BOSTON (CBS) – A New Hampshire woman who thought she’d found Mr. Right has been scammed out of $25,000.
Claudia says she followed her heart – even though her gut told her to stop.
“He took me to the cleaners,” she told WBZ-TV.
After beating breast cancer and losing her father, Claudia was looking for a fresh start.
She thought she found him on Match.com.
“I looked at the profile and it was… almost too good to be true,” she said.
His name was Bennett Lawson, a good-looking and seemingly well-off man who claimed to be German-born but living in Nashua.
They couldn’t meet he said, because he was on business in Egypt.
“He sounded so legitimate and I wanted him to be everything he said he was,” Claudia admits.
As it turns out, he was a scam artist. For a month, the man convinced Claudia to send him money and electronics to an address in Ghana.
“Every time I sent him money, or he asked me for something, he would always come back if I said no or I didn’t have the money, he’d say ‘I thought you loved me. I thought you trusted me,’” Claudia said.
Claudia maxed out her credit cards.
Her month-long online fling cost her more than $25,000 before she realized Bennett was a criminal.
“I said because this is you, you’re scamming me. I lost all that money and I know I’m never going to get it back,” she told WBZ-TV.
Claudia is telling her story with hopes it will help her heal and to warn other online daters not to make the same mistakes.
“I’m just going to keep moving on. I have to,” she said. “Mr. Right is out there. And he’ll find me or I’ll find him.”
Claudia says when she looked up Bennett’s name on a scammer website and he had 81 hits. She reported him to international authorities. But if he really is operating in Ghana, it’s not likely he’ll ever be caught.