During Hurricane Irene weekend, while holed up in a friend’s apartment and looking for some stimulation, I got friend-requested and emailed by an obvious scammer on Facebook. The con artist, under the name “Claire Anrie,” used a few professional photos of an attractive young woman (whom I later reverse-image-searched and discovered was a personal trainer in New York) and a typo- and contradiction-filled profile.
"Claire" quickly asked me to send her money by Western Union so she could come back to the U.S. and be with me, her "husband." Over the next three months, I kept up an ongoing dialogue via Facebook messages and chat in which I continually found ways to irk her by screwing up the Western Union payment, demanding she send me more photos and de-friend the other men on Facebook she'd added in hopes of scamming them, claiming I'd lost all my money during Irene, and repeatedly confiding in her that I had chronic diarrhea and hoped she would still love me.
Our exchange (minus a few superfluous messages) is presented verbatim below, with original grammar and spelling errors intact.
Claire Anrie: Hey, Andrie is my name, I am new to this whole online thing, please bear with mm. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I am interested in getting to know more about you. I guarantee that I am a nice lady and know how to treat a man… I have a degree in Accounting and minor in Art. you seems to be a very down to earth man and I really admire that! .I guess I will leave you with this for now. I hope your day went well and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for reading this! I practically wrote you a book! Hehe! .
the only way you can get back to me is to write to me via my personal email address which is:
[MISSPELLED MALE NAME PLUS FEMALE NAME] at yahoo dot com
Teddy Wayne: Great! Do you need any other personal information from me? My phone number, address, anything like that?
Claire Anrie: do you have yahoo im so we can talk better
Teddy Wayne: I don't! I have an IM on my bank account but I would need to give you my bank account number and password. Do you want it?
Claire Anrie: where are you from? what do you do for a living and who do you live with?
Teddy Wayne: I am from New York City. I made a lot of money in banking and retired at age 30, and now I give my money away to charities and to friends and loved ones. I live on my own and am looking for someone to share my life with. How about you?
Claire Anrie:- am single
– i sell art sriptures
– and gold
Teddy Wayne: Where do you live?
Claire Anrie: florida
(Note: Her profile lists her as living in “Sacramento, California.”)
Teddy Wayne: Which part?
Claire Anrie: am i was tinking of relocating to texas
where i was born
(Her profile lists her birthplace as Miami.)
Teddy Wayne: Come to New York! We have many restaurants, discotheques, nightclubs.
Claire Anrie: can you accommodate me?
Teddy Wayne: Of course!
Claire Anrie: do you think is proper fro you to do that
Teddy Wayne: Why not? We have known each other only a short time, but I feel I already know you well in some ways.
Claire Anrie: – am so much in love with you
– am cool
– i like a guy who knows how to treat a lady
Teddy Wayne: I would buy you concert tickets, stereo, red dress.
Claire Anrie: can you do me a favor
Teddy Wayne: I will do anything for you. What is it?
Claire Anrie: can you please loan me some money?
Teddy Wayne: Absolutely. How much?
Claire Anrie: 300dollars
Teddy Wayne: Sure! How do we do this?
Claire Anrie: i promise to pay you back
Teddy Wayne: I know, baby.
Claire Anrie: go to western union office and send it ok
Teddy Wayne: OK! What is Western Union?
Claire Anrie: do you want to tell me you dont know any thing about western union
Teddy Wayne: – I usually just give my friends cash when I see them or I mail it to them. Why don't we just do that?
– Also Western Union is probably closed today because of the hurricane, silly.
– But I can go on Monday when it reopens. OK?
Claire Anrie: – am uae now i will be coming to the state by the next 34hours now
– now and i will cash the money and make se of it and refund it when i get bakt to the state
Teddy Wayne: Yes, I will send it. Who do I send it to? Do I just give them your name or an address?
Claire Anrie: name olson david [Gives address in Malaysia]
Teddy Wayne: It sounds like you are traveling and might need more funds. I decided to send $2,000 in case you needed extra.
At this point, I decided to start testing “Claire” to see if she had access to more pictures, and make her work a little harder for her money.
