So it looks like I've been royally conned by an old friend. I get a message on Facebook last night from him saying he was depressed, tried to commit suicide, life falling apart etc. Now the bailiffs were looking for money he didn't have and he needed to borrow some until the new year. I was shocked as he was always so together - great job, loads of money, model looking girlfriend etc.
We haven't seen each other in a few years, no bust up or anything but we gradually drifted apart, but had basically been best mates at one point.
So I took pity on him and sent him £100, he'd helped me out plenty of times when I was a student so I figured it was no big deal. This morning I get a message saying it wasn't enough, he needed more, had to get it together quickly, so me being a soft touch sent him another £50. He's grateful, says he'll give me back £200 in the new year, no problem.
A few hours later - another £50 needed. This time, alarm bells are ringing. I try and call him, no response. Now I figure I've been royally conned, probably some identity theft Facebook job you read about, maybe someone's hacked his account etc.
So I phone my bank, report to fraud department, fuming the whole time, steam coming out of my ears. I always figured I was too clever to get caught by scams like that, guess I was wrong.
I message him and say I've reported him. He messages back claiming it really is him and answers some questions only he could know, nothing he could get through trawling through Facebook pics.
I finally get him on the phone, turns out it really is him and he sounds blasted out of his mind on drink and/or drugs. I get in contact with his brother and a mutual friend, turns out this has been going on for a few years and he's constantly trying to con people.
I know I shouldn't be too mad - ultimately it's a (relatively) small sum and he's clearly fallen on hard times but I'm fuming that an old friend would do that to me. I'm still holding out a vague hope that if/when he's sober, he might see sense and give it back, or maybe his family can get through to him and get it back to me, or maybe the bank can sort it - but I'm not too hopeful I'll ever see it again.
TLDR: old friend I've not seen for years, now addicted to God knows what and apparently homeless, has conned me out of £150.
Merry f'n Christmas