I am a very savvy researcher and quite aware of scams online. I know the Internet is filled with lies, truth, and in-between. So, many times, I verify what I come across. I had read about online romance scams, but felt, surely, I would be able to detect it. That was partially true, but not before I had sent money to someone I had never met on a popular online romance site. In fact, I seldom ever use these sites, but in this instance, I casually created a profile, not expecting anything to happen.
Then it did.
A person called Cinderellabunch contacted me through the romance site. She was interested. We exchanged a few texts via the online romance site but she quickly wanted me to download a free text app called, WhatsApp. Many use this to chat with, so texting was much quicker and easier. So far, it was very casual conversation and could last hours. Eventually, I asked her what her real name was, she said, Chelsea Boamah, but also used Chelsea Ford for legal documents. I asked for proof and she send an image of her US passport. I pressed her about the Ford last name, she said it was after her father. Knowing about scams, I was just waiting for a request of money as a sure sign. None came. We texted each other on and off for days about usual things. She sent photos of her mom and dad. He was a captain for a cruise line, which I could not verify. She said she had been living in the UK until moving to Brooklyn, NY, and by age 5, became a US citizen. She went to Morris High there. Her parents were both deceased now and she was living in Rocky Mount, NC. She told me that she had been a model and after the death of the man she was to marry, stopped modeling since 2012. The first odd thing was that the cruise line she claimed her dad worked for was only based in Australia. How did the UK fit into this? She said her mom was an Australian citizen and was in Poland when she gave birth to her. Her father was American. I tried calling her many times but only spoke to her a few times.
Chelsea used photos from Nikki Sims and Ann Angel to attract with. Both of these women are attractive and each has their own websites, both are soft-porn "stars". Many scammers have stolen these photos and created online profiles on dating websites. Ann Angel has a huge catalog of photos and videos from as far back as 2004 that members to her website have access to, including the scammer. They simply save the image and video, edit them, and create a new identity with them like Chelsea did. Of course, I did not even know who these women were until it was too late. The scammer might be a man using a stolen passport or ID, or a woman who used Chelsea's passport for a new identity online. So, all photos I received were of Ann Angel who I thought was Chelsea. A few were of Nikki Sims, and I did noticed some facial features were different and even confronted Chelsea about this. There was a plausible excuse always.
The texting continued for a week or so, chatting. It was this frequency that lured me into what I thought might be real. The one thing I was never asked and is typical when meeting someone is, what did I do for living? She asked if I was married or divorced, any kids, where I lived, phone number. All standard things any face to face encounter does. We exchanged all the standard details. Sex talk was actually minimal. After the first week, I requested a webcam or Skype call to verify whom I was talking to was the same as in the photos. She agreed but we could never get it done. She avoided using her email, probably because I could actually trace the IP address etc. She avoided sending me an audio chat that can easily be done with the app used. Yes, I found this odd, but continued. She said she was looking to marry and have kids within the next five years, she said I was her "man" and would never let me go. She called me "babe", "baby", to gain my affection and trust. Was I suspicious, oh yeah, but thought I could control it, put the brakes on, if and when money was requested.
I was wrong.
One night she called from a cell phone. I did a reverse lookup and found out the number was for Goldirocks Jewelry in Oceanside, NY, near Brooklyn. The call was from Florida at 4 a.m. The store is owned by Stuart Leibowitz. The number was even on their website. There was no message. I asked her about this and she said she did not know him and that she had used a taxicab driver's phone. I suspect this would have been for money. Was Chelsea and Stuart in on the scam? Maybe. I would never know.
Chelsea told me she would be leaving for Ghana to work with UNICEF for two months. She was working on project to get donations for a sick orphan at OSU in Accra who needed a costly operation and to talk about Ebola. I checked with both agencies and both said there was no Chelsea Boamah listed. So, far, no money was requested, so I was confident I could just say no, so I continued with this cloak and dagger much like an investigative reporter. Checking was easy, just use email. Soon, Chelsea sent photos of her in Ghana (actually, Ann Angel). She said that the government had provided her with a free studio apartment, but had to pay for utilities,food, and Internet. Internet was paid weekly. By now, we had been texting a lot for two weeks daily. She would send more intoxicating Ann Angel photos (these were natural looking, selfies, office video) and respectable (not x-rated at all). I continued to feel confident I could refuse any request for money. The first of several, emergency situations arrived. Her credit card and access to her bank account was blocked due to a security risk. She had no more cash. She needed money. She could not get an advance from UNICEF and she was alone there. I first said, no. Not my problem. She said the Internet bill was due and she needed food. She pleaded with me, played upon my emotions for her, used the guilt card. Like a warrior, I resisted. Eventually, I did wire her a small amount in USD. I had violated the first rule: Never send money to another you have not met in person!