Teddy Wayne: Can you send me another picture of your beautiful face while the Western Union delivery gets finalized, baby?
Claire Anrie: my pictures are not on mobile i will send them to you asap
Teddy Wayne: OK! I sent it. The name it is under is Larry David. Can you send me a picture now?
Claire Anrie: – where you not giving mtcn
– i will be so glad to here from you now because i don't want to stress you anymore
Teddy Wayne: – Yes, I sent the money
– I am so excited to see you when you come to New York
Claire Anrie: were you not giving mtcn at the western union office
Now I wanted to see how strong Claire’s love was for me. Would she stick with me through an embarrassing bout of gastrointestinal illness?
Teddy Wayne: Sorry, I had an attack of diarrhea before. The MTCN is [fake number].
Claire Anrie: it does not work…western union does not match it
Teddy Wayne: Sorry, one of the numbers was off—my mistake. However, I have just lost my house in Hurricane Irene, and it will cost several million dollars for repairs. Do you need the money very badly right now? I would like to save as much as possible for the repairs.
Claire insisted she needed the money very badly. I promised I’d send it as soon as she sent more pictures. She posted additional photos of the personal trainer on Facebook, but I asked for even more, thinking she had exhausted her supply. I also told her I had only $300 left after the hurricane. She asked me to resend the money to the same Malaysian name and address—she claimed she had “ranted an apartment” from David Olson. It was time to ramp up my supposed illness.
Teddy Wayne: i am afraid you will stop loving me once you have to live with my chronic diarrhea. please tell me you will not let it get in the way of our love.
Claire Anrie: i wont i promise you my love
Teddy Wayne: thank you. it has gotten worse with the stress from the hurricane but i am only having "episodes" 12 or 13 times a day now.
– but enough about me. how are YOU?
Claire Anrie: 24 and you?
Teddy Wayne: 32. i have had the chronic diarrhea since i was 24, though, so we have something in common!
Claire Anrie: what we have in common is love
Teddy Wayne: yes. love, and your age being the age when i developed chronic diarrhea.
Claire Anrie: – and i will always be there for you my love
– honey when are you sending me the money i asked you?
Teddy Wayne: – i cannot wait. the happiness i receive will overpower this episode of diarrhea i am currently undergoing.
– i have sent it already and will give you the MTCN when i see the pics and know that your love for me is true
Claire Anrie: dont let it lost the wa you did the last one you sent
Teddy Wayne: – i won't this time
– do you need some more money? is that enough?
Claire Anrie: that is okay for me
Teddy Wayne: no, you have been so nice about not leaving me because of my chronic diarrhea, i am going to add another $1,000 to it, ok?
Claire Anrie: honey you are killing me with this
Teddy Wayne: – with what?
– the diarrhea? i thought you didn't care about it?
Claire Anrie: the money
Teddy Wayne: you are worth it, baby. where are you now?
Claire Anrie: am still in malaysia and you my husband?
Teddy Wayne: still in NYC. my diarrhea clinic is here so i pretty much have to stay here.
Claire Anrie: am sending the pictures now
Teddy Wayne: great! i was about to run to the toilet but will wait for these because i am so excited.
Claire Anrie: ok
Teddy Wayne: i hope you are not sending pics to the other men you are friends with on facebook, my wife.
Claire Anrie: know i am not the type my love
Teddy Wayne: – will you take them off as your friends then, my love? i cannot bear the thought of other men talking with you
– or even seeing your pictures up here
Claire Anrie: do you mean you are not giving me any money if you dont see my new pics?
Teddy Wayne: i have to go to my diarrhea doctor's appointment now, but i will be back later and hope the pictures are waiting for me and that you are no longer friends with these men. goodbye for now, my wife…
Claire Anrie: that show you dont love me as you always says
She quickly sent new photos, but didn’t de-friend the other men. I told her I would send the Western Union details once she did.
Claire Anrie: They all wanted to be just friends that all but you are special i can never cheat on you my husband..
Teddy Wayne: It makes me jealous, my wife. I will give you the MTCN when you are fully mine, my love… only you understand me completely, and don't care about my chronic diarrhea. For that I will always love you.
