A couple weeks ago, I was working with a 70-year-old client who was the victim of a romance scam.
She wanted to send $150,000 to help her "military boyfriend" come home from Afghanistan with a box of diamonds he found worth $3 million.
She said he was a Sargent/Major in the Army and provided his date of birth along with some photos. She also sent me a document allegedly from the United States Department of Justice documenting the fees owed to get the diamonds to the States.
A background check showed no such individual. I conferenced in our resident military expert who advised the box of diamonds would be considered "spoils of war" and would be prohibited to bring to the States based on the Geneva Convention.
The pictures of the individual she sent revealed he was wearing a Sargent uniform, and not a Sargent-Major. The military expert advised a Sargent-Major would never be caught dead in a Sargent uniform.
The document from the Department of Justice had poor grammar and the signature did not match the name it was supposed to be.
All these obvious warning signs which were explained to the client should've been enough to at least question the authenticity of the story. We didn't let the funds go, which, by the way, would've gone to a random money mule in the US.
The client, however, was still not totally convinced.
I spoke to our client yesterday to follow up on things. She's still talking to the individual online. She told me she's starting to doubt his story because he told her at one point he was left-handed. In several of the photos he sent to her, he's always holding his gun in his right hand, and that just didn't make sense to her.
I'm glad she's starting to come around because I don't want her to lose any more money. However it leaves me shaking my head sometimes at what will finally click with people to help them see the light.