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Chico grandma: I was scammed out of $100,000 while online dating

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Updated: 12/13/2013 5:52 pm
Teri Hoover, 53, says she was swept off her feet last December, after a meeting a man from Colorado.  She says the man claimed to be from Colorado, and called himself John Walsh.  He seemed perfect.  He was 59, an engineer, and wanted to build a life with her.  She invited him to Chico for New Year's Eve, but he said he had to go to Ghana for a work project, but only for 6 weeks.  Once in Ghana, he told her his bank account had been compromised, and he couldn't get any money out.  So she started wiring him money for things like a computer, iPhone, various fines he claimed to face, other bills, and even to bring his adopted grandson to Ghana to go to school.
Hoover questioned him several times, and says Walsh would send her pictures of himself.  When she discovered they were photoshopped, he said there was some mistake, and seemed to have an explanation for everything.
She was warned by her friends, family, and co-workers that he wasn't who he claimed to be.  But Hoover says she still chose to believe her new online boyfriend wouldn't lie to her.  Finally, a year after sending him more than $100,000, Tri-Counties Bank told her they could not allow her to wire any more money to the African country.  She demanded Walsh get on his webcam and reveal himself.  When he did, she discovered he was a citizen of the Republic of Ghana, and was only 25 years old.  Hoover has filed reports with the Butte County Sheriff's Office, and the FBI.  She's hoping to have him banned from ever receiving money from the U.S. again.  She also hopes that sharing her story will help others avoid falling into the same trap.
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SavvyCynic - 12/16/2013 2:31 PM
0 Votes
The story states that this is a "Grandmother." My question is, where was her family in all this? Didn't anyone see what she was doing and try and stop her? And if so, why didn't she listen? I can't tell if this poor women is really trying to "warn others" or if she is just trying to solicit sympathy? I have a very hard time believing a person with a family in such a small community wouldn't have been warned herself. Maybe she didn't tell her family because she was wasting her children's inheritance or the money wasn't hers to begin with? $100,000 is a LOT of money. And it was insanely selfish of her to spend that kind of money on any stranger, no matter how charming he was online... especially since she has grandchildren! This woman owes not only herself, but her family a big apology. And to announce it publicly? They must be so mortified. I hope that they can forgive her, but more importantly that she tries to make it right and not do something so foolish again. So awful! My heart breaks for people like this who cannot seem to handle themselves and burden others.

mooncopper - 12/15/2013 5:40 PM
0 Votes
I wonder if "God's Daughter" was also so open about her religious nature on the dating site, like she is here. If she used a similar screen name she identified herself to potential con artists as an easy mark....a person who can be easily manipulated by far fetched stories and promises that most rational people see right through.

Gods daughter - 12/13/2013 10:35 PM
0 Votes
HINOONER, Guess what I learned a very hard lesson and I honestly don't need you in my life so no you don't get my phone number!! I am much better without you there.

Gods daughter - 12/13/2013 10:33 PM
0 Votes
HINOONER, Guess what I learned a very hard lesson and I honestly don't need you in my life so no you don't get my phone number!! I am much better without there.

Gods daughter - 12/13/2013 10:32 PM
0 Votes
Thank you to Just1girl and 1loved1 I appreciate the support. To Alcampnut, HINOONER and Geo66. I wanted to get the story out to protect other "dumbasses" for following their heart. Yes what I did was very unwise, but let me be in your corner when you do a "dumbass" move. I will give you compassion and support. I will not walk under being a victim of my circumstances but rise above it. I found out that the scam ring has moved into the US. So I am using this to do some good out of an extremely bad situation. I appreciate everyone's post, and no I do not take offense to it as I expected people not to understand. I will care and have compassion on those who make extremely unwise moves in their lives. May you 3 never, ever do something where people look down on you.

1loved1 - 12/13/2013 10:16 PM
0 Votes
Really? All you can do is be mean? Remember that what you sow, you reap. When you need compassion or at least to not be kicked when you are down, what would you want people to treat you like? I am grateful for the good advice. And, being naive isn't a sin. Being jaded on the other hand, is a problem. Why do we beat people up for being innocent? It is a rough enough lesson without any added misery.

just1girl - 12/13/2013 9:43 PM
0 Votes
I am so sorry you were so naive. People will let their loneliness override their commonsense. I do not find this funny nor do I find you "dumb". There are some commonsense guidelines to online dating. NEVER, ever give any personal information out to people you meet online. If an online friend can't meet you in person this is a HUGE red flag. If you go to meet someone in person, take along a friend or at least let someone know where you are going. When you get there, call your trusted friend & give them a description of the person you have met, your location, their vehicle description. Tell your friend that if you do not call them in 15 minutes that they are to call the cops. I did all that & more & I am now happily married to my best friend who I met online.

Alcampnut - 12/13/2013 7:48 PM
0 Votes
Thanks Action News. That's one of the funniest stories I have seen in a long time. I spilled my coffee LOL!!

HINOONER - 12/13/2013 7:33 PM
0 Votes
WHAT A DUMBASS. DO YOU HAVE HER NUMBER ?

Geo66 - 12/13/2013 5:37 PM
0 Votes
A fool and their money are soon parted
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