A Scam Victim Story – Miss L.

A Scam Victim Story

The Story of Miss L.

Scam Victim Support – A SCARS Insight

A Romance Scam Victim Story About Miss L.

We withhold the name of this scam survivor to protect her privacy.

She shared this with us and gave permission to share it with other victims. It was her scam victim story that she wanted us to share with new victims.

If you are a relationship scam victim, you can get the help you need by signing up for a SCARS support group at support.AgainstScams.org

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is as it was provided, except for minor editing to correct some grammar and spelling mistakes, aid in translations, and provide clarity.

This Is Her Scam Victim Story:

Left Open Quote - on RomanceScamsNOW.com

Here is my story. It’s been more therapeutic than I ever imagined [to write this out].

Hello, I was just recently accepted into SCARS [support group] last week.

As I progress into it all, I am learning and trying to absorb everything. I’m trying to take it slow and I am trying to be self focused because [as] I have commented on some of the FB posts and like many, I am overwhelmed and devastated.

First of all, I want to briefly describe myself:

In a few days, I will be 53. I am single, never married, no children. I live in a very small town in Kentucky. I live with my 85 year old mother and she is in very good shape (except her knee.) I am pretty well known in several counties for being a travel agent. This June, I will celebrate 30 years in the business. I am also taking a group to Ireland, Scotland and England in June. I am very well-traveled. I am very active in our little country church. I have 2 grown nephews who are more like little brothers to me. Between the 2 nephews, they have 5 children who are my world. Now, in High School, I was chosen “Most Likely To Succeed”.

I moved to Nashville after graduation, lived there for almost 5 years and then returned to Kentucky. I’ve been in 2 serious relationships and needless to say, both were toxic. I’ve had some other love interests as well and I’ve had a gorgeous home at one time, but sadly, I lost that home due to financial issues. Those financial issues stemming from a guy who lived with me and again, very toxic and had a bad drug problem.

Have I been an angel? Lord, NO! I’ve spent my fair share of partying and enjoying life. Quite honestly, I’ve had a very blessed and good life. I’ve had a lot of fun, I know that people love me, but through the years, I have made my circle smaller. I operate my business from my home.

Now – fast forward to fall, 2022.

Some people had suggested that I get on Christian Mingle [dating app]. I guess I had shown enough interest that I might consider dating but I had very little hope in anything evolving. But I did sign up with CM and that was around Thanksgiving [2022].

Every nite about this time, I would check in to see if I had any “lookers”… One nite, which was on December 10th (Saturday) and I was just browsing, matter of fact, getting ready to go to bed and I “smiled” at this one guy from Hazard, KY. His name was Tim. And almost immediately, he smiled back. He asked me “what I was hiding behind that beautiful smile?” … and he was going home from Walmart bc [because] he had stepped out to get a few things. Sure enough he did text me. And I signed off bc I had a church Christmas play the next day and really thought nothing of it. Until the next morning, he had texted me again and I suggested we chat after I got done with the play that evening. And we did.

We started texting back and forth – very generic questions… He had no kids, neither did I. And he was originally from Norway. How nice, I thought – someone from another country and maybe we would have something in common after all.

And it was either on Monday or Tuesday evening, I was on my treadmill, and my phone chimed. I was excited to hear from him. He wanted me to send a pix [photo] so he could know I was real. I told him no bc [because] I was on the treadmill, hot and well, just wasn’t presentable.

Now, I am a big girl… I am blonde, I love to talk and engage with people. I like to cut up and have fun. I’m no model by any means and I proudly claim to be a Southern Belle. I had made mention that I can sit around a bonfire one night and the next night, I can be in NYC with the black dress and pearls. People know this about me.

I was intrigued. And one night I went to my little niece’s basketball game and we were in conversation the entire game. At that point, he told me he was a hyperbaric welder [in the oil industry]. I had no idea of what that was. And he explained. Interesting job. I also did some research on Hyperbaric welders and learned they make great money.

He had offered the information that he was raised in Oslo, Norway but moved and he had lived in Seattle [Washington, USA]. He had been married to a woman who had died during Covid but they were “separated” but living in the same house. The house was a 5 bedroom duplex and had a pool. I later was informed that they were married for 11 years and they were married on a beach outside Seattle… It seems to start with R – and I would have to look back to see exactly what it was.


