A Nanaimo woman has been swindled out of $15,000 after falling for a romance scam perpetrated over Facebook.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, the 67-year old-woman was first contacted in January by a man, who went by the name Kevin Rand and claimed he is a high-ranking U.S. armed forces officer stationed in Turkey.
Conversations between them over two months became personal, Rand professed his love and proposed marriage and they made plans to live together in Homestead, Fla., after Rand returned from Turkey.
In April, Rand sent an e-mail asking for money to help pay for surgery for the wife of a friend. He followed up with another story that he had purchased gold, it was tied up in customs and he needed thousands of dollars to pay the taxes to have it released. Once the gold was released he’d sell it and use the money to help him move to Florida. In both cases, the Nanaimo woman wired him money.
Days later, Rand disappeared from her Facebook friends list.
“This didn’t have to happen,” said Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “[The woman] was planning on retiring soon but realizes now she will need to continue working to recoup from her financial loss.”
Nanaimo RCMP warn social media-based romance scams are common.
For more information about romance scams and other frauds, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at http://bit.ly/1PQLh6T.