Alberta woman defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars by online lothario

An Alberta woman who was looking for love online told Global News that she not only ended up heartbroken; she also ended up broke.

Sheryl, who we are not identifying due to security concerns, said it started last July when she started dating online.

“I wasn’t looking for the short term,” she says. “I was looking for someone who wanted to be part of it for the long haul.”

The 37-year-old ended up hooking up with a man who said his name was Yang and he was from Los Angeles. It was an immediate connection.

“I was already emotionally hooked, from day one.”

Alberta woman tells Global News of costly and heartbreaking scam.


Calgary Global


Sheryl said Yang told her everything she wanted to hear: that he wanted to start a family and build a house with her.

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He built so much trust, she said, that she took his advice to invest in cryptocurrency.

“I was very hesitant at first, but then I thought this guy seemed to know what he was doing,” she added. “So I took $4,000 that I had.”

Man in reported romance scam.


Courtesy of Sheryl


That $4,000 grew, and so did her enthusiasm.

Yang then encouraged her to invest more, so she sold one of her properties and borrowed some money.

“I took out a loan of $95,000. So now I have $110,000 to $120,000 that I put into this investment account and it looks like I made five times that much.

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Calgary man charged with fraud and romance scams in Alberta and British Columbia

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But Sheryl told Global News that things changed a few months later when Yang claimed there was a problem with one of his investments and he needed his funds to fix it, so he told him. showed step by step how to withdraw all his funds.

“At that point, I had about $625,000 with my income and all the profit I thought I had made.”

Sheryl said that with Yang’s help, she went through all the withdrawal processes, but the broker then told her that for it to be approved, she needed to deposit more money. She said she did it — getting more loans, over and over — until she finally had enough.

“I was like: This is another $130,000. I have no more money or funds. I can’t get another loan. There’s just no other way for me to find that money.


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A warning about online romance scams


A Warning About Online Romance Scams – October 2, 2021

She then started researching the company, which was based overseas, and contacted others on social media forums. That’s when she said everyone told her she had been scammed and she wouldn’t see anything from her investment.

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She has filed reports with anti-fraud agencies in Canada and the United States, warning others of her experience.

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Cryptocurrency fraud is ‘exploding’ in Canada, say consumer groups

Sheryl now believes that Yang was working with the cryptocurrency broker to defraud her of all of her profits and investments. Minus profits, she loses $280,000.

“I should have known better,” she said of the no-research investing.

Romance scam reported.


Courtesy of Sheryl


The Better Business Bureau serving southern Alberta and east Kootenay told Global News that these types of scams are on the rise, costing Canadians millions of dollars every year.

“Cryptocurrency and romance just don’t mix,” said BBB CEO Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen.

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The BBB said it’s important to be vigilant and watch out for red flags, including anyone you don’t know asking you for money, especially if it’s on social media Or on a dating site. Also, research cryptocurrency sites well, understand their lack of regulation, and understand their complexity.

Read more:

Over $1 Million Lost to Crypto Scams This Year: Guelph Police

That said, O’Sullivan-Andersen said it’s always easy to be a victim, no matter how careful you are.

“Hindsight is everything,” she added. “It’s very easy, after the fact, to say, ‘I should have seen the red flags’, and that’s exactly why victims often remain silent.

“The thing is, we miss the red flags because they are professionals. They do this to attract you.


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BC Man Loses His Retirement Savings to Cryptocurrency Scam


BC man loses retirement savings to cryptocurrency scam – January 17, 2022

She added that romance scams are particularly heartbreaking.

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“When the heart is involved, when we feel vulnerable, it’s very easy to fall victim to these scams.”

Read more:

Cryptocurrency fraud has increased by 400% in Canada, according to the RCMP

Sheryl has now cut herself off from all contact with Yang. He was supposed to be in Calgary last month, even sending her his flight itinerary, but didn’t show up.

She is now focused on rebuilding her finances and ending the ill-fated romance behind her.

“It was really, really hard. I mean I’m going through a few weeks of crying, emotional stress, financial stress,” she said. “How am I going to continue to support myself when I pays $5,000 in loans per month?

“The last 10 years that I have built for my future and my retirement are now over.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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