Love connection with scammer impersonating K-Pop drama star costs Youngsville woman over $67,000

Diane Wilson Image
Monday, February 12, 2024
NC woman loses life savings in Romance Scam
A North Carolina woman was looking for love in all the right places but ended up with a broken heart and an empty bank account.

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina woman was looking for love in all the right places but ended up with a broken heart and an empty bank account. She's sharing her story with ABC11 Troubleshooter in hopes of keeping this from happening to anyone else.

"I've lost it all for being so stupid and foolish," Nancy Newcomer says as she tries to pick up the pieces financially and emotionally after falling for a Romance scam.

The Youngsville woman adds, "I worked all my life for this and he with nothing took everything I ever worked for I have nothing." This all started when Newcomer was on Facebook and she thought she met a celebrity and had a connection.

"He started to get pretty friendly right off the bat," Newcomer says she thought she was talking with Ahn Hyo-seop also known as Paul Ahn, a famous actor in a K-Pop drama series that she liked. "That's who I thought, honest to God, thought I was speaking with him," Newcome said.

The romance quickly took off. Newcomer said Ahn told her he wanted to meet up with her and she was excited. She got emails that claimed to be from the pop star's business manager. Newcomer said, "He told me if you want to meet with him, there's a reservation fee of $18,500 and I thought, oh my God, where in the world am I going to get that?"

Newcomer took the money out of her retirement account and wired the entire $18,500. She got confirmation that her private meeting would happen, but first, she needed to send more money. She said the email said, "Now we need $39,500 that pays for the jet and his five security guards." Newcomer said she sent the entire amount, "I just emptied my retirement." And that's not all she did to get the full amount.

She admits she was so desperate to see Ahn she went to two different banks got loans for $39,000 and ignored the red flags.

"We were both, so I thought--in the relationship and in love, I was so stupid and blind. I was in denial mode." Newcomer sent more than $67,000, and she thought it was finally time to meet Ahn until they asked for more money.

"I said, there is no way that I am giving you one red penny. Absolutely not and he said, then it's over that quick, that quick," Newcomer said. All communication was done and her retirement was drained, plus she now had loans she had to pay back that totaled close to $40,000. "I was devastated because I was so in love with him, so I thought, and he broke my heart there and then I lost everything that I've ever worked for, everything. absolutely nothing. I have nothing to fall back on. He put me into poverty is what he did." Newcomer added.

To make matters worse, Newcomer learned since she took money out of her retirement early, she now owes thousands to the IRS in penalties, even though she was scammed. Newcomer said, "I thought, oh my God, where am I going to get that money from?"

Newcomer was caught up in a romance scam, where scammers impersonate someone like a celebrity or soldier overseas and form an online relationship, all to gain your trust and then money. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission announced that 70,000 people reported a romance scam with losses hitting $1.3 billion, and authorities say the scam continues to trick more consumers each year. As for Newcomer, she can't believe she lost more than $67,000. "Breaks my heart, makes me want to cry," she said to ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

SEE ALSO | Widow moves to NC to start new life; ends up losing $78,000 of her life savings in romance scam

The biggest red flags for romance scams are that the relationship moves very fast and the scammer says everything to make you feel secure. Also, the scammer makes excuses why they can't meet in person, and of course, when they ask for money, that's a sure sign it's a scam.

Finding love cost a widow more than $70,000. After losing her life savings, she's sharing her story to try and save others from the same emotional and financial heartbreak.

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