Widow says she lost $430,000 due to a romance scam
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF/Gray News) – A woman in Alabama 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 three men over the span of eight years online.
She recently learned it was all a scam and stopped sending money last week. One man who was supposed to receive money from her Tuesday texted her during an interview with WAFF.
“I’m sorry, my love, for not texting you,” the man texted her.
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 $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,” Libhart said.
She says it began about two years after her husband suddenly died.
“I had no clue,” Libhart said. “I believed them. I wanted to get married again.”
Libhart said one of her friends tried to warn her, but she was convinced the men were legit.
“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,’” Libhart said.
Libhart said her bank even called concerned about where she was sending all of her money.
“I am not going to do that anymore,” Libhart said.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, more consumers than ever are falling for romance scammers. They reported victims losing $547 million in 2021.
The BBB offers the following 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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