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Woman Thought Vin Diesel Loved Her So Sent Him £5,000 In Online Scam

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Woman Thought Vin Diesel Loved Her So Sent Him £5,000 In Online Scam

A German woman gave away thousands of pounds to a man she thought was Vin Diesel.

Katja Lorenz, from Berlin, says she started an online relationship with someone claiming to be the Fast and Furious star after he messaged her on social media.

But things turned sour when 'Vin' asked the 45-year-old to send him €5,500 (£4,980) to help him get back home after allegedly being mugged while filming in South Africa.

She said: "I work with actors, and I met Vin Diesel years ago at the Berlinale and follow him on Instagram. Sony wrote to me, I didn't think it was unusual, as we vaguely knew each other."

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And while she thought it was a bit strange that he didn't get in touch through his personal account, his explanation seemed to ring true.

'Vin' told her: "I can't write to strange women via my official account. My management team would notice that immediately."

Katja Lorenz thought she was in a relationship with the Fast and Furious actor. Credit: Newsflash Media
Katja Lorenz thought she was in a relationship with the Fast and Furious actor. Credit: Newsflash Media

The pair then quickly started a virtual relationship, with the conman calling Katja "babe" and "darling", promising to send her money, and phoning her while on location in London.

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He even altered YouTube videos to make it appear as though they were personal for her, and sent her pictures of money and a safe that he was supposedly going to gift her.

She told German newspaper Bild: "We wrote to each other every day. I felt trapped and desired."

Towards the end of their contact, 'Vin' told her that he was heading to South Africa for a secret photoshoot.

But he then claimed he had been attacked and that he desperately needed Katja's help to get home. Believing his story, she bought up a pile of gift cards worth between €50 and €200, and sent the fake Vin Diesel the codes.

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She admitted: "I took out a loan for it, and didn't give my children anything for Christmas."

Eventually it was revealed that Katja has been duped by a conman pretending to be Vin Diesel. Credit: PA
Eventually it was revealed that Katja has been duped by a conman pretending to be Vin Diesel. Credit: PA

It later dawned on Katja that she had been duped, and after demanding 'Vin' tell her who he really was, she received a message from the crook.

It read: "I am 23 years old, a medical student, and I finance my studies this way. I'm sorry."

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While police wouldn't divulge any information about he investigation, they warned people to be careful about 'romance scamming'.

Spokesperson Katrin Gladitz said: "The perpetrators write to the victims with fake profiles and build up a relationship over days, weeks and months. Pictures and videos are also used, but these are taken from completely different people (e.g. from public profiles on social networks).

"Correspondence takes place very quickly via the private e-mail account, instead of the actual Internet platform. Phone calls and video chats may follow. Often foreign videos or still images are used. If requested, the conversation partners will promptly provide explanations for low picture quality or non-functioning chats.

"At some point, the new partner suddenly needs financial support and asks the victim for help in the emergency. If the victim is willing to pay the high costs of this emergency (e.g. illness or surgery of the child), the flight to the victim or similar, the victim is given a recipient to whose bank account the money should be transferred.

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"The victims are from all educational backgrounds. Women and men are equally affected."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Dominic Smithers
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