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As part of this blossoming relationship, Elrod grew close to Mc Gregor’s son, Kevin, a 17-year-old boarding school student in Manchester, UK.
The boy wrote her bubbly emails about his closest school chum and his plans for Senior Day.
But more often than not, she ended the day no richer than she’d started.
As she waited for the Bluefield Area Transit bus to whisk her back to West Virginia, Elrod would think about her fiancé, a Scottish oil worker she’d met online.
Anxious about her future as an older single woman, Elrod lapped up the kind words about her looks—too few men seemed to appreciate her soft chin, wavy hair, and prominent brown eyes.
She wrote back, thanking the sender for complimenting her beauty and asking how he’d found her.
She would then return on subsequent days to make additional four-figure withdrawals until the account was nearly empty.Despite her hand-to-mouth circumstances, Elrod’s new account soon began to receive a series of sizable wire transfers, many of which originated abroad.Over the course of one December week, for example, almost ,000 arrived from Norway; on January 2, someone in France sent ,977.“My name is Duke, I am from Aberdeen do you know where? I have a son named Kevin and by the Grace of God I will meet that someone again.”The typical Facebook user would likely recognize such a note as bait, but Elrod was in a place in her life that made her vulnerable to such flattery.She was in the midst of divorcing her husband of 14 years; his legal woes (including arrests for benefits fraud and making a false bomb report) had strained their marriage.
“He wasn’t like the little boys I was used to dealing with—he was the opposite of that, so sincere, so caring,” Elrod says.