Four thousand dollars later ...
"Over a year ago, I was on Facebook, and of course this gentleman popped up," she said.
"I talked to him a little bit and we became friends. He was telling me he was on his way
over to Afghanistan. I was like, wow, we don't have too many men like you here."
They kept talking, and weeks turned into months. Several months later, he asked for
money to get home. She wanted to do some research, but he persisted.
"He gave me a contact where I could send the money, and, like a fool, I did," she said.
"Then it was like, I need more, I need more. I ended up sending him probably close to
Meanwhile, she was asking questions online about her friend, who identified himself as
Denny. Jennifer ended up contacting a woman in Tennessee who had been talking to the
Jennifer wanted to know more. She continued talking to the man, and he said his name
wasn't Denny, but Bryan Denny. She eventually found the real Bryan Denny in
Williamsburg, who promptly told her she was being scammed.
"I thought that, but in my heart, I really didn't want to feel that," Jennifer said.
"At the time, me and my husband were having problems. I wanted a friend to talk to, and
of course, I fell for his dumb stuff. It broke my heart because I really, really liked
this guy. He was always pleasant. He told women what they wanted to hear."
Denny steered her toward Waters, who was compiling stories on victims. The two women
talked at length. Jennifer credits Waters for helping to raise her spirits.
"It took a toll on me for a while because I fell for someone like that and it was pure
stupidity," she said. "I'm back on track now and doing fine."
Looking back, Jennifer noticed things she hadn't before. Her profile picture that
caught the attention of the scammer had come from a wedding.
"I had on a V-neck type dress and I looked like I probably had money," she said. "I do
believe that's why he targeted me."
He sometimes told conflicting stories. When she pressed him to clarify, he would say
his head was "messed up" because he was overseas and it was hot and he was living with
a bunch of guys. Jennifer said the scammer targeted her at a particularly vulnerable
"After 28 years of marriage, things kind of go different ways," she said.
The scammer "told me things that were always sweet and how much he would like to meet
me, how pretty I was, how nice I was. He would tell me stories about the war and things
that were going on. I felt so bad for him, being in that situation, that I wanted to do
whatever I could to make life easier for him and make him feel better. At the same time,
he was making me feel more like a woman."