Gran, 55, sent thousands of ‘celebrities’ online after he started flirting
A woman believed she had found true love and was on the verge of getting rich and famous after being contacted online by someone she believed to be American Idol judge Luke Bryan.
Retired grandmother Denise Vick, 55, was contacted by someone online who promised her a life of adventure and luxury.
She spent six months flirting with who she thought was Luke Bryan, sending them over £ 3,500.
The real Luke Bryan is a wealthy and successful musician, and a married father.
Denis told the Star of the day: “He said to me ‘don’t worry baby, I support you’ and he will give me everything I want in life.
“He promised riches and diamonds, vacations and tours with him.”
Denise Vick was duped by an online con artist posing as famous singer Luke Bryan (Image: Supplied)
Denise added, “I was so excited and thought I finally didn’t have to worry about my grandchildren’s future and could take care of my daughter.
“I let myself dream of the potential. I let myself be completely taken in.
“He told me that as soon as his divorce was over, we would be together and we would get married.”
Denise said the scam started in October when she received a message online.
Messages Denise received from the cruel fraudster (Image: Supplied)
She said: “I recognized the face and name instantly and just thought ‘wow.’ I was just a simple girl, how could I even have the privilege of meeting someone like that?
“I wondered if this was real and he told me celebrities don’t always share everything with the media.”
They spoke to each other every day, until two weeks later, “Luke” announced that he was divorcing and that his wife had frozen his accounts.
He started asking for money.
She said: “I told her that I was not a rich woman and that I could not afford it and that it was totally out of my reach. He was telling me how much he loved me and he needed money for his boy’s birthday for video games.
“I started sending small chunks at a time to Steam cards. I felt sorry for him. “
The scammer asked Denise to keep their online affair a secret until her divorce was finalized.
She said: “I was naive about social media and had heard of romance scams, but I never thought that could happen to me. At one point I even showed my son-in-law John messages with the photos Luke sent me.
“John said he was either a really good professional con artist or I was really talking to Luke Bryan. I wanted it so badly to be true.
Then Denise’s Google Account was hacked and her friends received messages asking for money after learning that she was in the hospital.
The contact of the crook slowly stopped.
Denise said: “At first I thought he was home with his wife and he asked to be quiet so I got it. He had a busy life with tours etc.
“But at the end of the day, he only texted me when he wanted something, usually money. I confronted him and asked for more evidence but nothing was enough.
Denise realized she had been scammed and blocked the account.
She said: “I was heartbroken. What a blow to my self-esteem for someone to lift you up so high only to bring you down so low.
“Now I have a hard time trusting people and I don’t accept requests from male friends. Before, I was a sociable person.
She added, “I try so hard to stand up for this and warn others. My advice to women on dating sites is to FaceTime the person.
“Have them greet you or even dance in the kitchen, whatever to make sure they’re real.
“I hope I can continue to reach out to help others, that’s what helped me cope the most.”
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