This man, who claimed to be "James", an American structural engineer currently working in Glasgow, requested me to add him as a friend on Facebook.
We started chatting on Facebook and on Skype. He said he had been looking for a soul mate. It touched me when he talked about his adopted children. I chatted with him because I was interested in hearing about the kids he adopted. We had similar stories as I also have adopted children.
He was very good at telling stories. He told me that I was beautiful and the sweetest lady he have ever met.
After three days of chatting he told me that he had a phone call from Barclays Bank in Scotland and asked if he could transfer his contract money into my account. I wondered why he would transfer money into my account after I had only known him for three days. I asked him why he was trusting me to put his money into my account and he said "What is love without trust'? Then for some reason when he asked me to pay £765 I agreed. He said that he couldn't do any transactions himself as he was offshore on ships and oil rigs near Glasgow.
He asked me to send him my email address, which I did. Then, later on, I received an email requesting the £765, a charge for international transfer or remittance. I was to send the money via Moneygram to a person named Ibe Umah at the Accra, Ghana branch of Barclays Bank. I received an email saying that they had received the payment.
The following day I got an email from a man called Richard who said he was the Director of Barclays Bank in Scotland, The email had the address and logo of Barclays Bank. The email asked me to pay £1800 for the release of documents and for the solicitor's signature. I paid the money. A day later they wanted me to pay a further £600 for an international charge.
I asked James why he needed to pay all that money. He said that the banking people knew what they were doing and he had done the same thing many times before. He said that he trusted the people conducting the transactions. I asked him if there would be any more payments after the £600, and he claimed that it would be the last. He said I would get all my money back once his contract payment went into my account. So I paid the £600.
Then I had another email from Richard, the Barclays Bank Director, informing me that the money would be in my account within two working days. I told James about this, but later that evening I received another email saying that the IMF had stopped the payment and that they wanted a further fee of £5000 to release the funds.
That's when I started searching online about all the payments I had sent. I was shocked when I found out about all these SCAMMERS. I didn't give them the £5000 because by then I realized that it was all a scam. This guy "James" was still trying to convince me to pay the money so we could be together with his kids.
I felt really stupid and cried all the time. I couldn't eat or concentrate on my job, I lost nearly half a stone in just four days of thinking about all the money I had given them. I was planning to adopt another child and the money should have been used for that.
I hope that this story will help people not to become victims of scams on Facebook.
Imelda's Story - First Published: February 25, 2013