When I started online dating, the correspondence with my scammer quickly escalated to e-mail, texts, and phone calls. Within weeks it seemed as if we had a totally compatible love connection. My scammer was very articulate, well-read, been divorced for some time, sent me poetry, music, and even sent flowers to my home.

He sent me many pictures, including bank account statements, work invoices, inability to access his accounts. He maintained his professional reputation of working on a large renewable energy project overseas, assured me of a lifetime together, and promised to completely reimburse all of my funds from the millions he supposedly had in his account. He sent me documentation of his account, which later disappeared from my e-mail.

I was cautious, asked him questions almost daily; however, I was utterly taken in by how compatible, and in love, we seemed to be. Phone calls always gave me more reassurance. It escalated to him coaching me how to use various forms of wiring money, moving money from USD to bitcoin, and many more things I had no clue about without being coached.

All this happened over about three months. In these three months, I lost about $470,000. I filed reports with the FTC and FBI. I know I will likely never see any of my money again. I have to face taxes next year regarding the losses of investments, and I will probably have to max out my home equity loan to cover the taxes.

I spent my life raising four children and supporting my ex through his career rise and his job layoff and managed all the finances adeptly. I am now living on alimony, two pensions and SS from a divorce four years ago. So, at 62 years old, I will have to go back to work.

I want to help anyone I can through my experience. I have no pride anymore. It is very embarrassing and shaming, but I can’t feel more worthless than I already do. Only those who have been through it can understand this. I thought I was being so careful and helping my life partner. The only crime on my part was believing a liar and evil entity. I still can’t believe that anyone could be this evil and totally disregard anyone, but they are criminals. I’ll never understand this level of depravity.