Married at First Sight Australia 2020‘s Mishel Karen has admitted to losing over $77,000 after being seduced into investing in a dodgy online financial scam.
After marrying Steve Burley on national telly in 2020, the 51-year-old didn’t find love within the experiment, so she continued her search in the real world.
Unfortunately, this willingness to be in a relationship was a “weakness” used against her by online scammers.
Chatting to the Daily Mail Australia, the mum-of-two said that she “feel[s] like a big dumb dumb” after falling for the scam.
“They know the person, they know your weakness, and then they start playing on that,” she said.
Mishel was originally conned into joining the unnamed brokerage after being shown articles that alleged many celebrities endorsed the company.
She was also provided with a fake London address for the business and was sent links that harboured faux reviews praising the brokerage’s services.
“It was a scam story that wasn’t real,” she eventually acknowledged. “I read the article… but it was a fake story, and I didn’t realise.”
Mishel, a publicly successful OnlyFans star, soon became suspicious about not seeing any returns on her investments. However, the con artists soon persuaded her to stay on board.
“They must’ve known who I was because all of a sudden, they gave me a financial broker that became a love interest.”
The Scammers Wooed Married at First Sight‘s Mishel Karen Into Turning Over More Money
Mishel said the broker, “Charles“, began “wooing [her] with chocolates and flowers”.
Moreover, he even told the TV bride he would fly her to London so they could be together.
“It just turned into a romance, and he was getting more and more money out of me,” she recalled.
They then began fabricating online stocks to convince Mishel she was doubling her investments.
“They have all the shares, and you can see them buying and selling, but it’s not real,” she explained. “He’d say, ‘Look Mishel, invest this much more because this is for us! This is for our future.'”
Before she knew it, Mishel had been scammed out of $77,267.
When Did Mishel Karen Put a Stop to the Online Scam?
Mishel then questioned the business again after attempting to withdraw $5k to cover an emergency trip to the hospital.
At the time, she falsely believed she had over $180,000 in her investment account.
When she finally attempted to leave the brokerage, the MAFS contestant was told she’d only get her money back if she turned over additional funds.
“The last call I got, they said I could get my money back if I paid an additional $12,000. I just thought, ‘Oh my god, they don’t stop!'”
Even though she lost thousands to the online scam, Mishel said the “stupidest” part of the whole ordeal was how she felt about the conman.
“The stupidest thing is that I kinda missed the guy I was having a fake relationship with,” she admitted. “I have to keep telling myself, ‘This is not real, Mishel. He didn’t have those feelings’.
“I just don’t want somebody else to go through this. It’s heartbreaking.”
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