The War Vet, the Dating Site, and the Phone Call From Hell
I published one or two articles similar to this one within the last couple of years.
In one of them, the sexes were flipped around:
American women were being swindled by foreign men over the phone or on dating sites, foreign men who were lying and claiming to be American military servicemen, and these foreigners bilked those women out of many thousands of dollars.
Jared Johns found out too late that swapping messages with the pretty girl from a dating site would mean serious trouble. If only he had known who she really was.
[Article discusses how he chatted back and forth online with a person claiming to be an 18 year old American woman, and how this led to a scam to rip him off for thousands of dollars]
[Article goes on to explain how the scammers tried to get money out of Jared]
…Doug Fodeman could have reassured Jared.
For years, Fodeman has been hearing about calls just like the ones that had been terrifying Jared.
Along with a friend, the 64-year-old Massachusetts grade school educator started a website called TheDailyScam .com in 2015, after Fodeman’s son and mother were both hit up by con artists.
His son was pressured to fork over thousands of dollars, ostensibly to help a recently widowed woman get a wheelchair for her disabled son.
Fodeman’s mother was suckered out of $900 by a caller who said he was her handyman, and then claimed he had been arrested and needed bail money. Fodeman, who teaches internet safety to his students, figured even if the police couldn’t do much, he could at least try to warn other people.
So he set about building a simple, text-heavy WordPress site where he details the seemingly infinite abundance of online rip-offs, along with advice on how to detect and avoid them. (The site is basically a labor of love.
“We hoped it would become a business, but we found that no one would pay!” Fodeman says. “But I get lots of heartfelt thanks, so I figure it’s the right thing to do.”)
Since late 2016, more than 800 men—some of them service members—have contacted him, each with a story of an “underage girl” shakedown.
Sometimes a fake cop would call first, sometimes a fake parent.
The “parents” would say they wanted to be compensated because they had damaged a computer fighting with their daughter (or son—some scam victims were gay men) or had smashed her phone.
Or to cover therapy because the whole incident was so traumatic. Often one payment led to another:
If a victim handed over a few hundred bucks to cover, say, a broken cell phone, the scammers would soon call again to say the girl now needed expensive medical treatment because she had tried to kill herself.
In at least one case, the scammers squeezed about $1,000 out of a mark to pay for a nonexistent girl’s funeral.
Click (Link): here to read the rest of that article (on “Wired”)