Debby Montgomery is a former US Air Force intelligence officer and former bank executive trained to detect fraud, but even she couldn’t avoid falling in love with a scammer.
When the widow was 52 years old, she joined a faith-based website to help her jump back into dating after her husband’s death. Soon, she matched up with a British contractor named Eric Cole — or so she thought.
In the video below, Debby recalls how excited she was to have found love again. “It was fun,” she says. “It was like I was 16 again, and my heart was just full of butterflies!”
She saved thousands of love letters from Eric and ended up sending him money.
It all started with $40, and eventually, the cost added up to a whopping $1,080,762!
“It took over my life, you know?” says Debby.
In the end, Eric confessed that the entire relationship was a sham, two years after the couple had matched up online. He revealed his true identity and Debby tried to take her case to the FBI.
According to WPTV West Palm Beach, the FBI reported that Americans lost more than $1.3 billion to scammers in 2016. Unfortunately, not every victim affected by this kind of scheme can get his or her time or money back, but Debby is still determined to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
Check out some dating websites’ responses to romance scams like this one in the video below, and please SHARE if you’re glad Debby is sharing her story to protect other people’s futures!
Footage and photos provided by WPTV West Palm Beach
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