Romance Scam Costs Victim Her Home And $83,000

CLAYTON – A Johnston County woman looking for love ended up being manipulated out of her home and money in a romance scam. In October 2020, the 47 year-old woman said she met a man on a dating website. The man claimed he had recently left the US military overseas and didn’t have money to return to the United States..

Even though they had never met, the scammer quickly professed his love for the woman and within several weeks had made plans to marry. But he told her there was one problem.

The scammer claimed that after he left the US military, he had been staying at motels in Iraq where he had been stationed. He claimed he needed money to take care of some expenses before he could travel to the United States and Johnston County where he would marry the victim.

Unfortunately, the victim fell for the scam. She sold her home and converted the $83,000 in equity to Bitcoins. She then transferred the money to the man with one request. Let her know when the money arrived.

The scammer emailed her with the money arrived. She never heard from him again.

Scammers frequently use dating sites to meet their victims. Be suspicious of anyone who claims to need money for emergencies, bills or travel. Scammers often plan a visit but cancel due to an emergency. They also ask for short-term loans or payment for a plane or train ticket to travel to meet.

According to the FBI, scammers will search for details about you on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image and name have been used elsewhere. Go slow and ask a lot of questions.

If the individual seems too perfect, gives excuses for weeks or months why they can’t meet in person, or asked for money, beware.

In this case, the local woman lost her home and $83,000 to the scammer. Authorities are now investigating but it’s unlikely the suspect, who is most likely overseas, can ever be identified and located.


  1. Sometimes these scammers can be really smart and can even fool smart people, but $83,000? That’s insane! Not to mention the fact that the money was sent as Bitcoin, so that money is gone. I hope the woman has learned her lesson when it comes to scams like these.

  2. Love is blind and deaf.

    Your emotions are nothing more than a chemical cocktail excreted by your Amygdala in response to some existential stimuli. Emotions aren’t a brain and as a consequence cannot think.

    It’s OK to feel but take a moment to think before you react. Simply following one’s heart can lead to untenable situations with devastatingly irreversible consequences.

    I feel terrible for the victim.

  3. OK, this was bothering me so I did the conversion. $83,000 US Dollars in Bitcoin converts to 48,905,800.00 Iragi Dinar. (assuming the bandit is actually in Iraq.)

    She single-handedly created an Iraqi millionaire over night. Give it a try, check my math:

    • Clicking on a link from someone I don’t know is also dangerous. I’ll trust you. But not with my wallet or my computer. 🙂

  4. This amount is unbelievable. I don’t know how he justified such a staggering amount of money? So very sad…

      • What I mean is, how would she possibly believe that he would legitimately need such a large amount of money for a valid reason?
        In some of these cases it seems like the victim’s family should be in charge of the finances if they are this easily robbed.

  5. Seriously? The military doesn’t discharge people over seas. They bring you back to states for your out processing.

    • One can separate while overseas as well as retire. One does not have to come back to the states to discharge. Just a little more paperwork to fill out.

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