Scam in New Madrid: Victim Speaks Out

Scam in New Madrid: Victim Speaks Out
By:  CJ Cassidy

New Madrid County authorities investigate a scam the likes of which they've never seen before.  It's called the Nigerian scam, one we've told you about before.  But now, police say crooks are scamming people out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Here's how it works: the crooks usually pick out a victim, generally online, they send them bogus money orders or checks, and ask their victims to cash them, and send back any balance left over.
So if it's so well known you may ask, why do people fall for it?
One New Madrid County woman agreed to share her story with us, provided we protected her identity.
"Being alone you get lonely for someone in your life, he painted the beautiful picture said all the right words," "Kayla" as we'll refer to her says.
This story isn't about a couple who met online, fell in love and lived happily ever after.
It's the story of a woman who struck up a romance with a man she met on a dating website, and ended up getting robbed of $43,000.00.
"He wanted to send me some retirement money so he could purchase medical equipment and he and his son were going to move to New Madrid to live with me," Kayla says.
Kayla's a well educated woman in her fifties, and she herself can't believe she got caught in "the net".
The trouble began when Kayla accepted a check from her online suitor and wired half the money to someone in Georgia.
When the bank realized the check was bogus, they came after Kayla.
"I'm being held accountable for the money plus I lost 6000 of my own personal money because the bank froze all my accounts," Kayla says.
As investigators try tracking down the person or persons who wove the tangled web, Kayla hopes her story keeps other people from looking for love online.
"Even though the police have assured me nothing's going to happen there's still the idea that is somebody watching me," she says.
Kayla says the rest of the bogus check was sent to a wrong account, so thankfully it wasn't cashed.
Police also believe the photograph Kayla has, of her online suitor is a fake.
New Madrid County authorities are working with the Highway Patrol and FBI to track down the scam artists.
They ask you to call them if you have ever been victimized like Kayla was.