the bank wouldn’t let her make the deposit because they thought it sounded suspicious. So she wasted all that time, money, gas, and a hotel room….but she still had money in her pocket for the moment! Thank goodness for these banks asking questions!
The common denominator – loneliness. All single women in their 70/80s just looking for connection. It’s so important for seniors especially to get plugged into a community – senior centers, church groups, civic groups, etc!
Please don't let your grandmother, mother, neighbor fall for this. Talk to them. Send them here to read the stories and listen to my podcast. It is so important to stop this.
It will take ALL of us to take a stand!!!