A woman thought she was in love with Bruno Mars, but in reality, it wasn’t the Grammy-winning singer, and her online romance cost her almost $200,000.
The woman, whose identity was not released, was trying to bounce back after the death of her husband of 25 years, KTVT reported.
She spent time online, and one suitor came calling.
The woman thought she was conversing with Mars himself as the online profile had images of the singer and his name, the Houston Chronicle reported.
She fell for the guy, sending him details about her life and family before falling for the alleged scam.
While multiple media outlets first reported about the scam last month when two men allegedly involved in her bilking appeared in court, KTVT spoke to the woman recently and got the details of how the alleged scam played out.
The person posing online as Mars said he needed $5,000 to pay for car rentals while on tour, KTVT reported.
The amount of money he needed increased each time.
She said she cashed out her bonds to help her online companion, sending cashier’s checks, for up to $90,000, she told KTVT.
Finally, Mars said he wanted to give up his tour and live with her in North Richland Hills, Texas. So she bought equipment and transformed her garage into a studio for Mars and a band.
Then when he was supposedly traveling to live with her, he was detained at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C. He was in custody until he paid a fee to the airport and pilots. He provided her with a police report and photos of the real Mars edited onto a stock photo of a handcuffed person, so she gave even more money, sending him a photo of the money she collected, she told KTVT.
Someone showed up at the woman’s house to pick up the cash, saying he was a security guard and that he needed to get the money quickly.
Once he was “freed,” Mars messaged her saying he needed $5,000 for jet fuel to fly to Texas. That’s when the woman finally realized the entire saga was really a scam.
She refused to give him any more, and that’s when she said the threats began.
“They threatened to poison and kill me if I didn’t get them the money,” she told KTVT.
She reported it all to the police who traced the checks to two Nigerian citizens in Houston earlier this year.
The woman said she’s being more careful online but admits she’d still help out the real Mars if he was in trouble.
“If he got on Instagram and said ‘Hey, I need some help,’ I’d help him out,” she told KTVT.
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