Suzie Victor was searching for that special someone.
“I’d been divorced for six years and never really had a date. So I thought, ‘Why not?'” Victor said.
She signed up with an online dating site called SeniorPeopleMeet.com and was contacted by a man who seemed to be her perfect mate. He claimed his name was Anthony Bedell, and sent her a few photos. He appeared to be a dark-haired, Italian-American man.
“I was interested in him, and he seemed to be interested in me,” Victor said.
After a month of emails, instant messaging, and phone calls, Victor fell in love. So when Bedell told her his luggage had been stolen on a business flight to Nigeria, she agreed to help.
“He wanted me to send him, first of all, it was about $10,000. I said, ‘I can’t do that,’ but I told him, ‘I’ll go to the bank and see if I can get a loan.’ I got the loan the same day,” Victor said.
She took out a $6,800 loan and wired the money to Nigeria. It became the first of more than a dozen money transfers.
“He’d been robbed twice. He was going hungry. He caught malaria in June,” Victor said, rattling off some of the man’s excuses.
In all, Victor wired her online love more than $30,000, without ever meeting him in person.