A con man tries to sneak into the heart of a lady
A true story about love and scam.
My story started in Instagram sometime in March 2020. This guy who went with the name Bryan Henderson wrote me. He said ‘Hi, ‘nice to meet you’ but then I did not respond. He wrote again asking why I did not reply and that’s when I replied to him.
I asked why he wants to connect with me and he said his reason was, he came to Instagram to find one of his friends and then he saw my picture and he found it interesting and so he wrote me. My first thought: WOW.
We exchanged basic information and then he asked if we can talk using Google Hangout because he said his company prohibits him from using Social Media.
One of the pictures send by the alleged Bryan Henderson. The persons on the picture have been made anonymous, considering that these pictures were stolen and used without consent of the rightful owner.
He told me about his life
He said he is from South Carolina, USA, and his parents died when he was 18 and that he has no other relative. That his wife passed away 5 years ago due to Asthma and they have a daughter who is in a boarding school in Italy.
Also that he works as a contractor for Siemens, working in an offshore oil drill somewhere in Germany – Baltic Sea he said. He wrote his contract is for 15 years. Also he claimed he was a Catholic (like me).
He sneaked into my heart
We started chatting regularly. We had a 7 hr time difference. I checked that on Google and it was right: Germany is 7 hours behind by time (I live in the Philippines), and I thought it’s really where he is.
Even during the early chats, he already sent a picture of “him” with his daughter. He looked pretty good – the picture was all too cute.
We started to become more open about each other. He started talking about his parents .I asked a lot about him, I dug into his background and nothing seemed odd, he gave plausible information about himself.
I also asked how he is paying for his daughter’s schooling to which he said, he gives money to the daughter’s teacher whenever he is on vacation and sometimes let the teacher spend and he pays her back on his next vacation. He said that he sometimes asks from his company for her daughters upkeeps. To me, this was all true.
We were going all too well. He was nice, very romantic. He says he only loved one woman in his entire life which is his late wife. He said I changed everything. WOW! – again.
He sends nice messages, he really got me. From religion, to music, I think he may have reviewed my entire Instagram feeds and learned the things the things I like. He likes to sing though he has an awful voice. Also he did not sound American to me at all. It raised my doubt but then I was already hooked.
I told him about it that he sounded like Indian (the accent) and he just laughed at it. The one odd thing was that he said he cannot call me on video call because his company prohibits use of video calls. I saw him on video just once but no audio sound. And it was for a short period only.
I guess I can say that the man on the picture and the man on the video that I saw was the same. What didn’t fit was the African accent during our phone calls. His English was good so I did not think further about any danger.
At this point, I was already hooked. I actually believed he was real and that I’m talking to a real person.
Scammers use fake certificates to gain the trust of their victims.
He asked me for money
After three weeks of regular chatting, he started to ask for money.
His story was that he wants me to send something for his daughter’s upkeep. He no longer likes to ask money from his company so he likes to ask me for help. I was blown by this. Instantly, I questioned him but then in the end I believed him. I offered to help him with like 200 USD but then he said he said he needs 1500 Euros since his daughter is in Italy.
I told him I don’t have that much extra cash but he begged me. In the end he agreed with the 200 USD. It went on for a few more months and I actually sent around 500 USD for his daughter’s upkeeps.
The next thing was that he was talking about marriage. For this, he gave another story. It happened sometime in May 2020.
At that time he said his contract money was deposited in a security company in the U.S., which is a common practice among all the contractors like him. They deposit their contract money in a safety deposit box and retrieve it after their contract ends with the approval of their company.
At that time he said that he wants me to receive the box for him so he can resign from his job and come to me and start his dream business to put up a jeweller’s store.
The plan was for him to sneak into his manager’s office, browse through is employee record, get his certificate of deposit, stamp it with the manager’s stamp, email it to me so that I can email it to the security company where it was deposited for them to release it and be sent to me.
The content of his box according to him is his 3 Million USD contract money and his 3 or 4 pieces Gold Bergs (I don’t know that) I googled about this Gold berg thing but nothing useful came up.
