FBI Salt Lake City Scam Victim Tells Their Story

In August of 2017, "Darlene" met "Giovanni" who scammed her out of almost $530,000.

Video Transcript

This is the first time I’ve ever felt like I wanted to get my story out there.

In August of 2017, “Darlene” joined an online date site where she met a man named “Giovanni”.

I gave him my phone number because he seemed so authentic. Well within probably three weeks or so he was expressing that he was falling in love me with me. He told me that he had to travel to Turkey for his job. He said he was an architect and a contractor.

Giovanni told her he needed money for an overseas job so she “loaned” him $30,000.

Just ecstatic and said, ‘Oh, I’m going to pay you every penny back, I'm going to give you more for doing this for me.’ Probably within about week or two, he contacted me and he said that he needed more money—to help me—we're going. We're going through this together. We're going to get married. He asked me for money multiple times. There was always a reason. I was seeing some flags, but I was ignoring them. The total amount of money he received from me was $530,000. It was money I needed to retire on, and that's why I'm still working at almost the age of 74. How could I have fallen for this? But it happens to so many people, all walks of life. I do not want it to happen to anyone else.

In 2021, romance scam victims reported losses of approximately $1 billion. If you suspect you’re a victim, cease contact, call police or the FBI, and file a complaint at ic3.gov.

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