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How A 75-Year-Old US Man Lost His Life’s Savings To Online Romance Scam

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A 75-year-old professional from the Midwestern United States suffered a months-long ordeal after innocently connecting with a seemingly kind woman on LinkedIn. Little did he know that this initial contact led to a sophisticated scam that devastated his retirement fund and drove him to the edge, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Dubbed “pig butchering,” this scam involves internet con artists luring victims, gaining their trust, and then tricking them into investing in fraudulent schemes. Once they secure the money, the scammers vanish, leaving their victims shattered.

The WSJ conducted a thorough investigation, poring over thousands of messages, financial records, and images exchanged between the man and the scammer. Their findings exposed the unsettling tactics used to manipulate vulnerable individuals, especially the elderly and those less familiar with technology.

The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, suffered a devastating loss of nearly $715,000, practically wiping out his life savings. Despite his immense hardship, he bravely shared his story with the hope of preventing others from falling victim to similar scams.

In his case, the scammer posed as a woman named “Violaine Chen,” a purported 37-year-old Chinese divorcee, enticing the victim with promises of a shared future. Despite warnings from his bank and suspicious messages, he trusted Violaine and invested over $300,000. When he attempted to withdraw the money, he was met with demands for exorbitant fees to unfreeze his account, resulting in his staggering loss.

Although he reported the scam to the FBI, he received no updates on his case. As Violaine ceased communication and sporadically requested more money, the victim grappled with the painful realisation of being deceived, struggling to come to terms with the betrayal and the daunting prospect of rebuilding his life from scratch.

 A 75-year-old professional from the Midwest fell victim to an online scam after connecting with a woman on LinkedIn.    

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