Woman Victim of 'Catfish' Scheme, Loses $30,000
White Lake Police say a White Lake woman sent approximately $30,000 to Malaysia to support a "man" she met online.
A 63-year-old woman was the victim of a 'Catfish' scam according to White Lake Police.
The term “catfish” comes from the popular MTV show based on the movie of the same name and is defined as someone who creates fake profiles on social media and pursues online relationships under a false identity.
A report filed by the woman with police Feb. 20 states that the woman began a relationship with a man she met online in October.
From October through Feb. 1 the woman helped the man, who said he needed investors for a gas station he was building in Malaysia. The report states that the woman spent nearly $30,000 in computers and other items, sending them to an address in Malaysia. The man, according police, told the woman he lived in Illinois.
The woman told police she became suspicious after the man had to cancel their plans to meet in Chicago at the last minute. The report states that the man told the woman he was in an accident on the way to the airport and needed money to help pay for the hospital bills.
Police Lt. Don Nankervis said residents need to be very cautious about anyone they meet online. Unfortunately, the woman took out loans and credit card advances to help the man with his business, Nankervis said, and the creditors, while sympathetic, would not forgive the debt owed.