Oregon widower, 80, loses $200K in romance scam

News

The scammer has not been located

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Even as Valentine’s Day approaches, one Oregon man is not feeling the love.

An 80-year-old widower was “catfished” out of $200,000, according to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. The man was swindled after an “unidentified fraudster” stole a Florida woman’s identity and befriended the man through online dating and convinced him to invest money in a business opportunity.

Authorities said the scammer convinced the man they were in a long-distance relationship over several months. The con artist then persuaded the man to support an art gallery in Florida, pretending to seek investors to cover $5 million in transportation costs to ship a 500-ton marble sculpture of a lion from China. The scammer told the man that all investments and then some would be returned after the sculpture sold.

Overall, the man made multiple payments over five months totaling over $200,000. He lost his entire investment and investigators have not been able to track the scammer down.

The ODCBS said romance scams typically target older individuals by gaining their trust and asking for money through social media and dating websites or apps. They urge consumers to do proper research before making any investments.

For local, national, and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know