New Zealand Woman Forced to Sell Home After Conman Nightmare Takes Thousands From Her

© REUTERS / Akhtar SoomroThe dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken September 1, 2020. Picture taken September 1, 2020.
The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken September 1, 2020. Picture taken September 1, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2022
Jordan Alexander was left heartbroken, as well as fiscally broken, after her initially blazing but long-distance romance came to a crashing end. The mother of two was forced to sell her home after a so-called 'Tinder Swindler' conned her out of $100,650.
The conman posed as a wealthy railway consultant named 'James'. Jordan Alexander was moved by the sad but ultimately baseless tale that James told her, claiming that he was a widower who was raising a teenage son.
Alexander was touched, thinking the supposed fellow single parent had pure intentions. 'James' told Alexander he had been single since his wife had died from cancer.
“It wasn’t love at first sight, but he was attractive in a distinguished way. I told myself to be open-minded if this online dating thing has to work,” the 54 year-old told 7Life. She had first signed up for the dating site in 2012.
“He was raising his teenage son, ‘Michael’, similar in age to my girls at the time and he thought the world of him,” she added. “He seemed very keen to integrate our families, family was always important to him.”
'James' showered Alexander with attention, fed her lies about being a devoted dad, and impressed her with a successful job.
“His accent was very exotic, I couldn’t place it,” said Jordan. “It was like a cross between a Spanish and South African accent with odd words coming out now and again.”
A seasoned scammer, ‘James’ first worked to build Alexander's trust. Then he asked the salon owner for large sums of money. First, for $10,065 so he could buy work supplies. Jordan sent her love connection the money and he quickly reimbursed her.
Soon after, 'James' asked his unaware money pot for another $26,842. That amount was returned to her just a few days later.
To prove to Alexander that he was a legitimate millionaire, 'James' granted her access to his personal bank accounts where she saw his fortune of AUD $12,218,664, in black and white, according to Alexander, who was impressed by how much her new beau trusted her.
“It was odd, especially since he had so much money in there, but he didn’t seem like he had anything to hide.”
Things came to a head, however, when James continued to ask for more and more money from Alexander, causing her to take out loans against her house to aid her new and as yet-unmet boyfriend.
Finally, the two planned to meet in Hawaii. But he never showed. He texted her various bizarre excuses as a reason for the delay, saying a ‘job in Sri Lanka’ was holding him up.
“I need to get to know you more than words on a page. I cannot make promises and commitments to someone that I have never met. I have unanswered questions that I need answers to. We started as a fairy tale – I am such a hopeless romantic – I grew intoxicated by your words.” Alexander sent him the text when she learned her flame wouldn’t show.
He sent her texts trying to distract her with more false promises, telling her he loved her and that he would make it up to her, and to “give him some more time to make things right.”
He never showed, and they never met. What did happen, however, was that Alexander had previously handed over some $140,000 to ‘James’. With her day spa business, the single mom was forced to sell her family home to the banks that had previously leant her the money to give to the scammer.
“I had to deal with my kids, the spa staff and work commitments. I didn’t really focus on the debt and how I would repay it,” Alexander admitted.
Two years later, when Alexander was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she would tell her family the horrifying story, and now she has decided to write a book in order to bring attention to catfishing and dating scams. The experience is eerily similar to the Tinder Swindler, Shimon Hayut, who is currently being sued by the Leviev family whom he claimed to be a member of.
“It is really easy to throw stones and be judgmental when you hear about romance scams,” Alexander said. “I think ‘The Tinder Swindler’ starts the conversation about how elaborate these scammers are. If we start talking about scams with our friends, families and work colleagues, it shines a light on the issue.”
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала