Edmonton (July 31, 2019) – Evelyn Wichmann was the victim of romance fraud. A man which she met on an internet dating site seduced her into paying $250,000 and finally drove the 62-year-old receptionist into financial ruin, CBC reports. Edmonton police investigate the scam.
Wichmann met the man online, where he described himself as a 56-year-old civil engineer living in Calgary, Alberta. He claimed that he moved to the United States and that he was preparing to travel to Turkey, to build a charity hospital. At this time, he started asking for money to cover the costs of his project. After a few weeks, he told Wichmann that he was wrongfully detained in Turkey. He claimed that he needed her help to get out of the prison, to settle up a hospital bill and finally, to leave the country.
She had been sending all the money he requested with high hopes for starting a new life together in California and the promise that he would pay her back. On July 16, the scammer was supposed to arrive in Edmonton, but he never came.
Wichmann was warned by friends and family who got suspicious of her online love. But she believed in him and refused to doubt their relationship. Now, Wichmann is left in financial ruin. She plans to sell her house where she lived for the past 30 years so she will be able to pay the bills.
Romance scammers often use internet dating sites to persuade and betray their victims by faking emergencies for which they need money.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.