Computer Crime Research Center


Tempe man warns of Internet scam that led to heartbreak

Date: April 15, 2005
By: Katie Nelson

TEMPE - The Russian brunette he met online appeared to be everything Steven Coffman was looking for.

An Internet dating service sparked their whirlwind romance. She professed her love through dozens of emails and they discussed the future, their families, and visiting each other in letters and phone calls.

"With every your letter I feel that we becoming more closer and closer," she wrote once. "Every time, when I reading your letter, my mood become well and my heart is knocking so strong!"

"I never had a woman talk to me like this ever in my life," Coffman said. "It wasn't hard for me to fall in love with her. She seemed so perfect."

He had known her for less than two months. But he was ready to propose.

Coffman arranged a visit to the United States for the woman, who said her name was Elena. The cost was $2,000, which he thought would cover her visa and travel costs.

He had told his minister, his prayer group friends, his family members about this potential "life partner."

Then the day came. Coffman went to Sky Harbor Airport. The Russian beauty didn't ever arrive.

"I never thought I could get fooled by something like this," Coffman said. "I know now I was naive."

But he's not the only one. Multiple "black-list" websites show others have fallen for the same kind of scam.

In message after message, men write they thought it was too good to be true.

Some post pictures of the woman they believe betrayed them. Some of them are "Elena."

Coffman went to Tempe Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for help; both told him there was nothing they could do.

So now Coffman wants to tell others about what happened. It might be embarrassing, "but then at least it might not happen to them."
Original article

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo