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Italian Volleyball Player Scammed Into Believing He Was Dating Brazillian Model For 15 Years

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Italian Volleyball Player Scammed Into Believing He Was Dating Brazillian Model For 15 Years

An Italian man has allegedly been left in over €700,000 worth of debt after falsely believing he was dating a Brazilian supermodel for over 15 years.

The catfish victim in question, a professional volleyball player from Milan named Roberto Caazzaniga, believed himself to be in a relationship with a woman named Maya, a Brazilian model with whom he had been in a long-distance relationship with for over a decade.

'Maya' had been introduced to him over the phone many years ago by a mutual friend named Manuela, and used photos of the Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Abrosio - most famous for being a Victoria's Secret 'Angel' from 2004-2017- to identify themselves.

This is who the volleyball player believed he was in a relationship with - Alessandra Abrosio. Credit: Alamy
This is who the volleyball player believed he was in a relationship with - Alessandra Abrosio. Credit: Alamy
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Despite never meeting face-to-face, Cazzaniga claimed he was engaged to the mysterious woman and according to local media, he had been sending her lavish gifts and financial aid for many years, including a brand new Alfa Romeo Mino and over €700,000 (approx £590,000) for what he believed were medical expenses intended to treat a heart condition.

But after being pressured by friends and teammates to look deeper into the story, Cazzaniga eventually shared his story with the Italian authorities, who eventually revealed that he had been the victim of an elaborate scam.

Cazzaniga eventually went public with his story this week, admitting on Italian TV that he had been catfished by a known fraudster and had racked up thousands of euros in debt.

"I have so many debts, it's not easy 'waking up from a coma,'" the volleyball player said in tears, following the expose.

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Cazzaniga's brother Danilo has shared some more light on the story: "One day he was in his room, in the dark. I saw that he was crying, and asked him what was wrong.

Cazzaniga has spoken of his debts following the scam. Credit: Facebook/Roberto Cazzaniga
Cazzaniga has spoken of his debts following the scam. Credit: Facebook/Roberto Cazzaniga

"He told me that he had fallen in love with a beautiful woman, but she was currently in the ICU being prepped to undergo a cardiac operation."

According to the local press, it was Manuela, a supposed friend of Cazzaniga, who took part in and helped organise the scam.

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In fact, it seems likely that she was the one who introduced Roberto to the scammer, who is believed to be a resident of Sardinia, a tiny Italian island in the Mediterranean.

The fraudster has been identified by the Italian media only as 'Valeria'.

When questioned by the media regarding her involvement in the plot, 'Valeria' denied all involvement in the scheme, claiming to be merely a friend of 'Maya'.

When asked why she had been identified as the recipient of Cazzaniga's money she avoided giving a straight answer, claiming that no matter what answer she gave nobody would believe her anyway.

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The case is still active at the time of writing and is being investigated by Italian authorities.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Roberto Cazzaniga

Topics: World News, Scam, Italy

Tom Sanders
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