This took us into the money phase. This began in the third week of meeting online. There was not many conversations that did not end with a hint or request for money. Something was always needed or wrong. She told me that she wanted to get a Gold Agent license there to be able to buy, sell and export gold. She wanted me to buy a gold detector to find it. Alarms went off loudly now. This was not going to happen involving over thousands of dollars. I found out that in Ghana only Ghanians can get a license. I argued why a gold detector was a stupid idea. I really frustrated her with logical arguments she could not challenge. She would call me, have me talk to a "government official" trying to convince me to send over $2000. Eventually, she gave up. She wanted to start her business exporting gold to my address and when she returned, we would sell it abroad. We're talking about gold bars! One bar is valued at $32K. She wanted me to open an equity line of credit at my bank to deposit funds into when gold was sold. Of course, I did not buy this at all. I smelled scam and danger, but I wanted to see how far this "play" would go on.
When Chelsea and her assistant (was this Stuart Leibowitz?) realized none of this was going to happen with me, and I demanded to see ID used to receive wired money, she stated there had been a large fire that killed several and took all her belongings. The receipt she did send to get wired money did not show a Chelsea Ford signature, not even remotely. I confronted her about this, and she just claimed it was hers. She knew she was caught in a lie and proven for it. Her Ghana health card from NHIS was fake, again, using a photo of Ann Angel. She said she had gone to renew her passport. The US embassy there said she did not tell the truth, yet, she showed me her new passport. This time, the photo used was not Nikki Sims, as in the first one, but Ann Angel! Totally different people. The embassy confirmed it was fake.
By the fourth week, she was frustrated with me. She thought I may be playing her, which I was, just out of curiosity. She got angry and at times, sounded like a guy talking, when I refused to send money. She would call me names. All the affectionate words were gone. Money requests were direct or pleas using the guilt card. She threatened to cutoff communications. She wanted me to send $500 so she could rent a four bedroom house there. The house was being sold for $320,000 and she claimed the agent said she could have the house for $400 per year as a rental. I showed her the house on the website and told her it makes no sense. She had no answer but to want that house. She would always try to soften me up when money was requested with another nice photo of Ann Angel.
Once I found out that the photos she had sent were of Ann Angel's catalog, I confronted her her. That is when she said she used Ann Angel as an alias, LOL. This scammer was a pro. Had a reasonable reason for any money request. Probably was from Ghana. Maybe she was a he all along, too many mirrors to know. Her backstory was thorough. Believable for the most part. She lived in Ocala, FL., for awhile with her last boyfriend for awhile until something happened with him. That something might be a real estate wire fraud bust in 2006 where he was arrested and owed Chelsea several years of stolen money. She had nothing but bad feelings for her last boyfriend (after her fiancé had died of cancer).
Once it ended, I was out a few hundred, I had learned a lot. I think Chelsea mixed truth with fiction at times, the problem was, sifting all this out was just impossible. She might be real but looks far different than her portrayal, or, not exist at all. Hope you learn from my experience. If you suspect fraud, save the image of the person and use either Tin Eye or images.google.com. If the photo has been used before, you will know who and the address.
- Google Images
- TinEye Reverse Image Search
TinEye is a reverse image search engine built by Idée currently in beta. Give it an image and it will tell you where the image appears on the web.
perrya (author) on September 09, 2020:
Just do not reply
marco kalby on September 08, 2020:
Hallo, as I can see you say that the woman blonde called Chelsea is a scammer , she is asking me many moneys since 3 years , can you help me to block her .
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on August 17, 2020:
Hi Perrya, boy this was really interesting. It's a good thing you know about scammers. It was also interesting because you let the person play out their whole narrative. I've also heard of old women being scammed for money online. This is a very helpful article.
perrya (author) on June 12, 2020:
Well, that is quite an elongated response that seems to say its not all true or don't be so gullible, many men have been scammed by those using the fake identity of the real person, who herself has her own real website and confirmed by others. Most of the scammers are from Ghana or Nigeria and prey on lonely men. Its all true.
Harry Linkswell from Los Angeles, CA on June 11, 2020:
I don't know which part of this story is more disturbing:
A) the scammer and the incredible lengths they are willing to go to potentially score a mere pittance
B) The fact that this actually validates what would otherwise be irrefutably considered narcissistic stalker behavior on the OP's part.
