I have been divorced since 2018. All of my friends in my divorce support group were online at different dating sites trying to find love; some were successful. I wasn’t in any hurry to be with a man again, but finally, in late 2019 and early 2020, I decided to try some of the dating sites for myself. A couple didn’t produce anything really, but I had quit drinking in 2015 and quit smoking in 2013, so I had found a site called Single and Sober and gave it a try. It was the beginning of my horror story.

A man from St. Paul, Minnesota, answered my ad. He was sober and tobacco-free for 5 years because his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash. His job was a self-employed project manager working for the government, leaving for work in London, England. He was going to retire after the job was finished and relocate somewhere else. We chatted daily for a few days on the site, and then we exchanged phone numbers to message each other easier.

We talked about meeting in person before he left, but we decided he wouldn’t be gone long, so he would come to Ohio after his job was done.

A couple of weeks after our first chat, he went to London. Things progressed quickly. All of the requirements in my profile were filled immediately by him. I didn’t realize that everything I asked for was HIS FUEL to get me to trust and fall in love with him quickly. It was decided he would move to Ohio to be with me.

Long story shortened; I sent Western Union, cashier checks, money orders, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, cash to him from other people and to other people for him, and bitcoin wallets. I drained my checking account, took out cash advances on my credit card, and took a loan from my retirement funds. I then found myself with credit cards bills and taxes, lying to people (friends, family, bankers, and a financial representative).  After withdrawing half of my retirement money, my bank closed my original checking account. I was warned by a second bank that I was being scammed. Instead of listening to them, I listened to my heart and continued the charade for a year until the FBI contacted me. So far, I have lost $170,000. Plus, I still have to pay off my credit card bill and pay income taxes for the next two years.