Hi everyone. My name is Shane, and I have finally concluded that I have been a victim of a Romanian romance scam. Fortunately, I caught it fairly early on.
It started when she contacted me on Myspace (her account has since been deleted). She said her name was Helena (never would tell me her last name...red flag number one), that she was a model, and was recently divorced. I too was recently divorced, so we had common things to talk about.
Once she had her claws in me, the stories started to roll in. Her mom was moving to Italy and she would be alone for the first time. Then she got evicted, and needed money to get a new apartment. Then she told me that when her mom got to Italy, the job she was promised didn't exist, so she was out of the country, with no money, home or work. She asked if I would help her get a bus ticket back to Romania for her mom, rather than help Helena pay for a new apartment. I wired $100 to her mom (Smirandita Hlinschii). Helena said she would stay at her work until she could get an apartment.
Next stop....dental problems. She claimed to have major dental problems, and needed $3000 to pay the dentist. I didn't have this, and she asked if I could pay half of it. I told her no. A couple days later I told her I had a little extra money, and could wire her $200, but I would need her full name and address. She told me she couldn't pick up a money wire because she did not have photo ID. She said her passport had an outdated address on it, and she couldn't update it, as she was technically homeless. So, she told me I could wire it to her cousin, which I did (Suzana Vintila).
A few days later I asked if she received the money, and she said she did, but she spent it on food because she was so poor and hungry (she was really good at playing this angle). I asked if her mom ever made it back to Romania, and she said no, that she had found some friends that put her up, and found work for her. But she kept the money. I was more than a little curious about this.
Keep in mind this all took place over about 3 months. We talked almost daily, and I always thought it was odd that she would be up at 4am her time. She said it was just to see me. She had a webcam that she would turn on, so I know I was talking to a girl, and not just some guy at a keyboard, but I don't know how many people are behind the scenes. I never saw her with anyone, and for someone who claimed to be a model, she never had any money.
It all came to a head for me on Monday of this week. She told me she had more dental problems, and couldn't eat as a result. She need dental implants, and needed me to send $500. I could have done it, but told her I would not. She then told me that "there are a lot of other guys who want to be my boyfriend, but I tell them no because I think you and I have something. I guess if we do, you will find a way". That was it for me. I wasn't even thinking scam, I was just thinking no one threatens me like that.
I started to see all the holes in her story over the last few days, and decided to Google "Romanian women scams". That is how I found this site. Thanks guys for all the information on here, you saved me a lot of money. Over the last couple months I have learned to read and speak the Romanian language, and was planning a trip to Bucharest this fall. That trip alone would have cost me upwards of $5,000, and who knows what would have happened to me when I got there.
Here is what I know about her, including contact info, and red flags to be aware of.
yahoo ID: rodica_1986
Family: Claims to have a mother in Italy, a brother in Romania, sisters in London and Chicago, and friends in Michigan (?? I don't understand that one either)
Claims to be a model, and she claims to live in the studio. However, all of our conversations took place while she was at work, and all of them ended with her saying "I'm going straight home".
Claims to be 1/2 Russian, and 1/2 Romanian. Her parents divorced when she was 2.
Never had money for food, but was always just getting back from McDonalds.
She contacted me on Myspace, only to claim months later that she had never been to Myspace. There were so many lies, she couldn't keep them straight.