The lengths that this scammer was willing to go to, the intricate detail of the stories, and the preparedness for quite literally any question that could have been thrown at them, even questions that the average person would never think to ask or be able to fact check, puts master chess players, the world's greatest investment strategists and top poker players to shame (This, of course, is assuming that the OP's recount is 100% accurate, which I'm not entirely convinced is the case. More on that in a bit).
Its truly troubling to think that someone would go to those incredible lengths, and employ that much clever cunning, and with such sophistication (people pay hundreds of dollars for passable photo shopped docs like the examples given in blackhat forums daily) - and stick with it consistently in a way that would make someone feel as though they were the sole object of their affection - for literally months - for a few hundred dollars - is extremely troubling (and sad) if it's true - but my guess would be there's either a lot more to the story OR actually a lot LESS to the story, just a really bruised ego and a bunch of fictional interactions added to make the OP appear less easily fooled than he may have been.
That said, the equally (arguably more) troubling fact: If this story is true, it actually gives merit to the outrageous prospect that it's somehow "acceptable" to approach everyone with - not just caution and a standardized crap detector - but aggressive suspicion. The type who would, on first interaction, make baseless (often unprovoked and insulting) accusations of "scammer " "fake" or "400 lbs" based on literally nothing - (and I'm speaking from personal experience here) when they in turn, are asked for their skype id so they can video call, and I then get to look them in the eye (via webcam) and pretty much demand an apology for the (sometimes outrageous)_ statements made, although they can't deny they were WAY wrong, they still feel somehow justified in hurling insults inaccurately at people who respond to something they created for the purpose of receiving replies to (i.e. a doublelist post, a grindr profile etc).
If you haven't connected the dots yet, I've encountered this form of doucebaggery on more than one occasion - one of such instances involved someone who Grindr's GPS placed at 1600 feet away from me and of course the natural response to that was "fine, why are we still talking on here? you're like a block away let's just meet in person at the corner and you can see for yourself, unless you're going to accuse me of being a hologram" - to which such a douche would respond to "no, how do I know it's you" (that's the point of meeting in person in public duh) or (no but take a picture with one hand doing this and todays date here) - for real? Attraction destroyed by douchebaggery.. but I digress...
Reading Deeper into the OP's post it gets more troubling.. Looking into the employment, citizenship and social history of someone you've been talking to online for less than a week's parents? Calling a foreign embassy and social engineering Sensitive (legally protected) Personal information (which is illegal) out of a government agency to get intel on someone you've chatted with casually for a week or two?
The fact that ANYONE other than OP would consider that to be sane and acceptable behavior is unsettling, the fact that noone seems have picked up on those cues and mentioned it till now is downright distressing.
And to write an article such as this, with the obvious "tone" of the article being how OP was "wronged" with such confidence in his righteousness and not even an inkling of a hint that he's aware of how outrageous his own behavior is is textbook narcissism. The mentality that it's ok to aggressively invade someone's privacy and feel justified in doing so because they allegedly found out that someone lied to them once (whether they turn out to be real or not is irrelevant, that's why I don't do long distance personally) is akin to the mentality of the narcissist who claims "It's your fault I stole that from you, you shouldn't have made it so easy for me" .. .IMHO...
email@example.com on February 25, 2019:
hello how are you doing today dear rally dear
perrya (author) on August 07, 2018:
This person is still scamming!
KrazyJack6552 on August 01, 2018:
Well here is where I sent 50.00 so I knew what country the scamming porn actress is for now.
Name : Laadi Atinkan
First name : Laadi
Last name : Atinkan
Number : 249035195
City : Accra
Choose family and friend support
KrazyJack6552 on August 01, 2018:
Well just saw a picture says taken 4 days ago in Miami Florida. Tells me she still in Ghana. Also found out she works in porn.
KrazyJack6552 on July 10, 2018:
Well she's telling me she's in Ghana right now and she said her name is Jenny Ayi. Hasn't got any money from me oh she told me Aug. 11 is her birthday. I knew something wasn't right. Says she's working as a hair salon but other night so got on late. Let's catch this soso. Well how I started getting pictures on 3 she had red hair and then d bikini Blond and then red and then This morning bath rob blond. She may have thought I was too close.
perrya (author) on January 16, 2017:
Ok, buyer beware, some lessons are hard to learn.
