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Online Romance Scam Suckers Bereft Man Out of $200,000

online romance scamA 48-year-old Illinois man recently learned, the hard way, that '419' scams involve more than just distressed bankers, contrite hitmen and forlorn princes. The unnamed victim reportedly discovered the agonizing truth when his online love interest -- of more than two years -- turned out to be a complete fabrication.

The heart- (and bank account-) breaking scam cost the man more than $200,000, but he did ignore a variety of sketchy signifiers. Perhaps the most glaring sign was that he'd never actually met the "woman." And, the jet-setting (although mysteriously destitute) girlfriend also requested that he wire his monetary gifts to exotic locations, including Nigeria, Malaysia, England and the United States.

The victim, who initially contacted police after his imaginary girlfriend was supposedly kidnapped, was reportedly "in disbelief" when authorities told him the truth. Hopefully, though, he'll apply that attitude of disbelief to future situations involving unknown entities and, most importantly, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tags: 419, 419Scam, NigerianScams, OnlineRelationships, top