An elderly Nanaimo woman’s golden years have been tarnished in scam that cost her nearly $100,000.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, the woman’s ordeal started in late 2016, but her identity and specific times and locations relating to the case are being withheld to protect the victim’s privacy.
The woman’s husband had died. Becoming lonely and seeking companionship, she signed up with the dating website Match.com through which she connected with a man who went by the name of Jonathan Lucron.
Their relationship was established through e-mails, texts and phone conversations and after several months, Lucron started asking the victim for money to support his work projects for which he promised to repay her. She wired money to various accounts around the world, even though she’d never met Lucron in person.
“She said he claimed he was doing civil engineering work in China and required the money for work, etc., but said he would pay her back,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
A few weeks ago, Lucron allegedly told the woman he was travelling to a city near Nanaimo and that he planned to ask her to marry him. She went to the city to finally meet him.
“He never showed up,” O’Brien said. “She waited two days.”
After checking with every airline with negative results she realized she’d been scammed and called Nanaimo RCMP. By this time she had lost nearly $100,000.
Investigators have failed to find any record of Jonathan Lucron. The area code of the phone number he provided has been traced to southern Ontario, but, there is no record of this phone or ‘Lucron’ in any police databases.
O’Brien said the online dating scam is a common ruse and cautions dating site users to not send money to contacts they have never met in person.
To learn more about dating site scams or to report a scam, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.