New York

‘The Hell of My Life’: Long Island Woman Loses $475K in Online Dating Scam


A Long Island woman searching for love online thought she found her Mr. Right, but he soon turned into Mr. Wrong. The Casanova who she hoped would steal her heart wound up stealing her money instead — almost half a million dollars of it.

There’s a pile of papers on Connie Rotolo’s table, evidence of the mess her life has become, she says, since falling prey to a dating scam.

“I knew nothing about scammers out there. I knew nothing. Call me naïve. Call me stupid,” she told NBC New York, saying she’s the poster child for dating scam victims. “It’s like a drug. You hear what you want to hear and the more you hear it the more you want it.”

Rotolo said it all began after losing her husband of 45 years back in 2019. Months later, beset by grief and loneliness under pandemic lockdown, the then-67-year-old from Oceanside joined the dating website Zoosk.

A man contacted her, sending pictures and claiming to be a fellow Long Islander who was overseas. They never met in person, but through text messages over three months, a relationship blossomed and the pair grew close. Or at least Rotolo believed.

“There’s all kinds of love letters and poems and stories and promises of everything,” she said. “You took it and ran with it and thought this was going to be the love of your life now. But it turned out to be the hell of my life.”

The promises however soon turned to pleas for money — cash the man said he needed to get out of financial troubles.

Rotolo sent him about $475,000 — money that her late husband had left for her.

“He wanted me to sell my house. Not too long ago, he told me to sell my house,” she said.

It’s not just The Tinder Swindler. $547 million was lost to romance scams in 2021, up 80% from the prior year. Unfortunately, dating apps can’t guarantee that the person you’re messaging has your best interests in mind. So we talked to sex and relationships researcher Justin Lehmiller for tips on protecting yourself from scams when you’re looking for love.

Eventually Rotolo began checking on the man she thought she knew, and realized he wasn’t who he said he was. She went to Nassau County police, who confirmed they are now investigating her case.

She continues to receive texts from the person who she says took her life savings, promising to make it all right.

“Take it easy my love. I’ll pay you all I owe you,” Rotolo said one of the messages read. “Another one: I’ll give you all I owe you.”

Rotolo now monitors social media sites to help other women to avoid becoming victims. It is she says the least she can do.

“I learned from that lesson.  A tough but hard one, but I learned,” she said.

She hopes to help others avoid the mistakes she made, which she may be paying for for the rest of her life. As for the man who took advantage of her, she had a simple message.

“You broke me. You really broke me. You made me a broken person,” Rotolo said. “When you think of that kind of money that you worked for, all your life and you expect to live on it.  You took it from me. You stole my life.”

Zoosk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal authorities have busted an online dating scam ring. Jonathan Dienst reports.


Share this news on your Fb,Twitter and Whatsapp

File source

Times News Network:Latest News Headlines
Times News Network||Health||New York||USA News||Technology||World News

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button