Fake DiCaprio 'trapped in Scientology' scammed Texas widow out of her life savings

Who among us hasn't been spammed with an email from a fake "Nigerian prince" promising a multi-million dollar windfall in exchange for transferring a couple of thousand dollars to his bank account?

As reported by The Daily Beast on Thursday, a Houston widow recently got swindled out of almost her entire life savings by a fraudster with an even more bizarre claim. Houston area resident "Denise" sent $800,000 to a person posing as actor Leonardo DiCaprio claiming that he was "trapped" in Scientology.

In 2016, Denise lost her husband of 28 years after a battle with colon cancer. They had amassed almost $1 million in savings through a company he had built that constructed apartment complexes. Two years later she decided to create a social media presence and began following a number of celebrities, especially if they were pro-environment.

"About a month after creating her account, she received her first private message through the app. It appeared to be from one of the celebrities she had followed, Leonardo DiCaprio," according to the report.

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“Hello, Denise,” she remembers the message saying.

“So what’s your real name?” she responded. Over the next few days, she continued to receive private messages from “DiCaprio." Denise quickly moved from exchanging Twitter messages to texting with the person she thought was the actor.

“We developed a terrific friendship within a couple months and he always insisted that I call him ‘Leo,’” Denise remembers. And before long, she got to speak to him directly.

“Leonardo DiCaprio,” Denise discovered, was allegedly being subjected to enslavement by the Church of Scientology.

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On Sept. 7, Denise sent $6,000 in a wire transfer to a man named Kenneth in Woodstock, Georgia, who “Leo” said was one of his trusted aides. It was the first payment of many.

The real DiCaprio was never involved in the scheme, nor has he ever been factually linked to Scientology.

You can read the entire sordid story at The Daily Beast.

(Disclaimer: The author of The Daily Beast piece, Tony Ortega, is a former executive editor of Raw Story.)