OIL RIG - Romance Scammer Bryan Henderson
Him and his daughter (allegedly)
I would like to share my story of how I was scammed for others to learn. Sometime in March 2020, I met this guy through Instagram who said he was working as a Siemens contractor in an off-shore oil rig somewhere in the Baltic Sea. I'm not a person who chats with random people because I'm aware of scams, and I'm wary but he was persistent so I just responded with a polite message.
I asked why he we wanted to communicate with me and he said he came to Instagram searching for an old friend and then my profile popped up in on his page. He said there was something about my profile picture that caught his attention and likes to know me more. (WOW!)
His remark surprised me and at the same time he also got my attention. We exchanged basic information and this was the profile he gave me:
- He is an American, from North Carolina but currently working offshore.
- He lost his wife 5 years ago due to Asthma
- He has an 8 year old daughter who was is in a boarding school in Turin, Italy.
- He lost his parents a long time ago and has no other family
After the initial exchange of information, this guy asked me to move to Google Hangout. Why? He said that his company prohibits him from using social media platforms and that he can only communicate through Google Hangout (chatting and video call). Of course by this time I already felt comfortable talking to him so that I accepted his invitation to use Hangout for communication.
It was a very innocent meeting, he sounded authentic, nothing personal and I never for one second thought that I was already being lured into a scam. And then he said he deleted his Instagram account. We talked via video call and I’m 100 % sure that the man I saw in the video was the man in the photos, except for his slight African accent. (Obviously non-American, non-Western of non-European)
After a week of chatting, he then told me he loved me! Fast!
On the third week, he started to ask for money for his daughter's upkeep. Why? According to him, he cannot yet access his contract money because it’s deposited in a security company and can only be accessed after his contract ends. When I asked about how he paid in the past, he said he would pay the teacher whenever he goes for a vacation in Italy. He sounded so desperate and in the end I pitied him. So I sent him money.
The story is so complicated that the money sending scheme was also another part. As we were chatting, he mentioned about how much he loves Dubai and that he has a friend there whom he used to work in a contract with. When he asked for money, he instructed me to send the money to this friend in Dubai so that his friend will complete whatever amount I will send. This friend will also be the one to send the money to his daughter's teacher.
The money was sent through Western Union (Dubai City). Anyway, after that initial money was sent, he told me that he likes to resign from his company and be with me (because he likes to marry me!) and his daughter and start his own jewelry business. With this, we said he wants me to be the recipient of his deposit box containing his contract money.
When I asked him why me? He said he trusts me enough and that he has no other relative who can receive his box (which contains his 3 million dollars contract fee and 3 pcs of gold bars). I did not question it and unfortunately I played along.
In short, I paid 25000.00 USD for this box! I was sent a so called "certificate of non-inspection fee" and when I researched about this I got a lot of scams stories relating to this modus. This was already the middle of the scam and I was also so into the story that I trusted what he was saying and did not question! Though I told him about what I found out on the internet, he just said he is not a scam and that I should trust if I wanted to help.
That's the bad thing because I did not see myself as being a victim until it was too late. For this “deposit box”, I paid the money needed for its “delivery” to people from my own country who posted as “agents” for his so called security company. Sad.
In the end, I busted my scammer by using reverse imaging. I found out that the photo he used was also in other similar sites mostly dating sites. I showed him the screen shots of the sites I have found.
His last words to me: "DEAL WITH IT" and he blocked me out of Hangout.
It's a shame. I was devastated not only for the money I lost but for the experience of being fooled out of goodness. Anyway I've done my part in reporting this to the authorities and I'm sharing my story for others to learn.
Sadly, by the time this story is read, the person probably has already scammed another one. After my experience with this person, I received a few more random messages on Instagram from suspicious accounts, newly created, using probably fake photos and names and posting random photos to make the page authentic.
There's a person posing as a military person, a doctor and a builder and with the same storyline. When I told them I suspect that they are scammers and I refuse to move on to Hangout they disappeared.
Here I posted some photos that’s he used to trick me. BEWARE OF THESE PEOPLE POSTING AS THIS MAN IN THE PICTURE. HE MIGHT EVEN BE AN ACCOMPLICE HIMSELF!