HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Houston widow was swindled out of thousands of dollars by a man she met on Facebook.
The 74-year-old wants to remain anonymous because she's embarrassed but she also wants to tell her story to warn others. There are hundreds of online dating scams and she is now a victim.
"She was actually the third (client). I had two others and they lost more," said Rob Kimmons, a former Houston police officer turned private investigator. Even Kimmons is surprised by how rampant the scam is.
The woman says she got a friend request on Facebook from a man calling himself Brock Carl. They first communicated on Facebook. He would also comment on posts she had commented on and they hadmutual friends, or so she thought.
"He was very carefully and very professionally insinuating himself into my life," she said.
The two eventually started talking on the phone. It was three months before he asked for money saying it was for a business deal in India. He sent her a copy of what she thought was his passport. It earned her trust. By then, she also thought she was in love.
"He's a fabulous actor."
She sent him more than $60,000 in several wire transfers. None of it was real. After investigating, Kimmons believes the money went to Nigeria.
"If you've never met them and you're talking on social media and they ask for money, stop it right there," Kimmons said.
This victim has lived and learned.
"I hate it. I'm sorry I got sucked in, but I won't lose another penny. I would assure you that."