He had asked about my plans for Christmas and suggested that would be a great time for us to meet. During the day, he stated he was working on proposals for welding jobs and he was trying to get caught up. On or around the morning of Dec 21st, we chatted as we had always been doing and he made the comment he didn’t sleep well bc he had received a phone call from Oslo stating his mother was in the hospital and that he may need to go to Norway from Hazard. And I also had asked him, “How in the world did you end up from Seattle in Hazard, KY [Kentucky]?” And he told me that he just wanted to get out of Seattle and “start afresh” and Hazard is where he ended up. Now if you know anything at all about Hazard, KY, is it is the metropolis for the Southeastern Kentuckians that claim to be “hillbillies” and they are a proud people, very resilent and they rely a lot on old time traditional ways. He told me he had an apartment there and he had paid up the lease until the end of May, 2023.

The first pix he sent me was supposedly taken inside the apartment and he had on a tan jacket with a dark red TH hat. The second pix was him out on his balcony at the apartment in a blue shirt. Without question, the same person. So things go along for about a day and he tells me he is flying to Norway to see his mother. He tells me he has a credit on Delta from a previous job and he actually explained the routing of his flight and I checked it out – right on target.

He arrives in Oslo and spends time with his mother and she becomes more ill. Her name is Maria and she was 89 years old. So our 1st Christmas is apart. We communicate all throughout each and every day multiple times a day… and she is then moved to a hospice center from the hospital there in Oslo. She continues to worsen and ultimately, she passes away on Dev 26th. He sends me a video of a woman lying in a hospital bed and also of someone removing rosary beads.

He then calls me later that evening and that is our first ever phone conversation… He sounded upset, shaken and he also sounded much different than I had expected. Gathering from his pictures, and given he was raised in Norway, he sounded much like a Latino but we also had a bad connection and it ended quickly. In the coming days ahead, he goes from Oslo to a town north of there called Fauske. He flies business class and sends me a very nice pix of the same guy I had in previous pix—having a leather travel bag, and its in a hotel room. He arrives in Fauske to take a train to the village in which his mother was raised.

I forget the exact name [his mother] but can find it if need be. Her last wish was to be returned to her home village for burial and he wanted to fulfill those wishes. Once the funeral was over, he was to return to Hazard and gather what little stuff he had and was going to be nearer to me. He had flown out of Louisville airport and he parked his Chevy truck in long term parking.

And so urgently one morning he sends me a message (at this point we only communicate via Whatsapp) and tells me he needs me to send him money from his bank account. Due to a horrible connection, he couldn’t rely on it to get the necessary funds to fly his mother from Oslo to Fauske. He gave me the account, the pin number and everything where I needed to transfer it to a bank. I still have this information written down as he was telling me. His bank was Trademark Bank and he was introduced to this bank by his investment advisor while he still lived in Seattle and he had sold the duplex he had lived in. The Trademark bank is based in Jackson, Mississippi but has several locations throughout the south. I was able to see his balance which was over $600k and the profile pix on his banking home page was clearly the person in the blue shirt that I had a pix of…..I just about died bc I am not used to seeing a bank balance of that nature. I was able to transfer $27,400 to him in order to get his mother’s body flown from Oslo to Fauske on a private plane. And I was glad to do it… felt so very sorry for him and he was so grateful.

The next morning, he needed another $5K in order to pay down on her funeral. He told me this was a different account and it was to an Else Linn Brenko–and affiliated with the funeral home he had chosen. I tried to transfer the money but the account was locked due to suspected fraud. I should’ve known then – but I was saddened that I couldn’t help him.

This is where so much happens and I cannot remember the sequence of events.

But I send him $1500 [my own money]… then I send him $5k to clear up the funeral….this goes on until the actual funeral of January 11th I think – it was a Saturday morning and the woman is finally buried bc he now had enough money to pay the funeral home. BUT just as they were leaving the cemetery, (thank God she is buried) he was approached by the authorities saying he had not fulfilled his duties to provide the documentation of the death certificate in Oslo before coming to Fauske to get her buried. This goes on over the weekend and the authorities are going to let him know something on Monday. He tells me they have imposed a fine of $150k Norwegian Krones – which is around $15k US dollars. He is devastated… and I chose not to see the red flags… giving him the benefit of the doubt.

He goes to court and he has hired an attorney for $1000 to help him. As soon as he pays the $15k he can leave the country – but not until then bc [because] they confiscated his passport. So all this time up until now, and still ongoing, he his stuck in the Norwegian village that I cannot pronounce and it is March 14th. During the course of all this, he has one friend who has taken a loan out for him for $5K. I just have to come up with the other $10K. Last week I did just that. I took out a loan for $15K and we had communicated and he was going to get the money and then get his passport and come home.

