Of course you believed them as you had no reason not to and in your world you had no reason to doubt their sincerity.My rat said he had a German uncle, all lies. He went mad when I told him it was perfect he could get help from him to get there because it was safer and easier for me to meet him there as a solo traveler. But he obviously disagree and said his family were waiting to meet me even his dad took vacation from work to be there. I believed every word. :/
This is one reason that they use us - we are innocent to the lies and scams, its easier to beleve if its a rat but much harder to believe the family are in on it.