Anthony met a woman named Rosa through an online dating website. He and Rosa seemed to have a lot in common, and they got to know more about each other over time. Rosa said she lived in Italy but wanted to visit Anthony in New Zealand some day.
Anthony and Rosa communicated many times a day — over the dating website, through text messages, and occasionally over video chat. After four months, Rosa told Anthony she had booked flights to visit him. They planned a South Island road trip together.
The day before Rosa was due to arrive, she called to say her mother had fallen and needed support during a short hospital stay. Rosa said she wasn’t able to change her flights and wouldn’t be able to visit until she could save up enough money again, which could be a year.
Anthony offered to loan money for new flights, and Rosa accepted — asking for the money as a wire transfer so she could decide which airline to book after her mother’s health improved. Anthony transferred $3,000 to Rosa. After this, he never heard from Rosa again and his money could not be recovered.