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 match.com 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 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.
“Scam leaves Portsmouth woman out of $25K” [Seacoast Online]