Susan Rizzo: Florida woman duped of $25K by man posing as US soldier in Afghanistan
Rizzo said she grew suspicious when 'he asked for even more, an additional $300,000'
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: Florida native Susan Rizzo was scammed by a conman, who posed as a military officer on a dating site, and lost $25,000. The conman, posing as soldier Nicholas Edwards in Afghanistan, conned Rizzo of Fort Lauderdale into sending him the money. "I sent the money because after two months of communicating I felt I was developing a relationship that felt real," Rizzo said.
Edwards told Rizzo that he was on a mission in Afghanistan after the US announced its withdrawal from the country.
Rizzo is now sharing her story to warn people who interact with strangers on the internet. "For somebody else to get taken like this emotionally and financially, it's embarrassing. It's hurtful," she said. Rizzo and Edwards first started talking in June. According to Rizzo, they texted and spoke on the phone constantly. Edwards even called Rizzo his 'cherry blossom'.
According to Rizzo, the conman gained her trust by telling her all about his missions and the fellow soldiers he had lost throughout the years. As the chaos unfurled in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over, a concerned Rizzo voiced her fears for Edwards' safety and wrote to him, "I feel my life is in limbo while waiting for your safe return."
In response to her message, Edwards claimed to be in Fallujah and Mosul and told Rizzo that he was asked by the military to arrange his own flight arrangements to return to the US.
"A lot didn't go as planned. A lot of decision making amongst most of the special ops soldiers. Except there's a problem about my return because there's a provision to it that needs me to handle my own private flight arrangement," he wrote. "I sent the first amount of money feeling it was right based on where we were at," Rizzo said.
Promising that he will pay back the $25,000, Edwards wrote to Rizzo, "In the eyes of anybody else, this would be an imminent death of me. I'll email you right away with my promissory note which will equally hold us bonded until I am home in your arms."
Rizzo said she grew suspicious when "he asked for even more, an additional $300,000."
Rizzo is in touch with the FBI and Fort Lauderdale Police, and is hopeful that she will get her money back.