An Italian volleyball player believed for 15 years that he was in a relationship with a model named Maya, according to various Italian media reports.
The fake relationship began when Roberto Casanega was contacted, by phone, with a woman pretending to be a model.
The scam artist, who was actually called Valeria, continued the stunt for 15 years.
“I fell in love with that sound, call after call,” said Roberto Casanega.
He and the fake model were exchanging calls, texts and photos on a daily basis. Maya used Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio’s social media photos of the real model.
The con artist made up many excuses to justify the fact that she and Cazzaniga never met face to face. She used the excuse that she had a serious heart disease.
In the end, the fraudster began to demand money from the Italian volleyball player. This would have paid him €700,000 over the years, just over a million Canadian dollars.
The athlete’s relatives ended up alerting the police who investigated and discovered that “Maya” was in fact “Valeria”, a woman from Sardinia, Italy.
Relatives of the volleyball player have started collecting donations to help him recover from the serious financial problems he suffered as a result of the scam.
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