A 41-year-old woman conned two Tinder dates into paying her hundreds of thousands of dollars, convincing them she needed the money to help save her blueberry farm.
If you’re single and looking for love, dating apps seem to be the only way to meet people these days – especially during COVID times.
But as much as they have proven successful for some happy couples, the problem with dating apps is that there’s an element of risk involved. Just take Jocelyn Zakhour who conned almost $800,000 from men she met on Tinder to spend it on gambling. Talk about a Tinder date gone wrong, eh?
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Zahour, who lived at Crown Casino, would hang with “high rollers” and conned two men who thought she was their girlfriend out of money that she claimed was to fund her blueberry farm.
She told one of the men she needed money for the farm and promised him a 300 per cent return on his investment. Wanting more money, the 41-year-old then told him the farm was also linked to illegal cigarettes and the workers would hurt the man’s family if they were not paid.
Zahour then proceeded to send the man 240 emails, including threats against his ex-wife, children and mother.
The man lost a total of $723,700 and has now been forced to borrow money from family and friends to regain his life back.
The second man Zahour targeted was a financial planner she matched with on Tinder.
He gave $61,000 to supposedly pay for the blueberry farm’s equipment and to cover the workers’ wages. The con woman even told him she had been seduced.
Showing no remorse for her actions, Zahour told the police she didn’t feel sorry for her victims because it was their fault they were “so stupid”.
County Court of Victoria Judge Gregory Lyon reported Zahour has been jailed for four years and six months with two years and eight months non-parole for her “false promises.”
“It was a ruthless exploitation and you have broken the ability of both men to be able to trust those around them,” Judge Gregory Lyon said.
Zahour pleaded guilty to six charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception, three of blackmail and two of extortion with the threat to inflict injury. She has so far repaid about a tenth of the men’s cash.
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