A Fripp Island woman wrongly thought she found her perfect match online and is almost $150,000 poorer for it.
The woman told Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies she started an online dating profile last summer and was soon matched with someone who purported to be a well-traveled businessman with similar interests. The person, who provided the name “Daniel Brian,” told the woman he won a construction bid in China but was having financial trouble.
After investigating information he provided her online, she wired him $45,000 as a loan in August 2017, a Sheriff’s Office report said. She continued her online relationship with Brian, reassured by what she was told were loan documents from Brian’s lawyers.
She wired another $45,000 in October in response to the person’s story about having employees die in a mining accident. And she sent a final payment of $49,500 in November after being asked to help get the business running again, the report said.
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When the person later told her he had been in a car wreck and needed money for medical bills, the woman couldn’t verity the claims and realized she might have been scammed.
The woman never saw or talked to her online partner, she told deputies, only corresponding via email. She gave deputies a written statement, documents and photos she said the person had used for the dating profile.
She said she believes the person behind the scam is a man of a different name who presented himself as Brian’s interpreter and was the name on the wire transfers.
The deputy who filed the report said the woman had reported a similar scam earlier in the year and that she had given almost $100,000 to another man she met online.