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Do Stop Believin’: Fake Steve Perry Scams Ohio Woman Out of $122,000

An Ohio woman was scammed out of around $122,000 by someone pretending to be former Journey frontman Steve Perry, according to WKYC in Cleveland.

The unnamed 75-year-old victim took her story to the Westlake Police Department last month, claiming she was first contacted by someone pretending to be Perry on Facebook in January. According to the cops, the fake Perry told the woman he had “business opportunity for investment” and that he “needed a woman in his life.” 

Over the next few months, as the scammer corresponded with the woman over text and WhatsApp, she sent $72,000 via bank wire transfers to “various persons in various different states, designated by ‘Perry.’” She also reportedly bought about $50,000 in gift cards at the fake Perry’s request. The woman finally became suspicious when the fake Perry “became more demanding,” asking for photos of passports and drivers licenses.

Investigators are reportedly following some electronic leads, while the victim was also told to report the scam to her bank and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. A rep for the real Perry did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment, nor did the Westlake Police Department. 

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The actual Perry is, of course, not scamming septuagenarians, and is actually eyeing a return to music. The musician ended a 22-year recording hiatus in 2018 with new album Traces, followed by a Christmas record, The Season, in 2021. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Perry revealed he signed to a new label and hopes to start working on a new project soon. 

“I’m very excited about it, and I’ll have an opportunity very soon to work with these very, very musically creative people,” he said. “I’ll probably announce who I signed with very soon. That’s about as much as I can say, but I’m excited about that, and I am working on stuff.”

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