Online relationship scam cost 84-year-old man nearly $150,000, police say

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik was live in Roswell where police say they'll be seeking federal help to track the fraudsters.

Roswell police say a man’s attempt to find love cost him dearly.

Investigators told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik the victim, who is 84, struck up an online relationship with a person he thought was a woman in Dubai.

“There may have been some kind of false pretense or something that led to this individual sending a lot of money,” said department spokesman Sean Thompson.

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Thompson said the victim’s family members learned of the fraud after he was admitted to the hospital and they began noticing message from an unknown person.

Police said the victim’s family believes he lost upwards of $150,000.

“We always preach that you should never send money to anyone you’ve never met and really you shouldn’t be talking to anybody you’ve never met in person,” said Thompson.

Police said they would like enlist the help of federal investigators to help them track down the source of the fraud.

“There’s a lot of computer forensics that go into it. We have a lot of resources here at the department, but something like that, especially overseas, we’ll bring in the Feds,” said Thompson.

Neighbor Steve Yander said what happened is sad.

“I think it’s terrible taking advantage of people like that,” he said. “If people who are con artists would take as much time learning a particular skill so they can get a job, maybe it would be a different place in the world.”