OKLAHOMA CITY — The FBI is investigating after a 70-year-old Oklahoma woman said she was duped out of more than $225,000 by someone posing online as a U.S. Army general stationed in Syria.
Phyllis Lindsey, a widow, told The Oklahoman newspaper she was contacted on Facebook by someone alleging to be “Gen. Lester Holmes.” She said they began talking and a “romance happened really fast.”
According to an FBI affidavit, Lindsey made four wire transfers in October believing the money was being used to pay for the delivery of luggage containing the man’s discharge papers and money.
The fourth wire transfer was frozen after Lindsey’s son discovered she was being scammed and contacted the FBI. Records show the transfer for $100,000 was recovered this month from an Atlanta bank.
A spokeswoman with the U.S. Air Force said such fraud is common because military officials’ photos are easily accessible online.
Lindsey said the person with whom she was talking told she would be paid back with interest and that the luggage would have $2.8 million dollars inside. No luggage arrived at her home.
“It was quite a hit,” she said. “That was my retirement. And what really irritates me is he knew it. I said, ‘You’re draining me dry.’”