Thank God – he was almost here. My mother was with me and I pulled off the interstate to talk to him in a ‘Steak n Shake’ parking lot with him on speaker phone. It took my 85 year old mother to look at me with that look and that’s about all it took… Her remarks of him not being the real deal actually sealed the deal for me. I am a 53 year old grown woman and I’ve never stopped learning from this beautiful soul that I get to call my momma.

I almost sent the money…

I was within a few miles of the vape shop where the bitcoin [ATM] machine was located and I had his QR code for his wallet. I am one of the lucky ones that was not out a great deal of money – maybe around $8k total – oh but he has it all written down in his diary. Whatever. and he is going to pay me back as soon as he gets home and goes to the bank where is account is locked as they have required him to show in person with documentation for proof of his identity.

I am forever thankful I didn’t send that $10k. Instead, my mother’s credit card debt is completely paid off… and I have some in savings for my trip this summer. I blocked him on whatsapp… and he tried contacting me on my cell phone by calling and texting and they have not been answered and he is blocked.

That’s pretty much the entire and complete story.

Of course there were many conversations of which lead me to fall in love with this man that I thought was very sweet and kind. He told me everything I had never heard and I adored him and looked forward to being awakened by him every morning for almost 3 months. That is the sad part – I wanted to believe it to be real and to me, it was. I was warned by a couple of family members while some remained hopeful yet skeptical.

I was his “Super Blonde” and well, we had hopes and dreams and plans. He had even asked me to look at houses in this area so we could immediately start our lives together. He had his own Pinterest board with me. But I am ever so thankful that I gave him cash in a bitcoin machine and I never shared my bank account numbers with him.

So that is my story. I have compared it to death of loved ones I have suffered and quite honestly, it has been worse… ts very difficult to explain as I am still processing so much of what has happened. I knew a lot of stuff didn’t add up but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and I wanted a relationship with this man… I wanted the happily ever after. Instead, I am very sad, lonely and as weird as it sounds, I miss the imposter of who was supposed to be Tim Robinson.

Timothy Ethan Robinson and his birthday was supposedly 12-31-65… .I have an email for him and also an email for the attorney he had hired. And as street wise as I thought I was, I was also still able to be scammed and manipulated to where this will leave a wound in my heart and I will never be the same.Right Close Quote - on RomanceScamsNOW.com

There Is A Lesson In Every Scam Victim Story

In this Scam Victim Story, you are hearing from a very new victim, here scam ended just a few weeks ago. So she has so much to learn about what was really real, and what is her own mind trying to cope with the trauma she is now experiencing.

There is a lot of blaming language in her story. Victims feel like they saw red flags, but they don’t – that is hindsight bias. She refers to “him” but we know that victims are managed by teams and often they will hand off from one to another as the scam progresses.

If you are reading this and you are a victim, please know that help is available. This survivor joined one of our SCARS Support & Recovery Groups, and you can too! Just visit support.AgainstScams.org to sign up.

Manipulation & Control

In telling this story, this scam victim uses a lot of language which serves to identify the choices she made to stay in the scam. This is very common for new victims and represents a lack of understanding about how scams actually work on the victim’s mind. The mind also tries to cope by inserting certainty, by making her believe she had some control when she did not. Victims are groomed, manipulated, and controlled. Any sense of seeing those red flags during the scam is Hindsight Bias. Remember, victims, do not see it coming or during these scams. They may be aware of an abnormal or abusive relationship, but not the crime itself.

In this case, the criminals failed to maintain control and allowed her to slide out from under their thumb early. This happens because not every team of criminals is as skilled or adept at managing their victims.

It is normal for new victims, especially, to see that they could have controlled things, but this is basic guilt, self-blame, and shame. Always remember that scam victims are not to blame for the crime and should feel no shame!

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If you would like to share your scam victim story with others, we welcome the opportunity to help you do that.

Just send us your scam victim story by email to contact@AgainstScams.org and tell us if you want to remain anonymous or would like others to know who you are.  It is your choice. We will prepare it and post it here on our website for other victims. Your scam victim story might be the one that helps a struggling victim find the courage to get the help they need!

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One Comment

  1. Beth March 17, 2023 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I relate to her story so much. At six months post scam (fraud) end, I can see her language and understand where she is. It’s like walking out of the middle of a tornado….you don’t know which way is up or what happened. It really is so much to learn and process. The right support is key.

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