Information Technology specialist Anand Thakur once said that be careful who you let into your circle as not everyone deserves to be your friend.
In most cases, people are swindled by people within their close circles, only to realise this later. The case is even so for Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, dubbed as 2021 Forbes richest footballer.
Dating back to when he was playing for the English club during his first spell in 2010, Ronaldo was scammed Ksh35 million by a travel agent he trusted.
According to international outlets, 50-year-old, Maria Silva, took advantage of the trust Ronaldo had placed in her and gained access to his credit card details and pin codes.
Capitalizing on the opportunity, Silva booked 200 trips across Europe, the United States of America and Africa for her clients. Unknown to Ronaldo, the trips were then billed to his credit card.
The clients would pay Silva through a personal account, instead of the travel agency she worked for.
The travel agent also used the publicity in order to dupe other football players such as former Manchester United star Luís Carlos Almeida, Jorge Mendes, his sports agency Gestifute, Nani and former Everton footballer Manuel Fernandes.
After various footballers raised awareness of suspicious transactions on their credit cards, authorities apprehended Silva.
She appeared in a court in Portugal, and pleaded guilty to the wrongdoing - a plea that handed her a four-year sentence.
Silva, however, pleaded with the court to grant her time to pay the money back to her clients in order to avoid prison.
Court documents revealed that Silva had targeted Ronaldo for three years, from 2007 to 2010- a time when the star was in his prime.
According to various media outlets, Ronaldo was targeted at a time when he made a Ksh12.7 billion move from Man United to Spanish Giants, Real Madrid.