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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: Scammed by a fake online romance — twice

This week's podcast: A Barrie grandmother who was duped by an Internet romance scam — and then wrote a book to warn others — is now languishing in a Hong Kong prison after being tricked again

Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

On this week's episode: How an Ontario grandmother fell victim to an online romance scam — twice.

Suzana Thayer of Barrie has been languishing in a Hong Kong prison for the past seven months, accused of smuggling cocaine in her luggage. Her family is fighting to prove her innocence, insisting the 64-year-old was lured overseas by a fake Internet boyfriend who gave her the luggage as a gift.

Sadly, it was not the first time Thayer had been duped by online love. Years earlier, she gave more than $200,000 to a man she met on the Internet who claimed to be a doctor working for the United Nations. 

Thayer actually wrote a book about her ordeal — I've Been Conned: Book for Dummies — to warn others about online romance scams. She is now living through the nightmare a second time.

Angela Thayer, Suzana's daughter, joins Inside the Village to talk about her mother's case and the battle to bring her home.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available on this news site /insidethevillage. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

You can reach us at [email protected].

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