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The Cut spoke to the victim of one such scam, Debby Montgomery Johnson, now 60, who lost more than a million dollars to a scammer between 20._________ How did you meet the man who would eventually scam you? I’d been married for almost 26 years, and he had a sudden heart attack and died. Lou left [for a short trip] on a Wednesday, and I got the call Thursday morning. Lou and I had been in the military, and when we went off on temporary duty, we always said “Good-bye, and see you soon.” It was kind of like that.
Lou left that morning, and said “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and then we [Deb and her four children] never saw him again.
In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 21,000 reports about online romance scams, totaling 3 million in losses.
As the number of dating sites and social media apps has gone up, so too has the number of romance scams reported — from 17,000 in 2017, 11,000 in 2016, and 8,500 in 2015.
So I figured well, heck, if it can work for them, then I can certainly try it.
I’d never heard of anybody being taken by an online romance, I’d only heard the good stuff.
There were times when, rather than pitch a fight, I would just say, “Okay, okay, I’m sorry.” My relationship with Eric online …
every time he listened to me, and let me talk and put my feelings out there, that filled a hole.
I would always ask, so I also got to know his attorney, whose name was Peter.He had started an internet company, and I was thrown into running it, in addition to my own job as a treasurer for one of the local schools.My friends, after about six months, said, “You know, you need a life.” I didn’t really like dating when I was 16, and I certainly didn’t want to do it at 52, but they said, . I had friends who’d met their spouses through online dating, and my mom said “Oh, one of my best friends met her husband online,” and we’re talking, like, 75 year-olds.What was the timeline he gave you as far as when you might meet, or when his work would allow him to be in the United States again?The promise was if that when he finished up this job, which was very big, he was coming home.