Widow scammed out of $70,000 in life savings by Facebook con artist | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams


Jennifer Dennis (left) met the con artist (right) on Facebook and wired him more than $70,000 (Pictures: WTVD)

A 76-year-old widow was scammed out of her life savings by a con artist on Facebook that she fell in love with.

Jennifer Dennis, was living in Georgia when she met a man on Facebook who called himself Caleb and said he was working as a doctor for the Red Cross in Yemen.

The two chatted online for months and Caleb proposed that they buy a home together in Cary, North Carolina, to live together and have a fresh start.

Dennis liked the idea because ‘everything about the house and the area reminded me of my husband, which was just heartbreaking’, she told WTVD of her existing living situation.

Jennifer Dennis and the con artist communicated online for months (Picture: WTVD)
The con artist told Jennifer Dennis that had been beat up and disappeared (Picture: WTVD)

Caleb said he would pay $600,000 toward their new home and asked her to pay the remaining $70,000. Dennis wired him that amount, plus $8,700 for other expenses.

Dennis and her son, Raymond, then packed up all their belongings, sold their Georgia home and drove to the house in Cary. Her son quickly realized something was off.

‘When I noticed that someone was still living in the house and knocked on the door, I automatically knew that it was a scam,’ Raymond told the TV station.

‘The owner of the home told them he had lived in the home for years and had no intention of ever selling.’

Jennifer Dennis and the con artist only chatted online and did not talk on the phone (Picture: WTVD)
Jennifer Dennis with late husband Richard (Picture: Facebook)

When Dennis informed Caleb, he sent her a picture showing that he had ‘supposedly been beat up’, she said. She never heard from him again.

‘I had all that money and I don’t think I’ll ever get it back,’ Dennis told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.

Dennis’ life savings were lost, and she and her son were left homeless. They slept in the car.

A member of their church later donated a camper for them live in. Dennis said her story should serve as a warning to others.

Jennifer Dennis and her son Raymond packed up their belongings and sold their home in Georgia (Picture: GoFundMe)
Jennifer Dennis said she does not believe she will ever get her money back (Picture: WTVD)

‘I think that it’s devastating for me, but I have my son, which has been a blessing,’ she told WTVD. ‘So some women are totally alone and they get scammed like that.’

Last year, romance scams cost nearly 70,000 people roughly $1.3billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

People who claim to be overseas and without access to a phone or video chat and can only communicate through text or an app are often scammers, said Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Melanie McGovern.

‘Or they’re giving you a hard story about a sick kid, a medical issue, they don’t have money and then they start asking for money,’ she told Good Morning America. ‘If it feels too fast, if the “I love you” comes really quickly, those are the biggest red flags of a romance scam.’





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