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 A romance scam victim gets cruel article written about it

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Baiting Guru

Joined: 15 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This one has me burning mad. Twisted Evil

First the real article about a victim of a scam:

Scam leaves Portsmouth woman out $25K

By Elizabeth Dinan
[email protected]
June 06, 2012 2:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH — Claudia Leblanc had just finished two and a half years of breast cancer treatments, and lost her father, when she decided to join an online dating service.

"I was ready to go out into the dating scene," said Leblanc, a 56-year-old medical professional from Portsmouth.

She joined in April and in less than a week was notified that someone who appeared to be a handsome man from Nashua had sent her a "wink." His profile name was "honestman," he e-mailed that "the key to a lasting relationship is complete trust," and said he had a dog named Coco.

In the month that followed, Leblanc said, she was romanced by "honestman," who "said everything a woman wants to hear," while he conned her out of $25,000. She said all of her savings is gone, her credit cards are maxed, and she's behind on her bills by a couple of months.

"I feel ashamed," said Leblanc, who is telling her story "for my own healing," as well as to warn others to heed warning signs while looking for love online.

Leblanc said her sister and brother had success with online dating so she decided to follow suit after surviving cancer. She was smitten by honestman's profile, which showed a clean-cut, 56-year-old man named Bennett Lawson, who had salt-and-pepper hair and a lucrative overseas construction business.

He "seemed nice and wealthy," Leblanc would later type into a federal Internet crime complaint form.

"I'm a first-time user of online dating," she also reported. "All seemed well."

The alleged eligible bachelor told Leblanc he was working one last job building roads in Egypt, then planned to retire. They e-mailed, they instant-messaged each other, and they spoke on the telephone.

It was during one of those conversations in May when Lawson said he was in Italy signing a contract for the Egyptian construction work, had hired a lot of people and needed an iPhone 4 and an iPad, Leblanc said. While "sweet talking" her, he asked Leblanc if she'd be willing to ship the electronics to an agent in Africa, who would get them to him in Egypt, she said.

Leblanc bought the devices and shipped them to Africa, as requested.


"Because he kept sweet-talking me," she said. "He said he'd give me $50,000 when he got home."

Later, Lawson asked for $6,000 for a camera lens he said he needed and he e-mailed a link showing the exact lens he'd buy. When he got back to New Hampshire, the bachelor promised, he'd pay Leblanc double the amount of her loan, she said was the deal.

So she wired the money and he was "very thankful," Leblanc recalled.

More romantic messages were exchanged, then came a request for $10,000 to buy dynamite for the Egyptian road work, said Leblanc, who agreed to wire $2,000. She later wired another $5,000, then $7,000 supposedly for laptops, and another $2,000 he said he needed to ship $5 million worth of gold he'd bought. All of the money, which eventually exceeded $25,000, was wired to Guyana, Leblanc said.

After tapping her savings and credit, Leblanc borrowed from family. And when she told the online bachelor she didn't have any more money to send, he replied that she must not want him to come home to her, she said.

Growing suspicious, Leblanc researched online dating scams and while reading warnings about typical online con artists, she thought, "Oh my God, that's him to a T." Then she searched his profile name and found 81 other "contacts," she said.

She e-mailed the information to the man she thought was her new love and told him she wasn't sending "another dime." His response, Leblanc said, was to ask for another $2,000 to buy an auto part because he'd been in a crash on the way to an airport to come home to her.

Leblanc said she told him she never wanted to speak with him again.

Soon after, as she has for the past 10 years, Leblanc agreed to draw blood during a local police sobriety checkpoint. But this year, she said, she asked to be paid while explaining through tears why she needs the money.

One Portsmouth officer hugged her, while another explained how she should go about filing a federal complaint, she said.

Leblanc knows it's doubtful she'll ever see her money again, but she reported her story to federal investigators "so it can be documented as another international online scam." She said she'd be interested in a support group for similar victims and that she remains a member of

"I haven't given up," she said. "There's somebody out there for me, I just haven't found him yet."

Now, look what this heartless and cruel self-styled "comedian" writes on it.

Katie Nolan
Editor, "Guyism Speed Round" Producer
More from Katie Nolan >

Claudia Leblanc is your typical 56-year-old medical professional from Portsmouth, NH. She loves reading books on her front porch, volunteering at the shelter, and giving $25,000 to random men she meets over the Internet wait what?

Claudia joined to meet the man of her dreams, and instead met “honestman”; a salt-and-pepper stud with a dog named Coco and a successful construction business overseas. Contrary to what his name suggests (weird, right?), this man wasn’t honest. At all. Unfortunately it took Claudia a couple months and a significant amount of dollars to figure that out.

He first asked her to ship him an iPad and an iPhone to his job site in Africa and promised he’d pay her back when he got back to the States. Claudia shrugged, said something along the lines of “seems legit,” and did it. Then he proceeded to ask for:
$6,000 for a camera lens he needed
$10,000 to buy dynamite for Egyptian roadwork
$7,000 for laptops
$2,000 to ship $5 million worth of gold he had bought

She depleted her savings, maxed out her credit cards, and started borrowing from family and friends. It’s okay though, because he said he was going to pay her back double when he got returned. From Africa. Where he needs laptops and iPads to blow up roads, and can spend 5 million dollars on gold but then can’t afford to FedEx it. None of this is weird so please stop looking at me like that.

When Claudia finally told the man that she was out of money, he told her that she must not love him enough or ever even want him to come home. The last time I heard that line was when I wrote it on the fake runaway note I left my parents when they refused to buy me an American Girl doll. It didn’t work. I wish my parents were more like Claudia Leblanc.

Claudia eventually typed “online dating scams” into the Google machine, and, lo and behold, found an exact description of notsohonestman. She sent him the link and told him she wasn’t sending him anymore money, to which lyingliarman responded with a request for $2,000. He’d been in an accident on his way to her, you see, and needed to buy an auto part. But Claudia wasn’t buying it. For once. Pun intended.

After all this, Claudia says she’s dejected but still hopeful that she’ll find her true love. Her family is more hopeful that she’ll find money, since she owes them a whole lot of it. And internet con artists everywhere are hopeful that she uses her real name on dating websites, because this one’s pretty much a layup.

She needs some proper comments on her article, a slap-down or hundreds. Perhaps more...Twisted Evil
Victims suffer enough without ignorant idiots like Katie adding more pain.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Its possible to leave a comment without signing up for anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

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