She de-friended the men, and I sent her another fake MTCN, and later said I may have made yet another mistake on it.
Claire Anrie: honey why are you acting this way i can find the money
Teddy Wayne: you said "i can find the money." so you did indeed find it? great! i hope it's enough for you. tell me what you're spending it on! I would've spent it on diarrhea medication because I have so much diarrhea! I hope you spent it on something nice, too!
Claire Anrie: Stop fooling me i found nothing there if you know is hard for you to help me out you could have let me know than fooling me i gave you my heart my soul my everything why treating me like this?
Teddy Wayne: Baby, when you write like that you exacerbate my chronic diarrhea. The money IS there—I told you, it's under a different MTCN. Do you want the new MTCN?
Claire Anrie: Just tell if you don't have money to give me than wasting my time
Teddy Wayne: Baby, something scary happened. When I went to Western Union to send the money, they told me they are getting a lot of scams lately, and they said they were working with police in Malaysia to capture a man named David Olson. They asked me if I wanted to send the police after him. I said no, I have only been emailing with my one true love. Please tell me there is no problem with David Olson so that I can tell the police not to go after him! This is making my diarrhea a million times worse from the stress (stress-induced diarrhea)!
Claire Anrie: Nothing is wrong with him. like i told you he just helping me out…why are you doing this to me despite the promises you have made to me why not furfull it is unfair
Teddy Wayne: The police are so scary and it makes my diarrhea, which as you know is chronic, worse. Western Union won't let me send to David Olson so I need another name. P.S. My diarrhea has gone down to only eight episodes per day! Maybe by the time you get here I can knock it down to five or six?!
Claire Anrie: Why can't you try money order if western union does not allow you to send the money to me via them do it now cos i can't wait to see you
Teddy Wayne: Because now they know I was trying to send to David Olson before so they won't let me send just a regular order. I need another name to give them. Why can't I send it to Claire Anrie? All these problems give me DIARRHEA!!!
Claire provided me with a different name to send the money to in Malaysia.
Claire Anrie: honey please don't hurt me this time cos i need to get some things done with the money you are sending to me…i love you so much my dear
Teddy Wayne: My love, why are you now friends with men named Brad and Kevin and Cici? You are not cheating on me with them, are you? If not, why do you need to be friends with them? I love you and don't want jealousy to make me have more chronic diarrhea…
Claire Anrie: We were just friends…have you sent the money
Teddy Wayne: De-friend them and I will give you the new MTCN! I am so excited to see you, my love! My diarrhea is nearly gone—just two episodes in the past hour!
Claire Anrie: Must i de-friend them before you give me money why are you acting this way you know you are all i have please forget about them i swear i won't let you down i promise
Teddy Wayne: I do not like the thought of my wife being friends with different men. Once you de-friend them I will give you the MTCN, my love, and my diarrhea will cease flowing like a river in winter…
Claire Anrie: Forget about the money and leave me alone please i beg you
Teddy Wayne: I can't stop thinking about you, baby. Will you take me back if I send you the money?
Claire Anrie: I don't want your money keep it to yourself please stay away from me you can't give me money and you always say you love me
Teddy Wayne: I have sent the money, baby. If you want me to give you the MTCN, just say so. If not, I understand, but know that I will always love you, in part because of how you loved me despite my chronic diarrhea.
Claire Anrie: ok let me have the mtcn numbers so i can get the money
Teddy Wayne: My Internet keeps stopping in the middle of typing, so I hope you get this full email. The MTCN is 1056
Claire Anrie: please tell me what is really wrong with you? why are you fooling me with mtcn please stop this shit
Teddy Wayne: So as you know, I suffer from chronic diarrhea. My medication and treatment costs me a lot of money. I have enough to either give it to you or pay for my medication this month. I don't know what to do. I need you to help me decide. Should I give it to you, or should I pay for my chronic-diarrhea medication?
Claire Anrie: divide it into two pay your bills and sort me out i just don't want to stay in that country anymore
Teddy Wayne: Sounds great! Which country are you in, again?
