Singer with Stevie Nicks catfished out of $1M by romance scammer (2024)

A widowed singer has revealed how she lost $1 million to a cruel romance scam after being targeted on Facebook.

Liza Likins - a backing singer for Fleetwood Mac,Stevie Nicks and Linda Ronstadt - lost her husband of 23 years, Greg, in 2020.

Then a man who resembled her late husband started messaging her on the social media platform, and eventually lured her into a romantic relationship.

'Donald' said he worked mining gold in Australia, and spent two and a half years convincing Liza he was in love with her and would move to join her in Las Vegas. He persuaded her to send him $1 million over that time.

'I fell in love with this person - deeply, deeply in love,' the 75-year-old told USA Today.

Liza Likins lost $1 million to a romance scam after being targeted on social media

Liza, who used the stage name Liza Jane, worked with Stevie Nicks (left) and Fleetwood Mac

'Now I know that he is a criminal. I know he's a major criminal who preys on lonely, widowed women,' she said.

Liza is one of thousands of people who have been targeted by romance scammers.

Last year, Americans lost $1.14 billion to romance scams, with a total of 64,003 cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That is an average loss of $17,811.

Romance scammers are routinely setting up fake social media profiles to target victims online.

They engage in a lengthy campaign - which often involves hours of messaging every day - to build up a relationship with the victim before turning the conversation to money.

Who is Liza Likins

Likins toured with Fleetwood Mac as one of the backing singers for the Behind the Mask Tour in 1990.

She used the stage name Liza Jane and made her first album in 1968.

After that, she did backing vocals for several musicians including Stevie Nicks, a member of Fleetwood Mac who also had a solo career.

She became friends with Nicks, and was her roommate for ten years.

Nicks was even maid of honor at Likins first marriage.

She later married Greg Likins, who helped manager her career.

<!- - ad: - ->


In some instances, the crooks will present an investment opportunity, or ask for funds for a fake medical procedure or charitable endeavor.

So-called 'pig butchering' scams fall under this category, where victims are effectively 'fattened up' with a fake relationship before being 'butchered' by fraudulent investment advice.

Last year, a father-of-three told how he lost his life savings, his home and his wife after he was tricked into investing in bogus cryptocurrency schemes by two women he met on social media.

Liza told USA Today how she used up all of her savings and sold her house for 'Donald' and was at times suicidal after she found out the truth.

But she now wants to prevent other women from falling prey to such schemes and has enlisted a company called Social Catfish to track down the scammers.

Social Catfish, which featured Likins in an episode of its YouTube show, has tracked the criminals to Nigeria, where it is working with authorities.

Liza believes the scammers preyed on her loneliness after her husband's death and studied her Facebook profile to know what appealed to her.

'Buddhism, spirituality and my belief in God,' she said. 'They played on all of those things.'

'Donald' even called Lizasome pet names her late husband had called her.

The criminals used photographs of Raho Bornhorst, a life coach from Germany, to con Liza and hundreds of other women.

Liza said she eventually agreed to speak to 'Donald' after rebuking him for four months because he resembled her late husband Greg (pictured)

'It's really terrible because I hear and feel and see their tears,' he told the outlet.

'They're writing to me because they think they're in love with me for one or two years already and then they discover it's just me, the real one.'

It comes as newly released data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that Americans lost a staggering $10 billion overall to fraud in 2023.

This is the first time that scam losses have reached that benchmark - and marks a 14 percent increase on the amount lost in 2022.

And the number is likely to be even larger, as many victims do not report what has happened to them to the authorities.

Victims lost the most money to investment scams in 2023 - with criminals stealing $4.6 billion.

The second highest reported loss came from imposter fraud, at almost $2.7 billion. It was also the most commonly reported type of fraud.

The criminals used photographs of German Raho Bornhorst (pictured) to con Liza and hundreds of other women

Americans lost a staggering $10 billion to fraud in 2023, according to latest data from the Federal Trade Commission

In 2023, consumers reported losing more money to bank transfers and cryptocurrency than all other methods combined, the FTC said.

'Digital tools are making it easier than ever to target hard-working Americans, and we see the effects of that in the data,' said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Email also displaced text messages, which held the top spot in 2022, as the most commonly used method for scammers to target victims.

'Digital tools are making it easier than ever to target hard-working Americans,' said Samuel Levine,Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection

But the largest losses came from those who were targeted over social media.

A huge $1.4 billion was stolen from Americans first approached on social media platforms, according to FTC data.

As a result of the surge in romance - and other kinds - of scams, the banking industry is calling for help from the government and social media industry.

'We really need help,' Paul Benda, the executive vice president for risk, fraud and cybersecurity at the American Bankers Association, said in an interview with CNBC.

'We need the social media companies to shut down these people that are putting these out there. We need law enforcement engaged to try and prosecute some of these folks. Unless you put a bad guy behind bars, that guy is gonna keep doing what he's doing.'

He said social media companies should be doing more to cut down on scammers using their platform to reach out to victims.

Some experts also saw value in regulatory changes that would allow financial institutions to talk to one another about customers who are at risk.

Benda added that banks can be put in a difficult position, where they suspect their customer is a victim of fraud but they are obliged to give them access to their funds.

'We've heard stories where we know a bank teller that was sobbing... talking with a longtime customer, begging them not to do this type of thing, and in the end, no, we have to give them access to their funds,' he said.

Banks generally will not reimburse a customer for losses incurred to a romance scammer, as the customer is seen as acting out of their own free will.


Never send money or gifts to someone you haven't met in person.

If you suspect a romance scam:

  • Stop communicating with the person immediately.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Do your friends or family say they're concerned about your new love interest?
  • Search online for the type of job the person has plus the word 'scammer.' Have other people posted similar stories? For example, search for 'oil rig scammer' or 'US Army scammer.'
  • Do a reverse image search of the person's profile picture. Is it associated with another name or with details that don’t match up? Those are signs of a scam.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Singer with Stevie Nicks catfished out of $1M by romance scammer (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 5635

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.