Grandfather, 82, commits suicide after falling in love with mystery woman on dating site - read his heartbreaking pleas for mercy

READ MORE: Father loses his money, home and wife from 'pig-butchering' 

An 82-year-old grandfather committed suicide after losing his life savings to cruel scammers posing as a mystery love interest on Facebook.

Dennis Jones fell victim to a con known as 'pig butchering' whereby fraudsters 'fatten' their victims up with a fake online romance before encouraging them to invest in bogus cryptocurrency schemes.

Jones' family said he died 'embarrassed and ashamed' on March 4 after becoming infatuated with the woman called 'Jessica' - despite never meeting her.

Heartbreaking final messages shared by his children reveal the loving father and grandfather, from Maryland, had become increasingly depressed about his financial losses.

He wrote in one exchange to 'Jessica': 'I have been having dark thoughts about my life and it being over. Certainly, it looks like my financial life is done. Bankruptcy, legal and all that BS. It will be very painful and I'm not sure I can stand it.'

Dennis Jones, 82, unexpectedly took his life on March 4 after falling victim to a 'pig-butchering scam' after befriending a woman named Jessica on Facebook

Dennis Jones, 82, unexpectedly took his life on March 4 after falling victim to a 'pig-butchering scam' after befriending a woman named Jessica on Facebook

His heartbroken children, Matt Jones (right) and Adrianne Gruner (left), had planned to meet with their struggling father on the day he died to help him recover from the massive scam

His heartbroken children, Matt Jones (right) and Adrianne Gruner (left), had planned to meet with their struggling father on the day he died to help him recover from the massive scam

It comes as more and more Americans fall victim to the cruel con, thought to be predominantly run by Chinese gangs. Earlier this year, the Secret Service said it was seeing a 'ton' of cases.

Devastated children Matt Jones and Adrianne Gruner said they had planned to meet with their dad on the day he died to help him recover after he confided in them about the scam. Adrianne added he was supposed to move in with her family on her farm in Virginia to rebuild his life.

Matt was stunned to see cops show up to his door an hour after their planned meeting informing him Jones had taken his own life. The family assumed he was out for a long run - something he loved to do.

'Our father was, from the day I was born until six months ago, always a positive, happy person,' he told CNN. 'This was literally the only thing in his life that had happened, to where it changed him, and it just crushed him.'

So-called 'pig butcherers' operate on various social media, dating and messaging sites such as Facebook, Tinder, WhatsApp and LinkedIn - among others.

After entering their lives and making the victims like Jones comfortable, the scammers convince them to invest in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes and even 'phantom properties' that don't exist.

The women convinced Dennis to drain his life savings, and even when he had nothing left to give and told her about his deteriorating mental health, she demanded more

The women convinced Dennis to drain his life savings, and even when he had nothing left to give and told her about his deteriorating mental health, she demanded more

Adrianne said that he was supposed to move in with her family on her farm in Virginia to rebuild his life. (pictured: Dennis (right) with his kids and grandchildren)

Adrianne said that he was supposed to move in with her family on her farm in Virginia to rebuild his life. (pictured: Dennis (right) with his kids and grandchildren)

In messages shared by the family, Jones told 'Jessica' that he would 'have 9000 in my trust wallet by Saturday.'

'Transferring 2500 per day into uphold and had 1525 in it. So, 4000 in it now 65000 tomorrow and 9000 Saturday.'

'Jessica' replied: 'Is there any limit on transferring to wallet now?'

In another message to 'Jessica', Dennis told her how guilty he felt for 'betraying his family' by giving up all of his money.

'He's saying, 'these are basically evil people, I did not know such evil people existed'' Jones wrote in a message that Matt read.

'The ultimate pain here is that I've betrayed my family's trust, this is unbearable,' he added.

Despite all of the pain her father endured, Adrianne believes that he truly cared for 'Jessica'.

'I do believe he loved the person that he believed was behind that profile,' she said.

Matt added he knew something was off once he was told how his father died.

'As soon as I found out that it was a suicide, I was 100% sure that it was the scam,' he told CNN.

In messages shared by the family, Dennis told Jessica that he would 'have 9000 in my trust wallet by Saturday'

In messages shared by the family, Dennis told Jessica that he would 'have 9000 in my trust wallet by Saturday'

His family described him as 'a bit of an activist' who frequently debated about politics online, and 'had a boundless curiosity for current events.' (pictured: Dennis with one of his grandchildren)

His family described him as 'a bit of an activist' who frequently debated about politics online, and 'had a boundless curiosity for current events.' (pictured: Dennis with one of his grandchildren)

According to his obituary, Dennis was passionate about photography, sailing, playing the guitar, and volunteering.

He served in the US Coast Guard after graduating from Georgetown University. He then embarked on many careers, including work in the marketing, sales and real estate industries.

His family described him as 'a bit of an activist' who frequently debated about politics online, and 'had a boundless curiosity for current events.'

He was married to his late ex-wife and mother of three of his children, Martha B. Hague.

'You know, he died embarrassed, ashamed, you know, financially devastated and heartbroken,' Adrianne said.

Read More

EXCLUSIVE: New Jersey dad loses half a million dollars, his home and WIFE after falling victim to cruel 'pig butchering' scam

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'If sharing our story helps somebody else or another family, then it's worth it.'

In August, another loving father from New Jersey fell victim to scammers and nearly took his life.

Real estate agent Michael Holloway, 62, was conned out of $500,000 by online fraudsters, who lured him in with fake relationships before persuading him to drain his entire retirement pot.

Holloway was so distraught from the cruel scam that he hit 'rock bottom' and was 'ready to end his life' - and ultimately ended up being rushed to hospital by his concerned daughter.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Holloway explained how he was targeted on social media - and was initially wary of would-be scammers reaching out to him.

'If I made a successful deal I would post it on social media, and I started getting random people hitting me up - and they would always mention cryptocurrency investment. I would tell them to forget it - I knew what they wanted and I was onto them,' he said.

'I do believe he loved the person that he believed was behind that profile,' Adrienne said

'I do believe he loved the person that he believed was behind that profile,' Adrienne said

But in early December 2022, a woman called 'Hui Hui', who said she was from China, reached out to him.

'I was complaining to her that so many people were trying to get me to invest. It kept on like a friendly chat at first,' he said.

Holloway admitted that he was having some trouble with his marriage at the time and he was in a vulnerable mindset. The online conversation turned romantic - with plans for the pair to potentially meet.

Several other female victims have also shared their stories with DailyMail.com

Law enforcement sources have predicted that losses related to online scamming will continue to grow in the next year, as the criminals remain out of reach.

The industry has established factories and secure compounds where scammers are reportedly held against their will and forced to con people out of all they have.

Last year, the FBI estimates, pig butchering scams stole nearly $4 billion from tens of thousands of American victims, a 53% increase from the year before.

Americans lost a record $2.57 billion to cryptocurrency investment fraud in 2022 alone, according to the FBI, which is almost three times the amount stolen in 2021.

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