Dick D on January 15, 2017:
You can add the names Allesia Miller and Tiffany Blue to the growing list of scammers using these pictures , videos and ID
perrya (author) on October 23, 2016:
dallen220 on October 21, 2016:
as of October 2016 she/he is still at it, but now goes by the Name Lydia Anderson, I have been in contact with her, fortunately I was very suspicious of the whole Idea. she is still using the same pics of Ann. We really went at it when I refused to send her a dime. she even threatened to put a spell on me by a local witch doctor, I actually talked to her on the phone and what did it for me was it actually sounded like a man trying to sound like a woman. I am sure that is what is going on.
perrya (author) on August 11, 2016:
when money is asked for, just say no
Otto Alfred on August 10, 2016:
That will be determined so, anyway, I am become skeptical because I got different images. But how they do it, that I've seen in Livechatt them as on the one image in your post.
perrya (author) on August 08, 2016:
The real Ann Angel knows that her videos and pictures are being stolen and used but is unable to stop them.
perrya (author) on May 20, 2016:
A few months ago is a long time....LOL
Suzie from Carson City on May 19, 2016:
Perry......scroll up a few posts & you will see your reply to me months ago.......I'm just responding now. I tried to explain that.....don't be so clueless!! LOL
perrya (author) on May 19, 2016:
What are you talking about?
Suzie from Carson City on May 18, 2016:
LOL!!! Perry, Now that this is going around again, I finally saw your reply to my comment. Very funny. NO! I'm not saying you cannot trust me!
I've been a member here for 5 years, at least a hundred hubbers know me very well, even my full name and address! That is my real picture and most everything about me can be found scattered throughout my hubs! I am by no means a total stranger. LOL
Besides, Who would lie to such a nice guy like you? OH, yeah that's right....the online scammers would!! LOL
Lol on May 18, 2016:
Okay you are welcome Perrya
perrya (author) on October 04, 2015:
Thanks for the notice, not a big surprise.
Vedanand on October 03, 2015:
I have a great problem chealsea ford is now anna plamers please how to may her go way of me please help me
perrya (author) on July 18, 2015:
Maybe they should just use their real names instead of aliases.
perrya (author) on July 11, 2015:
Eric on July 11, 2015:
Thank you baucoup Perrya is gents are without scupule they play on the various sensitivities of each other.
perrya (author) on July 11, 2015:
I checked her out on FB, yes, the woman is actually Ann Angel and probably is a black man in Ghana. Another scam.
Eric on July 10, 2015:
Yes it is an ordeal , and this person would quincé what passed for another as Claire Trioux to further his FB I do not know if you can locate a computer by its IP address or with FB
perrya (author) on July 10, 2015:
Wow! It was a tough lesson!
Eric on July 10, 2015:
Yes she made me see passepot Claire is French Trioux the problems is that I notice developed feelings for this person I am disappointed one can also regrettably I was too naive I thought I had found as majotité gents that the persone false to me is horrible to feel betrayed me 40 years I still have not but I gave him monies
perrya (author) on July 10, 2015:
Eric- was the woman who contacted you, the same as in the photo, just different name?
Eric on July 10, 2015:
Hello you can speak English is not a problem
perrya (author) on July 09, 2015:
My French is rusty, but it sounds like a similar thing!
perrya (author) on May 31, 2015:
Geez, Paula, thanks for the advice, LOL! Are you saying can't even trust you?
Suzie from Carson City on May 31, 2015:
perry......Goodness! I rarely even "trust" real live people I am familiar with and have known for some time!! Truth be known.....I trust NO ONE until they have proven in no uncertain terms that they are worthy of TRUST.
No way in HELL would I trust a complete stranger online.....no matter what their game was.
Glad you've been AWAKENED!!! Listen to your instincts, Perry. They don't lie to you.............Peace, Paula
perrya (author) on May 31, 2015:
WOW! After several months, the scammer sent me a photo of a less known but attractive porn star, which I exposed with searching for the image on google. She claimed this was how she really looked. He even tried to convince me that the live chat session was actually live- it was just an old video where she was stripping. Almost fooled me.
jjp. 5/31/15 on May 31, 2015:
Same Chelse Ford name is being used but a new story, New pics, New passport, still Rocky Mount North Carolina 132 maize court address being used. Cost me twice. The story is even more convincing. I will post pictures asap to this comment when I figure out how.
perrya (author) on March 25, 2015:
He\she can always create a new one!
UmbertoPMarocchi on March 25, 2015:
Fortunately! Please keep the public informed about the following of that issue. I sea with pleasure that tastebuds deleted that fake Cinderella Bunch and Romancescamsnow published the report. http://romancescamsnow.com/user-uploaded-scammer-d... Good work done!
perrya (author) on March 24, 2015:
I am glad it was NOT a great loss, certainly an eye opener.
UmbertoPMarocchi on March 24, 2015:
Very well particularized story, Perry! Thanks for sharing it with the public! There's so many people out falling for these crooks!