Vancouver women out thousands of dollars after online date scam
CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, July 5, 2013 1:38PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2018 8:37AM PST
Two Vancouver women scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man they met through online dating are sharing their cautionary tale.
Liz Charyna and Lisa Dwyer said they were both wooed by the same man, unbeknownst to each other, on popular internet dating site Plenty of Fish.
“He really came across as somebody who has a good job; he mentioned that he was a site supervisor for construction, plus he had a renovation business on the side,” Charyna said. “He seemed legitimate.”
Each woman went on several dates with the man and claim he charmed them into cashing personal cheques into their bank accounts – Charyna cashed $400 in total and Dwyer, $2,700.
In both cases, the cheques bounced. The women realized they’d been had but didn’t know how far-reaching the scam was until they discussed online dating at the gym.
“I need to warn you of this man that I just met,” Charyna told Dwyer. “Oh, I just met him,” her friend replied.
The women are now sharing their tale with others to prevent the man from scamming any more victims.
Dwyer has since started a blog to warn women and said she’s received emails from several victims of a similar scam.
“Women have been contacting me about the blog and most of them are scared to come forward,” she said. “Embarrassed or scared.”
“When something like this happens to you, you just feel sick,” Charyna said. “If you just stay silent, that’s where he has his power.”
The women said the cheques they cashed were made out to “Wes Devries.” CTV News tried to contact a Wes Devries but his voicemail was full.
A man with the same name has a laundry list of criminal charges, some dating back to 1997. They include fraud and uttering threats, and the man has even served jail time for defrauding a Kamloops woman of $4,700.
Both Dwyer and Charyna have made official complaints to police, who did not confirm whether there is an investigation underway but said no charges are pending against Wes Devries.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Norma Reid