Things sure seemed to end “Upside Down” after this one.
A “Stranger Things” obsessed woman fell victim to a ruthless catfishing scam where she began an online relationship, divorced her husband and sent $10,000 worth of gift cards to someone portraying an actor from the hit Netflix show.
McKayla, a film artist and single mother from Kentucky, claimed she was in a “very toxic” relationship with her husband so she joined an online artist forum to make connections, according to the YouTube channel Catfished.
“I’m incredibly excited to connect with fellow filmmakers who share the same passion for the art of filmmaking. I’m currently seeking creative collaboration opportunities, and I believe that together, we can create something truly remarkable,” she wrote on the forum.
She later received a message from a user named “DK MH,” saying he would like to chat and eventually claimed they were “well-known actor” Dacre Montgomery, who played Billy Hargrove on “Stranger Things.”
“D K M H” is the title of Montgomery’s poetry book.
“Me and him just really hit it off, but of course, I’m suspicious from the get-go until he starts doing things that make me believe that he is who he is,” McKayla said.
“I’m obsessed with ‘Stranger Things,’ Billy is just this bully he kind of comes in tries to just dominate which is totally unlike his actual personality.
Although they never met in person, McKayla says “Montgomery” was always complaining to her about his relationship issues.
Some of those issues were how his girlfriend Liv Pollock controlled all of his bank accounts and is having some money problems, which eventually led to McKayla sending “Montgomery” $10,000 over time.
“That’s one thing we actually bonded over, and basically through the relationship he was venting to me after a few months about his partner saying she’s very controlling of him, he doesn’t get to do the things he wants to do, she’s always there, (she’s) always got to supervise.”
“I kind of empathized with that because my ex-husband was that way,” she stated.
After a year of private messaging, “Montgomery” had asked McKayla to be his girlfriend, though the two never met in person.
The fake actor told McKayla to keep the relationship quiet since he was still in a relationship with Pollock.
At one point, the scammer gave McKayla an ultimatum to choose between him and her husband.
McKayla then broke the news to her now ex-husband, “Listen, it’s not working out. You’re not letting me be me, you’re not letting me be free, I said you need to leave.”
With her husband out of the picture and McKayla living with her 7-year-old daughter, Montgomery popped the ultimate question.
“I might need a little help with money, my queen… Liv has control of all the accounts and I don’t have access,” Montgomery said through text.
McKayla sent the scammer $100 and $200 via gift cards, payment apps or cryptocurrency, a tactic scammers use to make it hard to trace the destination of the funds.
“When I tallied it all up it was $10,000-ish,” the woman claimed.
McKayla would also receive money back from Montgomery — in the forms of gift cards and checks — one written out for $5,500, where she was to make a bank account to deposit the check into and send the money back to him.
The investigators looking into McKayla’s story found “Montgomery” was an individual posing as a “Romance Scammer,” someone who attempts to create a relationship with someone to then get them vulnerable and play with their feelings to make a financial gain out of it.
“Catfished” found out Montgomery would never need gift cards of $100 and $200 dollars as he made approximately $150,000 for the 19 “Stranger Things” episodes he appeared in from 2017-2022.
The channel figured out the one check was forged, with multiple other “fakes” with the same signature being found around the internet.
McKayla says she doesn’t want to see other people become a victim of a scam like she did, as her scammer used her feelings and made her vulnerable.
”If you’re someone like me, you’re afraid of abandonment and you’re a real big people pleaser, and these scammers, they just kind of come in and they leech off that.”
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