GoFundMe launched after Diamondbacks’ ‘Rally Sally’ loses $160,000 in romance scam | 3 On Your Side | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — If you’ve been to a Diamondbacks game the past few years, you probably saw a woman high up in the stands dancing and waving D-Back flags in hopes of bringing the team good luck.

“I’ve been known as the crazy dancing lady, to the dancing Grandma to Rally Sally, which is the name the Diamondbacks organization gave to me,” she told 3 On Your Side.  

Rally Sally’s real name is Cindy McBride, and this senior citizen has quite the story to tell. But it has nothing to do with supporting her favorite baseball team.

“I got involved with something I never should have gotten involved in,” she said.

It all started when McBride created a Facebook account and began chatting. That’s when she was immediately contacted by someone she thought was a charming, high-ranking military officer who claimed to be overseas in the U.S. Air Force and wanted to be McBride’s Facebook friend.

“What does he say his name is?” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked her. “Eric T. Hill,” she replied.

The real Eric T. Hill is a reputable and distinguished Major General in the Air Force. Cindy didn’t know it at the time, but a scammer was using this decorated officer’s picture and name found all over the Internet to trick lonely women like McBride into sending money. More on that in a minute, but first, this devout Christian says she found herself falling in love through her online conversations.

“I would be like he does know the scripture because he would send me back scriptures immediately,” she said.

“And you were impressed with that, right?” Harper asked.

“As a Christian, definitely,” she said.

And the scammer had a real way with words saying, “Hello Honey… It’s me, your love… I miss you so much, my love. Please get back to me on here if you get this message.” The messages went back and forth for weeks, and then, it happened.

“‘Do you have an extra $500 you can send me?’ And I thought, yeah,” McBride said.

But McBride was asked to hide the money inside a book first before sending it. So, she went to her home library, grabbed a book, and very slowly and methodically used a razor to cut a hole in the pages in order to conceal the cash. She even showed 3 On Your Side how precise she was when doing it.

“I would put the dollar bill here, like this, and I would then take a pencil and mark the edges,” McBride explained.

McBride actually took these photographs of the books she hid the cash in. And what started out as just $500 quickly grew. McBride took out her phone to show 3 On Your Side more money ended up being sent.

“That was one of the payments I sent him,” she said as she showed a picture. “If you count, there are 10 stacks of $10,000.”

That’s right, $100,000 cash hid inside several books and mailed.

“How much cash did you send in all?” Harper asked.

“About $160,000,” she said.

McBride says she even took out a personal loan in order to keep her relationship going.

“Did you think you were falling in love with him?” Harper asked her.

“Well, the more he said, yes, the love started.”

McBride eventually ran out of money and realized the man she thought she was in love with, Eric T. Hill, is actually a victim as well.

“This is a military picture that I got,” she said as she showed us a photograph.

“But this is really an innocent guy whose identity was stolen,” Harper told her.

“Yes,” McBride said.

She’s not the only one duped. 3 On Your Side found this website warning people that the same name and photo that McBride was sent was a fake account. The site says Eric T. Hill on Facebook is “used by scammer criminals to romance scam and steal money.”

McBride says she knew better, and now, she is paying a heavy financial price.

“I’ve asked the heavenly father for forgiveness, but I have to forgive myself first, but that’s hard to do now when you make such a stupid mistake like that.”

And unfortunately, it gets worse. McBride sold her condo and used the proceeds to fund her online relationship with this scammer. As a result, she will be without a place to stay at the end of this month, and she has no idea what she’ll do.

A GoFundMe has been set up to try and recover the nearly $200,000 that was lost. You can donate here.

If there’s an update, I’ll certainly let you know in a follow-up report.

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