Lee County woman says ‘Words with Friends’ online sweetheart stole $66K from her

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“Words with Friends” is a Scrabble-like video game played online or on an app with friends and strangers. (Credit: Zynga)

A Lee County woman said she met a man online who then conned her out of $66,000.

The sheriff’s office began investigating June 11 after the victim filed a complaint. In it, she says she met the suspect Oct. 10, 2020, through the “Words with Friends” chat feature, then began speaking to him on the “Hangouts” app.

The suspect stated he was on an oil rig off the coast of California and needed her to
help him with getting more data for his phone so they could keep talking. For the next
eight months, the victim sent a $100 Nike gift card through the “Hangouts” app so that
the suspect could purchase more data for his phone.

The victim sent an $18,000 wire transfer to the suspect on Nov. 13 so that he could “purchase a part for the oil rig.” Then, on Jan. 7, she sent him a certified check for $16,300.

The victim believed she was in a romantic relationship with the man and said she felt comfortable sending him money through Bitcoin transfers that totaled more than $30,000.

On June 10, the victim decided she wasn’t sure the suspect was telling the truth and decided to file the complaint with the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office has not released any further information on the case, and the suspect’s identifying information is redacted from the complaint.

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