Fort Smith Woman Falls Victim to ‘Catfishing’ Scam

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — It was a bittersweet Valentine's Day for one local woman after she says she was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man she was in love with.

In November of 2017,  70-year-old Dixie Jones started talking to a man she met on Facebook.

She says he told her he was in the military and had a son who was ill. After just weeks of texting back and forth, he asked her to send money to help his son.

"I shouldn't have done it, but I was in love with him and I was wanting to help him and I did," said Jones.

Over the course of a year, Jones sent this man about $8,000 even after warnings from family and friends.

She calls him charming and says he courted her with love songs and poems.

"For some reason, I just fell deeply in love with this man, like I've never been before. We've never held each other, we've never kissed, we never walk together, we never went out to dinner together, nothing," said Jones.

The two planned to get married but there were still red flags that made her hold off on setting a date, like his age, 20 years her junior.

"He didn't like me to ask him any questions. I would ask him something and maybe he wouldn't answer me," said Jones.

Despite some hesitation, Jones continued the relationship.

The final straw came just last week when her alleged fiance claimed to be detained at the airport because of two pistols he was carrying.

He told her he needed $90,000 to get out of trouble, but that's when she finally realized who he truly was, a scam artist.

"He took my heart, he yanked it out of my chest and stomped on it. He picked it up and put it back in and he turned away and he laughed. That's how I feel," said Jones.

She says now she knows better and won't let it happen a second time.

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