HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – One woman is out $430,000 to multiple men due to a romance scam. These scams are on the rise and prey on lonely widows.
Dr. Bonnie Libhart fell victim to not one, not two, but three men over the span of eight years online. She just recently found out that it was all a scam and stopped sending money just last week. One man who was supposed to receive money from her Tuesday, actually texted her during an interview with WAFF.
He texted her, ”I’m sorry, my love, for not texting you.”
Dr. Libhart sent pictures back and forth with these men, prayed with them, and talked about a life together. All three men lived overseas and started asking for money months into the relationship.
“I had the money,” Dr. Libhart said. “I had $430,000 in my bank account. Then I had on the house $650,000, and I got a reverse mortgage on it after I spent all the money, and I just kept sending money.
Dr. Libhart said about two years after her husband suddenly passed away that’s when this all started with the first man.
“I had no clue,” Libhart said. “I believed them. I wanted to get married again.”
The Federal Trade Commission says more consumers than ever are falling for romance scammers. They reported victims losing $547 million in 2021.
“One of my friends said, I think you’re being scammed,” Libhart said. “I said no, this guy and I talk about the lord back and forth, and we pray together. She said, well, we have a thing going on at the Baptist church in Huntsville for fraud and romance scam.”
That is when Libhart discovered it was all a lie.
Libhart says her bank even called her concerned about where she was sending all of her money, but she says she has learned her lesson.
“I am not going to do that anymore. If God doesn’t show me a man at church or somewhere with Christians…”
The BBB also has advice:
- Be wary if you meet someone online and they are quick to move communication off of social media.
- Also, scammers will hint at financial troubles before ever asking you for money.
- Lastly, A catfisher will begin speaking of a future together and tell you they love you quickly.
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