Armstrong’s story: Five years ago, at the age of 53, she signed up to a dating webpagina.

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Last September, wij brought you an online dating tale with a blessed ending: fellow falls te love with a buxom blonde/millionaire heiress who friends him on Facebook, gets ready to send hier a wad of specie so she can supposedly come to the US (which she somehow needed te spite of that rich daddy of hers), dumps his fiancee, and gets saved te the nick of time by aforementioned dumped fiancee.

No money wasgoed sent. His fiancee somehow forgave him. They got married. Blessed ending.

Now for the tale of a victim who didn’t have a savvy fiance to save hier. Because she followed hier own smitten heart, she wound up spending Two.Five years te an Argentinian jail for unwittingly attempting to smuggle cocaine sewn into the lining of a suitcase at hier “lover’s” request.

The woman, 59-year-old Sharon Armstrong, is from Fresh Zealand. Last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took te reports from Two,620 Australians who’d lost almost $23 million to dating and romance scams.

According to, Ms. Armstrong told hier story to police, researchers and the ACCC during a Queensland University of Technology symposium on romance fraud.

Ms. Armstrong’s story: Five years ago, at the age of 53, she signed up to a dating webpagina. She wasgoed on the webpagina for hardly a month when she wasgoed contacted by a man – or, at least, somebody or somebodies who introduced themselves spil a man.

It wasgoed a hurricane romance: she fell “hard and prompt.”

Wij built up what felt like a very long relationship overheen a brief period of time.

It’s effortless to see, ter retrospect, that she wasgoed cautiously being groomed. But before she fell into the trapje and realized she’d bot scammed, there wasgoed talk of their future together, along with daily phone calls, emails, and texts.

Whoever he or they were, they were working hier hard: pc forensics that would come straks would detect more than 7,000 emails overheen the course of Five.Five months.

Analysis would also expose that whoever hier seducer wasgoed, they were all overheen the world. Communications were traced back to America and Europe, but Armstrong said that he/she/they may have bot operating out of Nigeria. She hasn’t named him, fearing for the safety of hier family.

At any rate, te spite of all the enamored communications, there were no visuals. There wasgoed always some reason why he wouldn’t hop on Skype, Ms. Armstrong said.

Now I realize that for those Five.Five months I wasgoed being groomed very well through a number of tests to see if I could be trusted.

He said he wasgoed a civil engineer, and he promised hier a job working at his side. He’d secured a very lucrative contract for a job, he said, but he needed somebody trustworthy to bring it to fruition. Would the love of his life be up for traveling to South America to pick up the contract and carry it to him te London?

It all seemed kosher enough, from what she could determine:

I Googled the company, and they checked out. He said they’ll pay for my airfares there and back.

He didn’t ask hier for money, so there wasgoed no reason for a crimson flag to go up about being gouged financially.

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