It sounded very easy. At first I did not like to be part of it but then he seemed so desperate and the story to me still seemed so true. So I agreed. I posted as his wife. It was acceptable because he said his civil status was ‘Married’ in the file but the name of his wife is not mentioned.
A diplomat calls in
I received his certificate via email and sent it to the email address he gave. He gave me instructions on what to write to the “diplomat” in charge of the box. This transaction was done through Skype.
After I sent the email, I immediately received a response from the said ‘diplomat’. He verified my information and they asked a picture of me as proof, my mailing address for them to send, so I gave.
Then she sent a picture of a deposit box, with a key a taped on it. After that the diplomat asked for the security code which this person I was chatting gave. It was a 4 digit number. Then the ‘diplomat’ told me he will call me on Skype so he can show me the contents of the box for me to “inspect”.
The Skype video was very short, no preliminaries. The camera was directly focused on this deposit box, I did not even saw the face of the person. I only saw his hands showing me the contents of the box. Those were dollars, in bundles and some 3 or 4 pieces things that looked like gold bars.
He was African, wearing a green floral shirt, wearing a gold watch. Then I expected that it will be showed in an office with a more formally dressed staff but it was very casual like that. It was a little off to me.
When it was done, I told this Bryan guy about my observation, that the diplomat was African and it was not done in a proper office but he said its ok. That he trust the guys in the security company.
A frequently used method of fraud by con artists is the money box.
Customs duties are payable for the box
After that transaction, the diplomat told me that I need to send him 2500 USD for non inspection fee.
According to the diplomat guy they will send me the box but they need the fee for customs so that it will not pass through customs, because he said it was illegal to transport such amount. Again I told the Bryan guy about this and that’s when he said I need to provide it.
I was really apprehensive but then again I did not listen to my gut. The diplomat instructed me to pay the fee trough one of their agents in my country. He gave me a name and a bank account. In short: I paid. Did it trough bank fund transfer.
After that, they gave me a certificate of non inspection fee. The certificate’s content where kind of ordinary. No proper heading, there was even a grammatical error but well, I was just so deep into the story that I did not bother.
And then, the diplomat again asked made me choose for delivery fee. Like, Special: the box will be delivered in 24 hours. Regular, it will be delivered in three days and Economy, in seven days. The fees ranged from
- 11,500 USD,
- 10,500 USD
- and 7,500 USD.
This already made me think. I said to myself I had enough.
I told him I can’t pay for even the economy and he got frustrated. Anyway, we still chatted normal. But from time to time he would put the money in the conversation. Also he again asked for his daughter’s upkeeps. I gave him another 200 USD and that was the last. The money transfers were done trough Western Union, to a person in Dubai which he claims to be his friend. And this friend is the one to send the money to his daughter’s teacher in Italy.
I told him I can’t be providing for him since I need the money too. He was frustrated (not angry), pity. He was just sending me sad emojis, well to make me change my mind maybe.
This September our conversations got focused of his money issue. He kept on begging me to help him get out from his company. I finally stopped writing then he stopped writing since Sept 19.
Lovescammers use social media accounts to contact their victims.
The truth: He is a con man
After he stopped writing, I looked up on Instagram his profile Bryan Henderson and I was surprised there were so many with no profile pictures, different account but one name Bryan Henderson. I checked them all and most of them do not have any post just accounts with following and follower.
There is one that looked similar to the account he used to contact me, the profile picture was a bouquet of flower and the posts are related to offshore oil drilling. This really caught my attention.
Then I searched online about oil rig jobs, workers, trying to look for similar pictures with the ones in the new Bryan Henderson profile. That’s when I came across a post on oil rig scam on the website Lovescammer.com.
I read it and the story sounded similar to what I encountered. After consulting the company A Plus Detective it was obvious to me that I had fallen for a scammer. Sad … when I checked the new profile it was already deleted. Good thing I took screen shot, and screen shot of the other profiles under that name.
I knew now that he was a con man.
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