He professed his love for me before we had even met. And then he asked to move in.
**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
My two week virtual affair with an online romance scammer (pandemic entertainment)
Like millions of other people, I turned to online dating apps or social networking sites to hopefully meet someone. But instead of finding "Mr. Right", I’m finding a seemingly never-ending line of misfits, scammers, liars, tricksters and cheaters.
I’ve read many horror stories & have been through a few near misses and direct hits personally. One such occurrence happened to me recently and I am going to share the highlights while I dive a little further and take a look at virtual dating scams.
The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust. Sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they usually make up a story and ask for money.
Well my guy didn’t work his way into asking for money – he just needed a place to stay & some other perks.
First sign of a scam- He professes love too quickly:
This was certainly the case with this guy. Overly complimentary. Telling me that just talking to me made him happy. Thanking GOD and calling me an angel. Saying he had not felt this way since a previous wife died some years ago.
He sang old school love songs to me, love notes and said he loved me. Called me babe and baby right off the bat. It was odd, I thought. How could he feel that way about someone they have never met?
Over the course of the next 14 days- he repeatedly told me I was the ONE! It seemed too good to be true, 6’2 Tall, dark and handsome. And it was. I remember the 1st thing he said to me was “I don’t need anything from you”. I take care of myself -work etc. And I thought hmm, ok- that sounds good.
He tried very hard to represent himself as not some stereotypical broke man online looking for a woman to take care of him. He all but said that.
As I look back he was slightly evasive. Telling me only minimal tidbits about his past relationships the woman who died and the woman he married after that for whom he claimed to be divorced from for over 6 months.
I am a keyboard terrorist, investigator, sleuth, and what he told me gave me enough to locate a private Facebook profile on which he had a recent public video that I was able to make out from the descriptions he had given me, I was able to recognize that he was with the ex-wife he claimed to have divorced 6 months earlier and professes to hate with a passion.
Well, right then and there I suspected he was not being truthful based off this video. But, I let the charade continue cause – well, it’s a pandemic and I was bored.
It was like a cat and mouse game I was trying to get him to fess up to anything I should know because I kept telling him I felt he was hiding something but just couldn’t put my finger on it.
He called from home on Video several times- he called from work and actually showed me to his co-workers saying “ I’m trying to make her mine”, he kept telling me I was the ONE.
To make a long story a little shorter- fast forward to I get a video call from him and he is in the ER claiming to be having a heart attack. Professing his love & adoration for me saying he has had a talk with God.
Then the guy double & triple downed on me-repeatedly saying I was beautiful, his angel, heaven sent- it was fate we matched on Tinder, on and on.
Then, oh and by the way, he says I have a confession, I live with my ex-wife and she put all my stuff out today and kicked me out. I need a place to stay –BABY — PLEASE can I come stay with you? He also confesses he does not have a car, or a full-time job.
He is 51 years old and we had not yet met in person.
The next day he calls me again in a kind of different mood and proceeds to say God has performed a miracle and that he no longer needs heart surgery but that he had a heart attack and needs to come stay with me today, so I can look after him.
He said “I got you” I promise. – I was thinking to myself, Huh?- You better get yourself somebody dumb enough to let you move in with them.
After the hospital kicked him out he later called me from a halfway house of some sort. At which time I told him I was no longer interested.
Lol, but seriously we all need to be reminded to be careful and what to look out for in the virtual dating world.
FBI Tips for Avoiding Romance Scams:
- Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you.
- Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
- Go slowly and ask lots of questions.
- Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly.
- Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
- Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
- Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.