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‘Is this Real?’: Australian Woman Falls Victim to Romance Scam

Sharing her experience, an Australian woman has revealed her two-year online relationship with a man, an immigrant from Britain residing in Australia. However, a peculiar detail in a video he sent raised suspicions.

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Mary, aged 66, initially believed she had found her ideal partner online. The couple enjoyed a two-year romance, but red flags emerged when the man avoided questions and declined opportunities to meet in person.

Andre Moreau 1

Mary’s friend Liz became skeptical after watching a video the man sent, where he claimed he would be back in Sydney in two weeks and expressed a desire for them to meet. Despite Mary interpreting the video as a sign of his affection, Liz questioned its authenticity, asking, “How do you know this stuff is real?”

Unfortunately, Liz’s doubts proved valid. A Google reverse image search revealed the video to be a deepfake created from a photo of Andre Moreau, an Emmy-winning news anchor in the US. The image had undergone Artificial Intelligence manipulation to make it appear as if Moreau were speaking.

Mary, however, had already fallen victim to the scam, losing money after her supposed boyfriend claimed to be on holiday in Abu Dhabi and requested funds for an airport incident. Despite waiting for him at the airport, he never showed up, and Mary had to transfer money as he claimed to be arrested.

Heartbroken by the ordeal, Mary expressed her disbelief, stating, “I don’t understand it at all. I don’t understand this AI thing.”

Viewers sympathized with Mary in the comments, highlighting the vulnerability of older Australians to tech-savvy scams. Some shared similar experiences involving their relatives and emphasized the need for awareness and caution in dealing with online relationships.

Commenters flooded the section with expressions of sympathy for Mary, highlighting the perceived susceptibility of older Australians to scams with a technological edge.

One woman shared a distressing personal experience, revealing, “This is literally happening to my grandmother, and she remains unconvinced by anything I tell her. I don’t know what to do.”

A similar narrative resonated with another individual who wrote, “My bestie went through the same ordeal. Fortunately, she refrained from sending any money. Still, it’s the identical story – returning home, allegedly arrested at the airport due to debts. Same location and everything. It’s truly disheartening.”

A third contributor disclosed the plight of a relative, stating, “It’s also occurring within my family. She has sent them over 30k and remains resistant to any advice.”

Another person added: “Poor lady. Fingers crossed she finds love and happiness elsewhere.”

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This site is about online scams! We inform people so that they are not deceived by scammers who use stolen photos. You can send your story to [email protected]
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