Children of victims of an internet dating scam, who were robbed of several thousand dollars, find it appalling that fraudsters have used the emotional vulnerability of seniors to extract money from them.
• Read also: Love scam: The “prince of hell” at the head of a network of unscrupulous fraudsters
“My mother was coming out of a difficult relationship, she was vulnerable. They are so intelligent and manipulative, warns Sylvain Duguay. The fraudster built a relationship with her and even managed to isolate her [de ses proches]. »
Photo QMI Agency, Joel Lemay
Sylvain Duguay helped his mother get out of a scam that cost him at least $ 50,000.
The sixty-year-old fell under the spell of a man who said his name was Jean-Pierre and whom she had met on Facebook.
- Listen to Genevieve Pettersen’s column with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
Yesterday, fifteen fraudsters who allegedly scammed vulnerable people in search of love for a total of $ 2.3 million were targeted by the Sûrete du Quebec.
“The [Le fameux Jean-Pierre] promised him to come to Quebec, that they would live a good life together. She was a firm believer in their love affair, ”says Mr. Duguay.
Photo from Facebook
Sogli Espoir Kouassi, the presumed head of a romantic scam network.
Her mother ultimately lost up to $ 50,000 at the hands of this con artist with whom she had a relationship for several years without ever meeting him.
“Sometimes he needed money for his immigration papers in order to come and join her. Another time he was in a car accident and had to pay for his treatment. She has already transferred up to $ 5,000 or $ 6,000 to him, ”Mr. Duguay reports.
“All his savings are spent there. Yet she worked so hard to raise every penny, he saddened. She filed for two bankruptcies. ”
The son of this victim is relieved to learn that investigators have arrested Sogli Espoir Kouassi, the alleged head of a romantic scam organization.
“The police told me this morning [mardi] that he was the one who spoke to my mother every day, ”emphasizes Sylvain Duguay, whose mother preferred not to speak to the media.
- Listen to Melanie Dumaresq, sergeant in charge of the Sûrete du Quebec’s communications service, on QUB radio:
Without knowing if it is the work of those who were arrested Tuesday, Henri (fictitious name) lived a similar story. It all started when the 62-year-old received explicit photos of three sexy women via Messenger. The former Gatineau official, lonely and with a generous pension, responded to the messages.
Josiane (right) believes her father Henri is the victim of a romantic scam.
After consulting her father’s bank statements, her daughter Josiane (not her real name) estimates that between October 2019 and today, her father has swallowed up at least $ 15,000 in this romance scam.
“I find it disgusting,” she said.
Her father, who fights boredom, even thought about receiving a visit from one of the three sexy women. Josiane claims to have understood very quickly that her father had given in to the charm of a con artist.
Line of credit filled
“He ran out of a $ 10,000 line of credit by the time he said it,” says his daughter. By sending $ 500 and $ 1000 here and there to a so-called young single parent who has no money to feed her child, or even her cousin or one of her friends who were in trouble. “
“I find it appalling to take advantage of vulnerable people like my father,” she laments.
► From January 1 to June 30, 2020, 499 victims reported losses of $ 11.7 million according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.