Woman scammed out of $44K by fake Army Captain on Facebook

A Houston woman was scammed out of $44,000 by a man who pretended to be an Army Captain on Facebook.

In an Interview with KHOU, the woman, using the pseudonym Mary, said it all started in May 2015.

Mary and her two-year-old son had recently moved away from her son’s father. At the time, she was feeling lonely and miserable.

At some point during the month, she received a message on Facebook from an attractive soldier who was stationed in Afghanistan.

In his message, he said he found her interesting and nice. Mary said, “That’s how it started.” After the first message, Mary and the man chatted all the time. After a while, their conversations moved from Facebook to emails and texts.

After a couple of months, Mary started falling for the Army Captain, who told her his name was “Clark McGarthy.”

During their conversations, McGarthy told Mary that he was going to move to Houston, then buy her home and a BMW.

“All I think about is oh wow, that’s very nice, someone wants to love me and has money.” she said.

A few months later, Mary and McGarthy started making plans for his move to Houston. When he was supposed to return to the U.S. to retire, he told Mary he wanted to travel light; so he asked her to sign for a military package filled with his life belongings.

She contacted the shipping company, and they told her she had to pay $980 for “clearance duty.”

Mary paid the fees. A few days later she was contacted by the shipping company asking for more money.

In less than a month, Mary sent the company $44,500. The money was from her life savings, but she didn’t care because she felt she was preparing for her future.

“He kept saying baby, you know money is nothing,” she recalled. “You know I will pay you back double when I come in.”

McGarthy was supposed to arrive in Houston in August, by the time September came around he had not yet arrived. That was when Mary realized she had been scammed.

“I’m very disappointed, I’m upset,” she said.

Mary said she never had any suspicions about McGarthy being a scam artist because he was smooth.

“I didn’t go further to track him,” Mary admitted. “I should have done that, but I didn’t do it.”


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