On Your Side: Sarcoxie, Mo. woman believed she talked with superstar chef, scammed out of $1,000
(KY3) - He’s a world-renowned chef. He’s known for his restaurants, TV shows, accent, and fiery temper. We’re talking about Gordon Ramsay. A woman in Sarcoxie, Mo. joined one of his many Facebook fan pages. Then got a message. She’s out $1,000 with a broken heart.
The name on the account says, Gordon Ramsay. Michelle Huffman says at first she was skeptical. She says the account messaged her saying, ‘I like to get to know my fans. Where are you from?’
Huffman says she was leery.
“I just don’t do that kind of thing. Okay, you’re talking to Gordon Ramsay. Are you kidding me? Do you know how many people would love to talk to Gordon Ramsay?” Huffman exclaimed.
She kept getting messages. She says she talked to him several times each day from September to early December.
“Yes. It’s tough. It really is. It’s embarrassing. I don’t want to disappoint my family, but I don’t want it to happen to anybody else because it’s very disabling,” she said.
The scammer did their homework on the chef superstar.
“I was asking what’s your favorite color because I knew. I did a search on him to see if I was going to get the response that I knew for a fact. He responded correctly,” Huffman said.
She’d get messages saying, ‘Good morning babe. I love you and I miss you.’
“He wanted to buy a home with me. He wanted to have children with me. Start a family. Move to Los Angeles,” Huffman said.
A so-called realtor found a home for Michelle. She was told to pay the real estate agent fee, $1,000 in Google Play and iTunes gift cards. She sent photos with the numbers on the back.
“Then there became an issue of $8,500 that he wanted me to pay. Then the question became, why is a man of your status asking me for this kind of money?” Huffman said.
That’s when she knew it was all a lie. She sent this message saying, ‘I am done with the whole thing’. Then blocked the account.
“There won’t be a Christmas from me this year. It changes you. I’ll probably never be the same as far as trusting someone,” she said.
Huffman filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri Attorney General. She never talked to the person on the phone or on video chat. Consider that a red flag.
The holidays are a great time to catch up with family and friends. Be a little nosy. If you think your loved one might be talking to an online scammer, ask questions.
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