Texas dating scam
In between prepping the turkey and picking up last-minute necessities for the annual family feast—the first without her husband of almost 50 years—a widow in upstate New York, picked up the phone. A wire transfer the widow had made—3,000, sent earlier that month to a new friend she had met through Match.com—had been flagged as a fraudulent transaction.(The woman, who spoke with MONEY and shared legal documents related to her case, asked that her name be withheld to preserve her privacy.) At first, the 75-year-old tried to explain that the call was an error, but it soon became apparent that this was no mistake.He told her that he managed finances for friends, and assured her that he could make her more money.While she was comfortably situated, the idea of getting better investment returns piqued her interest—it sounded like something nice she could do for her kids and grandchildren.At the same time, Duffey was offering a sympathetic ear.The widow was still learning to live on her own and sifting through all the paperwork and financial documents—a daunting task for her.He was a retired accountant who was raised in England, living now in Texas, he said.She revealed that she had three kids and was trying to learn how to handle home repairs.
And the widow—a retired nurse—soon found herself in a health battle of her own.
When she went into her local Bank of America, the teller questioned her reasons for processing the transfer.
But she stuck to what Duffey told her to say: that it was for a family matter.
Indeed, only one in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reported, according to an estimate by the National Adult Protective Services Association.
The widow’s case started shortly after she joined the dating site
The month after the funeral, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer.