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Despite Red Flags, Colorado Woman Continues Romantic Talks With 'Keanu Reeves', Loses $5,000

She's married with two kids, but she's been chatting about everything with this person, from morning meals to steamy shower scenes.
PUBLISHED APR 25, 2024
Cover Image Source: Keanu Reeves attends the MOCA Gala 2023 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA  Photo by Elyse Jankowski | Getty Images
Cover Image Source: Keanu Reeves attends the MOCA Gala 2023 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Photo by Elyse Jankowski | Getty Images

A 65-year-old Colorado woman appears to have fallen victim to a fraud wherein a con artist posed as Keanu Reeves. Even though she has given this fraudster $5,000, she still feels a strong romantic connection to Keanu Reeves. The woman thinks the guy posing as Keanu Reeves is sweet and flirty. They have been chatting and talking on the phone since 2022.

"We've had some really nice talks," she said. She's married with two kids, but she's been chatting about everything with this person, from morning meals to steamy shower scenes. Even though many signs show she's talking to a fake, she's not letting that stop her.

Image Source: Photo by Andre Furtado | Pexels
Online romance scams on the rise (representative image) | Photo by Andre Furtado | Pexels

According to the FBI, around 19,000 Americans lost roughly $1.3 billion to romance scams that prey on those looking for love online last year. In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission received roughly 14,000 allegations of scams similar to this one from Colorado alone. In 2022, the woman interviewed by CBS News Colorado revealed that she received a Facebook message purporting to be Keanu Reeves. "All of a sudden, I'm talking to him. I was really surprised. Why would Keanu Reeves be messaging me on Facebook?" she wondered.

At first, she thought it was fake, but the person kept sending her stuff like a driver's license and other IDs that seemed to belong to Keanu Reeves. CBS News Colorado even found the same driver's license online. "It looked real. I was convinced," she said.

Image Source:  Keanu Reeves attends a a culinary demonstration during the 2023 BottleRock Napa Valley festival at Napa Valley Expo | Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Keanu Reeves attends a culinary demonstration during the 2023 BottleRock Napa Valley festival at Napa Valley Expo | Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The person asked her to buy Apple gift cards, which she did. Over months of chatting online and texting, he promised her all sorts of things, like trips to Paris on his private jet and fancy shopping sprees, even marriage. She believed every word. "I know this is the real Keanu Reeves," she insisted.

She even gave him access to her bank accounts and tax info and handed over about $5,000. "We talked about everything, even his movies," she remembered.

Natalie Reda, a retired postal inspector, explained, "Scammers keep using victims until they can't anymore. They (victims) just go along with it." Arun Rao from the U.S. Justice Department said scammers in West Africa use technology to make it seem like they're in the U.S. "To the victims, it feels like they're talking to someone in the U.S.," Rao said. Rao thinks there are probably more victims than reported, as many feel too embarrassed to admit they fell for it.

The Keanu Reeves scam has been around for a while and has been frequently in the news. But reps for Keanu Reeves have said over and over again that he is not on Facebook or any other social media. "He was on my Facebook, though," the Colorado woman insisted. She said the only way she would believe she was scammed is if Keanu Reeves himself walked in and told her so.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels
Scam calls (representative image) | Photo by Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

Scammers are using fancy computer tools like bots and AI to trick people into giving them money. Bot attacks against dating applications increased by a staggering 2087% between January 2023 and January 2024. A bot can be thought of as a very quick computer software that operates on the internet. These con artists use bots to create a ton of phoney dating profiles and accounts. They then pose as real to deceive others and initiate fictitious connections to obtain money. This kind of scam cost about 70,000 victims $1.3 billion in total in 2022, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

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