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Widow now homeless after man she fell in love with on Facebook scammed her out of $70,000 life savings

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A 76-year-old widow was scammed out of her life savings by a man she met and fell in love with on Facebook.

Jennifer Dennis, was living in Georgia when she met a man on Facebook named Caleb and said he was working as a doctor for the Red Cross in Yemen.

The two chatted online for months and Caleb proposed that they buy a home together in Cary, North Carolina, to live together and have a fresh start.

Dennis liked the idea because ‘everything about the house and the area reminded me of my husband, which was just heartbreaking’, she told WTVD of her living situation.

Caleb said he would pay $600,000 toward their new home and asked her to pay the remaining $70,000. Dennis said she sent him that amount, plus $8,700 for other expenses.

Dennis and her son, Raymond, then packed up all their belongings, sold their Georgia home and drove to the house in Cary. Her son quickly realized that the whole story seemed odd.

‘When I noticed that someone was still living in the house and knocked on the door, I automatically knew that it was a scam,’ Raymond told the TV station.

 

‘The owner of the home told them he had lived in the home for years and had no intention of ever selling.’

When Dennis informed Caleb, he sent her a picture showing that he had ‘supposedly been beat up’, she said. She never heard from him again.

‘I had all that money and I don’t think I’ll ever get it back,’ Dennis told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, September 29.

Dennis’ life savings were lost, and she and her son were left homeless. They slept in the car.

A member of their church later donated a camper for them to live in. Dennis said her story should serve as a warning to others.

‘I think that it’s devastating for me, but I have my son, which has been a blessing,’ she told WTVD. ‘So some women are totally alone and they get scammed like that.’

Last year, romance scams cost nearly 70,000 people roughly $1.3billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Foreign

3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack

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German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

 

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

 

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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