Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Cancer Diaries: Facebook Folly



I was going through my late friend Jennette's paperwork today for her taxes, and I found a small folder which contained mail receipts.
They were all addressed to a man in Africa named George Prince Gaskin who apparently was a lawyer for a man with whom Jennette became involved over Facebook. It had all been a scam, of course, played upon a vulnerable and lonely widow.
She had fallen for an American soldier named Richard Birdsong whom she met on Messenger.
This Birdsong fellow had told her that he was stationed in Afganistan, and he had a teenage son. Unbeknownst to everyone but Jennette, they had fallen in love, and Jennette was waiting for him to move to Canada so the three of them could be together.
In another folder, I saw a passport application with a photo of Jennette. I suppose there had been plans for her to travel to the U.S. at some point, plans that were never fulfilled.
I knew she had been scammed before I found these receipts.
She called me one day to ask if I had a printer because she needed to send something to the U.K. to another lawyer who would confirm to a bank that she would be the recipient of a few million dollars on a life insurance policy for Richard Birdsong. I immediately confronted her, and she admitted that she had been sending money to him, through this lawyer.
Apparently, the young son had fallen into misadventure in Africa and he needed money asap.
She explained that she was just trying to help. And so she sent him money
She told me she sent $5,000 before I got involved.
After learning of her folly, I took over her Facebook account where I read months of disgusting correspondence between Birdsong and my little friend.
I learned so much about her. She was not the person whom I called a friend. And I am deeply sorry I got her onto Facebook, which fails to protect the vulnerable. This person Birdsong still has a profile on Facebook even after I contacted the company many times.
I blocked him on her Messenger, and I had hoped that was that.
Apparently not.
When we got J's computer, after her death, up popped Richard Birdsong.
He had been talking to her the whole time over her other devices.

Today, I totalled up the receipts sent to these scammers.
My heart was already breaking, when I tallied the receipts.
Jennette sent these douchebags a total of $24,136.96!
No wonder there was no money in her accounts.
I am beyond sick at this point.
Sure she was secretive. I knew that.
But I was not prepared for this.
I'm going to have to lay down. 

5 comments:

  1. OMG Lord! I'm in shocked Rose.How can someone does something so evil, should be sent to jail for the rest of his life; but unfortunately he is a scanner and can be really hard to find his real identity that no one can trace this person. I have the goose bumps all over my body. :(

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  2. What a cautionary tale! Someone tried it on me. Posing as a general who lost his wife while he is stationed in Syria, leaving his teen daughter back in the U.S. Contact lasted less than an hour and then blocked him. Giveaway? Posted two photos of himself and his only daughter on FB. Except it was two different girls. Poor Jennette - so gullible in her vulnerable state. Big hugs!

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  3. These sad scammers are everywhere, Rose. And the lonely elderly are the most vulnerable. Sunshine, applied as in your tale here, is the best defence.

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  4. Rose, I'm sorry that you gave so much to her and she kept that awful secret. It reminds me of something that happened when the two of them were on Long Gone. But that tale for another day.

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