2014 Shows

Fifty-six-year-old widow Sebrina says she’s in love with her overseas boyfriend of one year, “James,” whom she has talked to online and over the phone but has never met in person. Sebrina admits she has sent “James” more than $250,000 -- emptying her life savings -- but believes he will pay her back, as promised, when he pays off business debt, returns to the United States and marries her. Sebrina’s daughter, Sarah, says she’s at her wits’ end trying to convince her mother that she’s being scammed -- even presenting evidence to prove it -- but Sebrina continues to send “James” money. Is Sebrina in denial, or is Sarah on the wrong track? Dr. Phil enlists the help of private investigator Doug Kane to look into “James’” claims and find the truth. Has Sebrina fallen victim to a catfish? Plus, don’t miss what happens when Dr. Phil confronts “James” over the phone! (OAD: 2-5-14)

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: afimansa on Oct 1, 2014, 6:10PM - In reply to underwriter
it is mind buggling how anybody will proclaim their love to someone they haven't seen or met let alone send them such huge sums of money.  Is it buying love? Not in my world.
Replied By: afimansa on Oct 1, 2014, 6:09PM - In reply to underwriter
it is mind buggling how anybody will proclaim their love to someone they haven't seen or met let alone send them such huge sums of money.  Is it buying love? Not in my world.
Replied By: upsydasy on Aug 17, 2014, 7:59AM - In reply to teach7174
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by reporting.  But you get started by reading this article from The Dr. Phil website.

Online Dating Scams: How to Tell If You Are Being Baited by a Catfish


If I dicovered that I was being pursued by a catfish, I'd thank my lucky stars that he didn’t take me for everything I had and immediately change my phone number, get off Facebook or whatever dating website I was listed in and make it practically impossible for him to contact me again.  Unfortunately, it seems that as soon as a fictitious name is reported, the fraudster will just make up a new one.  Based on some of the comments I’ve read here, some people trade one obsession for another by spending all their time pursuing their pursuer instead of just getting on with their lives. That isn’t any healthier than sticking with the guy until he bleeds you dry.

Replied By: teach7174 on Aug 16, 2014, 4:12PM
How do you report a scam like this if this has happened to a family member?
Replied By: teach7174 on Aug 16, 2014, 4:05PM
Where can you report a scam like this if it has happened to a family member?
Replied By: upsydasy on Aug 16, 2014, 10:42AM - In reply to loyalalways
I take exception to your propensity for lecturing everybody about how to think, feel or express our opinions. Why do you always assume that you are the only one who has ever experienced pain or loss or that every woman who commits monumental errors is a victim of circumstances that the rest of us are somehow incapable of understanding?  Your constant requests that people walk in another’s shoes only proves that you failed to walk in ours before expressing your disapproval of our so-called judgments.  Telling people that we would do the exact same thing if we were in the same position as Sebrina is ABSOULTELY absurd, presumptuous in the extreme and downright offensive.  Besides, how would you know?  The human race is comprised of men and women from all walks of life.  We are not all carbon copies of one another.  Many of us HAVE had similar experiences and avoided falling into the same trap by using our COMMON SENSE and LIFE EXPERIENCE whether it came from divorce, infidelity, loneliness, sexual abuse or depression (to name just a few).  Again, you are not the only one who has experienced such challenges. 

Many of us speak more than one language and have traveled abroad.  Sebrina is a year older than I am.  She must have worked outside the home at some point, raised a family, vacationed, had a bank account and credit cards and maintained a household or even cracked a book open.  Yet she seems to have absorbed absolutely nothing about the world around her in all of her 56 years on this earth?  Sorry, but I don't buy that for a second.  She has a beautiful family which she took completely for granted.  Even though they were willing to commit bank fraud on her behalf so that she could find a little financial stability, she willfully abused their trust as well as that of her late-husband by squandering their entire nest egg over some smooth talker who promised her castles in the sky beyond her wildest imaginings.  Now, because of her stubbornness and dishonestly, they may never be able to apply for another bank loan at the same institution and she will be a financial burden on them for the rest of her life.  She chose to listen to a man she never even met over the advice of her loving and supportive family?!  That is the very definition of S-T-U-P-I-D and G-R-E-E-D-Y.  I’d never say that she deserves what she got.  I don’t believe in that kind of vengeance or retribution.  However, I will save my empathy for someone who is truly a victim through no fault of their own.    

In conclusion, by suggesting that everything that happened to Sebrina was a forgone conclusion and by labelling her as just an innocent victim, I believe that you are doing a tremendous disservice to anyone who saw this show and could be wondering if they’re being catfished too.
Replied By: alwaysaskeptic on Aug 15, 2014, 6:43PM - In reply to upsydasy
upsydasy, it's always refreshing to read your posts on subjects like this, they temper the hysterical posts of others who do triple backflips attempting to excuse foolish and delusional behaviour such as Sebrina's. No amount of heartache or loneliness can be responsible for a person throwing their brain in the trash.
Replied By: upsydasy on Aug 14, 2014, 6:46AM - In reply to cdrens
Very rich men with millions at their disposal know how to handle their fortune.  They also have credit cards and bank accounts.  If they don’t, you better believe that there’s some kind of fraud involved.  I always thought that there was a very egotistic and selfish component to all of these catfish stories too.  Somehow the women manage to convince themselves that these extremely good looking and much younger men could fall madly in love with them from afar, without even meeting them face-to-face.  What exactly do they think their so-called rich lovers are doing living in a foreign land all by themselves like monks?  If they’re so hot, as Dr. Phil pointed out, then why aren’t the men in their town, neighborhood or church beating a path to their door?  I’ve often observed middle aged women walk into restaurants ahead of their husbands and remain firmly planted at the front door while their lord and master parks the car instead of choosing a table and sitting down to wait on their own.  They look pathetic and can keep their used shoes, thank-you-very-much.  These are the same kind of women who convince themselves that they’re somehow entitled to quit life and hand over the reins of their destiny to some idiot who is stuck overseas and hasn’t enough brains or wherewithal to get himself out of his own sad hot messes.  Some reference…

Replied By: loyalalways on Aug 14, 2014, 12:20AM - In reply to sussielull
I agree with you. People who judge these people think they know what they'd do under the same circumstances, but how can they when they haven't been in the same situation. If it can happen to one person, it CAN happen to anyone, IF you have the same circumstances. This doesn't just happen to women, it also happens to men. There's an old expression, "There for grace of God go I". NOBODY is perfect, although some people think they're perfect. ;-p EVERYONE does something in life they wish they hadn't done. I believe that there's a lot more to these men and women than them just being naive. Most people would see through these scammers. For some reason, these people are blind to them. These scammers are slick bastards. Thye have a lot of experience in reeling in men and women and they know exactly what they're doing, plus, they're relentless. I wish that all the governments would get together and put these bastards out of business and put their asses in prison where they belong!!!
Replied By: maggiekelly60 on Aug 13, 2014, 8:00PM - In reply to cdrens
This show should have been handled better - more focus on how this woman could be so irresponsible and stupid- not the scam!!!!!
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