Woman Who Fell for Online Dating Scam Should Have Known Better

dollar bills shaped as a heartThe fact that one out of five relationships begin online these days isn't all that wild to believe. If you didn't met your S.O. online, your best friend, mother-in-law, or brother did. It's not that bizarre, taboo practice it was even a few years back, thank goodness! But that hasn't stopped the horror stories from rolling out in the media.    

The latest: A 56-year-old medical professional from New Hampshire named Claudia Leblanc, who had just lost her father and completed 2½ years of cancer treatments, ended up getting conned out of $25K after connecting with a man on Match.com. A local NH radio station detailed her horrendous story ...  

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Apparently, the guy sweet-talked Leblanc into believing that he was working on a major construction project in Egypt. He asked her to send an iPhone, an iPad, $6K for a camera lens, and she had no problem doing this for a guy she thought had feelings for her. Again and again, she would wire money overseas. $10K here, $2K there, laptops, etc. He reportedly promised her that he would pay her back double when he returned to the States. Leblanc even borrowed money from family to help her online love out. But, after she had shelled out $25K and had nothing else to spare, he told her she must not care enough for him to come back to the U.S. Wow. Soon, she took to Google and figured out that she had been part of a long con. 

While this definitely sounds like a nightmare, what breaks my heart is that this woman failed to confide in someone in her real life who could have told her that this sounded totally sketch and that she was being taken for a ride. What's so gut-wrenching is that she didn't know any better than to believe this guy, or she just wanted so badly to believe him that she coughed up all this dough.

But unfortunately, Leblanc's story also proves that not everyone has the instinct or intuition to gauge who or what is legit on the web. Maybe someone who is a total novice like this should employ the help and guidance of friends or family who have already navigated an online dating site successfully. It can be done! Because even with all the jerks and weirdos out there in the online dating pool, a horror story like this is still more the exception than the rule.   

How disturbing is this? Do you think Leblanc should have known better?



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