“For several months, the scammer convinced the old man to have a long-distance romantic relationship, and offered an opportunity to support an art gallery in Florida,” says the note. “The widower even received fabricated documents describing the contract with the museum and bank statements. Based on the documents and his love relationship, the victim made a series of payments over five months to various individuals and bank accounts. overseas for a total of over $ 200,000. “
While the Oregon Financial Regulation Division did not name the victim, he said he believed he was contributing a $ 5 million fee to ship a 500-ton marble lion sculpture from China. The swindler said the investments would be repaid along with a percentage of the profits from the sale of the sculpture.
Investigators have not been very successful in tracking down the scammer. Victims often transfer funds overseas or to third-party transfer agents, making it difficult to recover the money and identify the scammer, said Andrew Stolfi, director of the financial regulation division.