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Troy woman loses more than $700,000 in online-dating site scam

58-year-old woman scammed on Match.com dating site

TROY, Mich. – A Troy woman was scammed out of more than $700,000 when she believed the lies of someone posting a fake profile on a dating website.

The woman learned there can be a fine line between falling in love and falling for a scam. It's a heartbreaking reminder that it's impossible to truly know who you might be communicating with online.

The woman sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone who doesn't even exist, sending shockwaves through the Troy community.

"Wow, that's scary," Carol Corbin said. "I mean, I would think twice before I gave somebody that much money."

Troy police have never had a scam in which so much money was stolen, and it's the talk of the town.

"I'm not that trusting," Corbin said.

But police said the 58-year-old grandmother was that trusting, and perhaps lonely. She was looking for companionship on the singles dating site Match.com.

A man who called himself Donny Koch met her on the site and said he was from London. He said he worked on an oil rig and needed money, so she started sending thousands of dollars.

The man then told her he was caught with all the cash she sent him and was jailed. He said he needed money for bail, so she sent more and more money.

"She has given him approximately $703,000," said Troy police Captain Robert Redmond.

When she called police in Europe to ask about Donny Koch, she was told there is no such person.

Bank of America finally called her to say her withdraw patterns indicated she was being scammed.

READ: How to avoid romantic ripoffs

"She is (devastated)," Redmond said. "Very embarrassed, very sick over it."

"I wouldn't get on the internet if my life depended on it," said Troy resident Jadwiga Kelly.

Police said they're going to have a talk with the woman's family so they are aware of what happened and can keep an eye on her in the future so this doesn't happen again.

Troy police said there's nothing they can do to investigate the case because it's likely the "suspect" involved four or five different people online in different countries looking for just the right person.


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