Saturday, January 16, 2016

No refunds for the lonely

Being single in modern times is tough, you open up social media and are inundated with photographs of seemingly happy couples, or post's of couples being at romantic places. Most of us do not want to be alone. We weren't designed to be so. 

A client of mine called one evening. She had met a gentlemen online through another friends Facebook page. After chatting with this person, both online and on the phone she started to get some feelings for him. The man advised my client that he was a widower, his wife died of a heart attack last year, and he was left to raise their minor aged daughter alone. The man was finally going through his grieving process and was ready to find someone to move forward with in his life. My client wanting companionship as well,  and was delighted that this mans desires matched her own. After a short while things started to slowly change. The man told my client that he sometimes has to fly out of the country on business and that he would be going to Nigeria on a trip. 

While out of the country my client and her paramour continue to keep in touch. They speak daily and the man starts to ingratiate himself into her life. One day the man calls my client and says that he is in need of her help. As she knew he was out of the country but his daughter was at his sister's house and he needed some money to send to her for her birthday party, would she mind sending $100.00 to help him out? My client happily wires the money to his sister so that his daughter could have a great birthday party. Another couple of weeks go by and the man calls my client again, this time he has been robbed of some money and he is trying to get out of the country to go to his next place of business. He asks if she could please send him $500.00 to help him out? My client goes to the store and wired him the additional $500.00.

Another week goes by and the man is keeping in touch with my client. As they are cementing plans to meet face to face, tragedy strikes again. The man is stuck out of the country and needs money to pay for a new passport to go back home, he states that he is being held on the continent and will need an additional $5000.00 in order to come home. At this point my client becomes highly suspicious, she calls our offices and gives us the name, address, telephone number, deceased wife's name, and the name of the mans daughter. Before she continues on with this she wants to make sure that he is who he says he is and that everything is legit. Normally when a detective agency is supplied with all of this information we are able to pull in a lot of results. Well that did not happen, in fact, there was nothing, the name and date of birth could not be found in any databases. The address that he said he bought and lived in, could not be found anywhere, no county recorders recorders or tax records. The telephone number came back with no subscriber information, this usually indicates a prepaid burner phone. No deceased wife as well. The biggest kicker was when we were able to take his social media photographs and link them to different accounts with different names. We also were able to locate stories about him specifically and were able to find real photos of the con artist. 

Obviously by now you can see that this is fraud. My client was being strung along and taken for a ride. Once we reported our findings to her, our client became upset. She confronted the man with what we found and the man lied about it to the end, he even stated that he wanted to speak with the investigator and asked if the client had something for the investigator. But by this time it was too late the client saw through his charade, unfortunately there are no refunds for the lonely though, since anything you wire overseas comes with a warning. Hopefully someone out there will read this and not be taken advantage of, if you are going through this or you know of someone who is we encourage you to speak with either law enforcement or a professional licensed investigator. Thankfully my client contacted us before she was thousands of dollars in the hole. Some people aren't that lucky. 

Morrow Detective Agency is a licensed private investigation firm located on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles, Ca in Simi Valley, CA. Morrow Detective Agency is capable of performing surveillance, process service, locates, background investigations, asset investigations, and more. Please feel free to visit our website at or give us a call at (805) 823-3540 and allow us to make your problem our solution!