As promised, part 2 is a real-life story of someone being scammed or catfished on social media. Awareness is important. Pass this story along to your friends and family. If you didn’t read part 1, read it now. Names, places, and images have been obscured to protect the scammed person.
Judy, a woman in her sixties hailing from Rhode Island, had built a life around consistency and hard work. Every day, she would clock into her job at Lowe’s, stack shelves, assist customers, and then head to her side job cleaning houses. But Judy had a hidden passion that contrasted her ordinary life – she was a massive fan of music, especially rock and roll.
One day, while on her lunch break at Lowe’s, Judy discovered a Facebook page of a man claiming to be Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones. She was a huge fan, and interacting with him was thrilling. His posts were engaging, sharing behind-the-scenes stories about the music industry and tales of his personal life, including a tumultuous divorce he was currently going through.
Excited and starstruck, Judy reached out, expressing her admiration for his music. To her delight, ‘Mick’ responded, and they began a friendly online relationship. They discussed his music, his bandmates, and his brutal divorce. Judy felt a connection, and to support him during his trying times, she decided to donate $500 to a charity ‘Mick’ claimed to support.
Weeks passed, but Judy never received a thank you or acknowledgment from the charity. When she asked Mick about it, he profusely apologized, claiming it was an oversight.
Then, one day, ‘Mick’ shared a distressing story – his divorce was financially draining, and he was at risk of losing his recording studio. Feeling sympathetic and wanting to help her idol, Judy sent him $5,000 from her savings.
Over the next year, ‘Mick’ continued to share his struggles, and each time, Judy sent more money to help. All in all, she sent over $30,000 to the man she believed to be Mick Jagger.
While cleaning a client’s house one day, she overheard a news segment on the radio about the real Mick Jagger giving a concert in London the previous night; simultaneously, she had been chatting with ‘Mick’ online. A sinking feeling overcame her, and she decided to investigate further.
After much digging, she discovered the truth. The man she had been talking to was not Mick Jagger but an impersonator using his identity to scam unsuspecting fans. Judy was devastated. She reported the impersonator to the police and Facebook, but the money she had sent was gone.
However, Judy was a resilient woman. She didn’t let this setback keep her down. Instead, she used her story to educate others about the dangers of online scams and the importance of verifying identities online. She continued to work hard at Lowe’s and her cleaning business, slowly rebuilding her savings.
Judy’s story is a reminder that scams can happen to anyone, even those with the best intentions. But it’s also a story of resilience and strength. Despite being deceived, Judy did not lose her love for music, and she did not lose her spirit. She was a scam victim but refused to be defined by it. Instead, she used her experience to empower others, turning a negative experience into a positive impact.
Until next time,