PUEBLO, Colo. - A Pueblo woman nearly lost $16,000 dollars from her savings after being blindsided by someone she once considered a close friend.
It's part two of our three-part series exposing the latest love scams.
Meet Amanda Maes
It started as an innocent friendship that turned into a calculated scheme to steal.
"Life between him and I was perfect, we had a great friendship," said Maes, talking about her dear friend Andrew Romero.
"We went to New York together, Baltimore together, St. Louis together," Maes said.
You could say the two were inseparable.
"We were really so very close," said Maes.
Maes described it as a relationship built on trust until everything spiraled out of control: $16K of fraudulent charges to Maes account.
"My guess is he got into my purse and took pictures of everything," said Maes. "I have different charges to three different credit cards, my debit card, and my actual checking account with my routing and account numbers."
The charges were all under Romero's name, paying for things like his college tuition, his mom's bills, his grandma's bills, a TV streaming account, and even court-ordered probation classes.
After calling Romero several times with no response, KRDO tracked him down to get his side.
Our team ended up traveling to Lakewood to catch up with Romero at his luxury apartment complex.
We told him we were with NewsChannel 13 and asked if he knew Amanda Maes.
"Yes, why?" Romero responded. We told him we have documentation showing thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges to Maes' credit cards.
"I don't want to talk about this right now," he said.
We asked for a comment for his side of the story, but he declined and shut the door.
We never got a solid answer, but we did run into his model I-S Lexus in the parking lot, which police say is suspicious.
"I'd be very worried going into the restaurant he works at," said Pueblo Police Sgt. Frank Ortega.
Romero just got fired from Olive Garden where he had easy access to credit cards for six months before this happened. Police didn't specifically say they have proof he was stealing information while working there, but they raised the concern.
According to Ortega, investigators already have enough probable cause to arrest him for the alleged fraud involving Maes' accounts.
"The detectives are continuing to gather information and filing search warrants for financial records, that way he can present a better case," Ortega said.
The case will detail the $16,000 worth of fraudulent charges.
"I'm still in shock," she said.
Since our interview, a warrant for Andrew Romero's arrest has been issued. According to police, investigators are working to file formal charges with the Pueblo County DA's office.