Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A Rochester woman fell prey to a romance scam and is out approximately $57,000.

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Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanen said that a 69-year-old Rochester woman started talking with someone in November of 2021 online. Moilanen said that the two would chat for sometimes hours.

The woman started sending gift cards to the man in early November. That lasted until late January when the woman realized it was a scam. She reported the incident to the police on February 3rd.

Captain Moilanen said that the woman really felt like she was talking to someone that cared about her.

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Moilanen said in romance scams it is not uncommon for the scammer to ask for funds so the two can meet. In this case, the scammer said he made it to Fort Worth, Texas, but fell ill and couldn’t make it to Rochester. Another time, the scammer said he made it to Minneapolis but would need more gift cards to make it to Rochester to cover travel expenses, and that he would pay her back upon his arrival. The woman sent the gift cards, but the scammer never arrived in Rochester. The woman then realized it was a scam.

Moilanen said that scammers in a romance scam are very patient and will put a lot of time into the scam to gain people’s trust. Police often see much higher amounts of money scammed in romance scams because of it.

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