I signed up years ago for Pay Pal because it was an easy way to make and accept payments online at sites like e Bay, so when I get an email from Pay Pal I do pay attention.
was in rough financial shape as the 2012 holiday season drew near.
At each stop she’d wire another chunk of money to Sinclair.
Sometimes, if her phone bill was due or her refrigerator was barren, she kept a few dollars for herself.
Anxious about her future as an older single woman, Elrod lapped up the kind words about her looks—too few men seemed to appreciate her soft chin, wavy hair, and prominent brown eyes.
She wrote back, thanking the sender for complimenting her beauty and asking how he’d found her.
She scraped together just enough to rent a 676-square-foot garage apartment that she shared with a roommate, a gangly buffet cook a dozen years her junior.
Elrod’s love affair began with the sort of dodgy Facebook message that most people delete on sight.
She discovered that message in March 2011, 20 months before opening her First Community account, while cleaning out her junk-strewn “Other” mailbox during a respite at a Charlotte mall.
Over the course of one December week, for example, almost ,000 arrived from Norway; on January 2, someone in France sent ,977.
Elrod never let this money linger: She always showed up at the bank a few hours after a transfer cleared, to withdraw as much as ,500 in cash.