Two women from Tyrol share the same fate: both fell for an alleged soldier on the Internet who promised them good luck in love. While one transferred “only” 50,000 euros to the scammer, the other invested almost five times as much. They told their story to the “Krone”.
55-year-old Elfriede (name changed by the editors) who lives in the Tyrolean Unterland, transferred no less than 230,000 euros to her alleged great love in several installments. It all started in November last year. “My husband left me at the time and I suffer from cancer. I thought it would be nice to have someone by your side,” she says in an interview with “Tiroler Krone”. A friend recommended a dating platform to Elfriede.
There she met 47-year-old Alex. As later police investigation revealed, Alex was a trio of con men. “We quickly switched to Skype and a little later to the telephone,” Elfriede continues. Alex, who spoke with a Bavarian accent, said he was stationed abroad as a soldier from Salzburg and would return home soon.
Money for packages, flight and various papers needed
“He told me that he would send a package with his valuables, including gold coins, but that he needed 1800 euros for the shipment,” the 55-year-old said, explaining how the first transfer came about. Two days later, Alex asked for another 2,400 euros for another express parcel delivery. “Later he said he needed 13,500 euros for a flight and papers to fly here.” And again Elfriede transferred her hard-earned savings. In April, even more fairy tales had yielded the impressive amount of 230,000 euros.
The 55-year-old only became suspicious when Alex called her from Frankfurt and made her believe that he was suddenly moved to Poland and needed money again.
Car pawned, debts to friends
Elfriede then went to the police. One of the suspected perpetrators is now in custody. Further investigations are still ongoing. Now Elfriede is on a mountain of debt of about 130,000 euros. “First I used money in funds, later I pawned my car and borrowed money from friends,” she explains how she raised the money for the transfers. And why didn’t she get suspicious much sooner? “Once you pay once, you can’t get out and believe that everything will be okay.” In addition, she generally has a helper syndrome.
The 55-year-old is still hanging out on the dating platform. However, only to see which profiles other scammers are hiding. She advises other women to “cut off contact immediately as soon as money is requested”.
All savings transferred to the “beloved”.
Cornelia (name also changed) also believed that she had finally found the man of her life. But there was also a cheeky con man behind her internet knowledge. The 57-year-old woman from Oberland has transferred her entire savings to her beloved, who in reality does not exist – more than 50,000 euros is gone.
Cornelia herself cannot believe what has happened to her. “Of course I am ashamed of the matter,” the woman told the “Krone”. “He promised me the moon.”
War effort in Afghanistan ‘admirable’
Four years ago, the love-hungry office worker met a man on Facebook posing as a soldier. “He is currently on a military mission in Afghanistan. Frankly, I thought it was exciting and admirable at first,” the 57-year-old said. For months Cornelia and the stranger wrote countless messages back and forth. First via the messenger service, then also via email.
“Over time I confided in him everything, told a lot about myself and enjoyed the conversations. I thought it was the same with him,” the deceived woman was wrong. Today she knows: there was absolutely none of it true.
In the end it was 50,000 euros
After a few months he asked for money for the first time. “He said he was tired of the war, wanted to end his service in the crisis country and move in with me. Of course I was always worried about him.” Cornelia first transferred 5,000, then 12,000 – in the end it was more than 50,000 euros. “I have always been careful with my money. I have absolutely no explanation why I trusted him so. He must have known exactly how to wrap my finger around his finger. wrap.’
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.