Claire Anrie: an asian country called malaysia
Teddy Wayne: I have not heard of it. Is it in Europe?
I was fortunate enough to receive a Whiting Writers’ Award, which comes with a very generous $50,000 prize. I capitalized on the announcement to prove to Claire that I had money I could send to her, and sent a link to an article about the prize.
OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 2
Teddy Wayne: Look, baby—I won $50,000! Aren't you proud of me?!
Claire Anrie: i am so happy for you but honey what matters most is how to get me out of here honey
Teddy Wayne: I can transfer the entire $50,000 to you immediately. Should we do that? I can't wait to see you and hope that our uniting alleviates my chronic diarrhea!
Claire Anrie: – Just get me out of here that is all i want you to do for me my husband.
– Just get me out of here that is all i want you to do for me my husband.
Teddy Wayne: My wife, why did you send that last message twice? Did you mean for the second one to negate the first, so that you really DON'T want me to get you out of there? I don't understand!!!
Claire Anrie: how much do you have with you now so i can ask my friend to add to it and pay her back when i get to the state
Teddy Wayne: I have $50,001. I made another dollar yesterday.
Claire continued to ask for the MTCN, and I continued to claim I’d sent it, until I finally called her on her bluff, linking to the Facebook page of the personal trainer whose photos she used—but feigned continued ignorance.
Teddy Wayne: My wife, look what I found: more pictures of you! You go by a different name here. Why don't you use this name instead of Claire Anrie? And it says you are already in New York. I can't wait to meet you! Do you want to meet for coffee tomorrow?
Claire Anrie: an not the one who is using those pictures of mine you said you saw
Claire Anrie: honey how are you doing?
Teddy Wayne: – hi honey!
– how are you doing? that's what Joey says from "Friends"!
Claire Anrie: lol not me honey
Teddy Wayne: lol! what are we laughing about? and who used those pictures of that girl who looks like you?
Claire Anrie: i swear honey not me
Teddy Wayne: but who is she? why does she have all these pictures of you? is she pretending to be you?
Claire Anrie: – yes honey
– have i ever lied to you my husband?
Teddy Wayne: no, you have never not lied to me, honey. we should tell Facebook about this—it is a very serious crime to impersonate someone else. we should send her to jail!
Claire Anrie: can you do that my love?
Teddy Wayne: easily. we just tell them someone is pretending to be my wife, and they will track where she is writing from and send the police to find her. it is very easy. the penalty is 10-25 years in jail for cyber-crimes. this will be so fun! should I do it?
Claire Anrie: – ok honey
– when are you intending to do that for me my heart
Teddy Wayne: OK, I have sent the alert, and they immediately replied that they are investigating the issue. I am so glad you were telling me the truth, my wife, and that we are catching the guilty person who is pretending to be you.
Claire Anrie: ok my love
Teddy Wayne: Look, my left ventricle, she is also using your photos here: [Link to non-Facebook site with the woman's pictures]
Claire Anrie: honey please am sick and tired of all this
Teddy Wayne: – I know, I am very upset, too. She used them here as well: [another link]
– Isn't this awful that she would do this in so many places?
– What should we do, my aorta?
Claire Anrie: – you know what matters most my dear
– once you have me on your mind
Teddy Wayne: You mean fears of my chronic diarrhea ruining everything? Or our love, eternal as the universe, vast as the ocean, gentle as a mountaintop spring breeze? Or, again, my chronic diarrhea?
Claire Anrie: honey how do you want me to please you?
Teddy Wayne: Help me put in jail this woman who is pretending to be you! Can you believe people like that exist? She is probably doing it to get money, I bet. I am so glad you would never do that, my loving heart wife human female. Diarrhea.
Claire Anrie: – i will chat with you later honey
– talk to you later my heart desire
Teddy Wayne: Did you get the money? I sent it last week.
Claire Anrie: i swear my love i cant find the money you have been sending to me my husband
Teddy Wayne: You know what happened? I thought this other woman was a name you went by, so I sent it to her name. Do you think you can get it since it's under her name?
I have not heard from Claire—my wife, my heart, my love—since, and when I checked recently, she had closed her Facebook account.