Jefferson woman loses $11K in online romantic scam

An elderly Jefferson woman lost thousands of dollars in a scam in which she believed she was in an online relationship with the lead singer for the British rock ‘n’ roll group Def Leppard.

“Right now, she’s out only about $11,000,” Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum told the Athens Banner-Herald.

The woman, who is in her 80s, began her online conversations in December with someone named Joe Elliott. The real Def Leopard Joe Elliott is 64 and lives in Ireland.

During these online meetings he eventually talked the woman into buying a number of gift cards he said were for his children and said he didn’t want his wife to know about the cards because the couple was in the process of getting divorce. He soon got her bank account information including debit card numbers and the amount of money he obtained grew.

The con was discovered by the woman’s children and the bank stopped all activity involving her account.