It is very hard to overcome this pain and shame. Here is my story. I got out of a romantic scam on 1/28/22 when I realized I was scammed. It only took a month. Yes, I sent 11,000 euros ($13,000 US) to a scammer in just one month. This is how it started: A scammer found me on Facebook and sent a message that he wanted to meet me and make me look like a good woman, hardworking and honest. He introduced himself as a widower doctor with one 10-year-old son in boarding school, works for the UN, and is from Los Angeles but is currently on a mission in Syria.

He asked for us to communicate on Viber because Viber has a good translator, and he wants to learn the Serbian language. He said he loved Serbia from the stories of his patients who were from Serbia. And that Serbia is the land of his dreams. I thought, ok, that’s nice, and continued the conversation with him.

He was literally reading my mind in our conversations. He was attentive and looked out for me. Without vulgarity, he was different from my Balkans, who can be bold and rude. He said everything a lonely woman wants to hear. I told my parents about him, and they sadly supported me to continue the conversation with him. Knowing how much I suffered in life, they thought happiness had finally found me. I asked him to call me to see who I was chatting with, and he video called me. It was him as in the picture, but the connection was terrible with breakups. I’m just now realizing that the call was bogus.

After 20 days of intense correspondence, he tells me that he is happy today because, finally, he is terminating his contract with the UN and received payment from the UN of $900,000 for his work and will retire. Since Syria is a war zone, he is afraid to keep the money with him because he does not know what might happen. He said the money could not be transferred to his bank account because it was temporarily closed because he had no transactions. And he couldn’t send the money to his 10-year-old son. He begged for me for help. He asked me to send him my address to mail me a package. I said yes, unfortunately. I never told my parents anything about it. He sent me a link to track the package via a service I found was there but realized later that it was fake.

I was also contacted via email by the official agent carrying the package. The problem arose in Turkey when the customs stopped the package. He asked me for 5000 euros to pay for the security that the package did not contain weapons. I paid for it. After 5 days due to late payment, the package charged a “demurrage” of 10,000 euros. I did not have that money, so I took out a loan, but they only allowed me only 6,000 euros because of my credit. The agent carrying the package agreed to the amount, and the agent himself paid the rest.

During this time, I was chatting with him and telling him I had no money, the conman told me my details were on the package, and I could be charged with money laundering and that I had to work out somehow to get the money. That scared the hell out of me. Do I end up in jail? That’s what I mentioned to him that Croatian police threatened me for a package and demanded a payment of 20,000 euros. I really didn’t have that money. I asked a friend for help, and he helped me by telling me that everything I did was probably a fraud and the package probably didn’t exist. I mailed the bogus agent that I had no money and asked what had to happen now. I wrote to the fake doctor that I knew it was a scam and not to write to me anymore. He sent me his passport and his United Nations membership card to prove to me that he is not a fake person. I lied to him that one policeman pointed out to me about fraud. The fraudster didn’t get scared and told me not to listen to anyone but him, the fraudster. He told on himself because he is 55 years old according to his passport, yet he told me he is 45 years old, and that’s what I told him. And since then, he doesn’t write anymore. I forgot to mention his son also emailed me that he couldn’t wait to meet me. So there is my story right there.