“He told me, “I just want you to know I’m telling you the truth,” she said.
Later in the online relationship, he would tell her of his confrontation with armed men in Malaysia and how they shot him five times. He even sent a photo of himself in a hospital bed.
When he asked for money to pay for his surgery, she decided to email his doctor in Malaysia and someone posing as the doctor responded. Ultimately, with the help of her sister, she sent him $17,000.
By this time, she admits, she was convinced his story was true and that her doubts were misplaced. She said her sister also believed him.
“I’m thinking, I’m a terrible person,” she said.
She followed up that first large payment with a second payment of $5,000, money he needed to pay bills and travel home to Toronto.
“Don’t I get a text from him saying he had to use that money to pay his lawyer and he still needed money for airfare,” she said.
At that point, she sent a third payment of $3,800.
She said his plan was to fly into Buffalo, pick her up and then travel to Toronto. Eventually, they planned to settle in Buffalo, she said.