Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is a re-run


On-Line Dating a Scam

I have attempted on-line dating this year. A friend met her new husband on-line and she highly recommends it. Let me tell you it is a scam. She is one of the lucky few who actually met a real man with values. I will list the sites I used and the first name only of the men I “met.”
The first site was singlesnet.com. The site is free. I met David there. He was an architect with a big plan he was working on. He was supposedly in Florida, but I can find no architects there with his name. He was a widow with a 20 year old daughter. His daughter lived with his Mom in Ohio. He had good mid-western values. After two weeks he loved me and sent me a dozen red roses and a teddy bear. Since I was wintering in Texas they arrived at my landlady’s home. Two days later he wanted $2500 and was willing to help me find a bank or credit union so that I could get a loan. No, I did not get one. Nor did I try.
I changed sites to mate1.com. It is a free site for women. Joel was the first guy. His profile said he was in San Antonio, Texas. Gee, there might be a chance I could meet him. Keep laughing. Joel was a widower with a 14 year old son. He owned a company importing and exporting cars and car parts. Did I mention he lived in Liverpool, England? The profile was a lie. After three weeks, and we did get to see each other on a webcam…no sound his computer sound was broken. (Most likely not). He flew to Accara, Ghana where he was going to be for three months opening a branch of his business. Imagine his taxi driver took off with all his luggage, including working permits, money, laptop, and clothing. Could I send him a laptop. To a third world country and get on a national watch list???? You are kidding right? His conversations became one word or were non-existent until the end of April…he was due home in May and wanted to be sure he could come see me. I don’t think so.
Also on mate1 was Author Morgen. He turned out to be a gentleman from Ghana looking to marry a white woman and come to the US. He had pirated photos from a man on Facebook. End of story here.
The last one I met on mate1.com was Brian. This one broke my heart. He spent two months talking to me about family, his work as a robotics professor and the invention he’d spent six years on. He’d lost his wife and daughter in a horrific accident. We talked about literature and my writing. He was ready to fly here. We talked about a future together. Then he needed some rare metals for his robot. Yikes!!!! They were going to cost him $80,000 US dollars. He could not raise that. He could not raise half of that. Could I please send him some money, any amount. That’s when he called me. Who calls from a restricted number? Guys in prison. He even tried for a couple of weeks after that saying he was wrong and he should not have asked me to support his project. He just thought we were one.
I went to Match.com. They are supposed to be the best. George was from Detroit. Or not. He was born in Germany and had a 16 yr old son. They traveled for his job. They were currently in South Africa. After about five conversations, George ended up in the ER with his son. The son had supposedly gotten an egg roll filled with glass. He was going to need surgery costing $15,000 US dollars to stop the bleeding. George could come up with $12,000 but his son would bleed to death if I didn’t send him $3,000. Not going to happen. I will pray for the son. He didn’t need prayers, he needed money. He was back on Match the next day with a new profile. Yes, I reported him.
Charles was the last man I met on Match. He was supposedly in Tucson, AZ. He was half-American and half-Australian. He was born in Dallas and his mother and daughter lived in Brisbane, Australia. To my surprise he was supposed to be living in Ypsilanti, MI. I’d spent four years there as an undergrad. He was just too good to be real. It never amounted to much. He was flying off to take care of some business in China and stopping to see his mother and daughter. I never heard from him again.
From Match a friend told me about Tagged. It is a free site. Okay it is the creepiest site I have ever had the misfortune to be on. Hollis was not at all who he claimed to be. He was supposedly Spanish with a gold mine operated by his mother and son. Funny he didn’t have the money to go home to Spain. He called from a restricted number at all hours of the night. His Facebook page has him at a different age and a widow. He claimed to be divorced. The phone number he gave me was a Sunoco gas station/Dunkin’ Donuts in a suburb of Philly. He did not last long.
Kevin was supposed to be in Pittsburg. He was not. He was in Waco, TX. He tried after two conversations to sell my house on Craig’s list. He wanted me to send him all the papers and he would sell it for me. NOT. He would sell it and leave me with nothing. Where do they come from?
I must be a glutton for punishment. I signed up for a month at SeniorPeopleMeet.com. Can you say more cons? I was looking only at men in Michigan. Dennis first showed up as MichiganFred in Holt, MI. He sent me a flirt so I responded and he disappeared. A couple weeks later he showed up as Strengthenedman in Detroit, MI. He was born in Germany, lost his wife to a drunk driver. Has two sons 22 and 20 who are in college in Germany. He also has a younger sister in Germany. He is currently in the Philippines working on the sixth of six buildings he had designed. He sold everything here two years ago and is winding up this job and will be home soon. We have talked briefly on the phone. He is soft spoken and polite. The e-mail came on Sat. night. He needs $97,000 US dollars to pay his taxes before he can get his last payment on the job. Something about having to pay the taxes first in that country. He had $75,000. His sister and her husband were able to wire him $10,000 and his friends and workers had come up with another $7,000. He is $5,000 short. He will understand if I don’t want to communicate with him anymore. So, glad he will understand.
First and foremost get all the information you can about the person. Pay the money to run a background check. If they are foreign born or are out of the country, end all communications. Do not give ANYONE your information. Be mysterious. Don’t share names of your family members or photos. Some say they are not good with names. It’s a scam to learn more about you. Second, always have someone who knows what you are doing. Third, NEVER EVER meet this person alone. Take a friend, have them sit somewhere else if you want him to think you are alone, but don’t be alone. NEVER let this person in your car. That means, do not offer to pick them up at an airport. You are most vulnerable when you are alone.
The number of people who truly connect for meaningful relationships on dating sites is few. It is no way one in ten. And I will not be trying for a tenth to see if he is the one. Be safe when you are dating. You are the one who is vulnerable. These men know exactly what they are doing. They have a plan and will carry it out. Take no chances.
I am Rebecka Vigus, author of Only a Start and Beyond, So You Think You Want to be a Mommy?, Secrets, Out of the Flames, and Target of Vengeance. These are real instances of what happened to me. I am no longer in the on-line dating circuit. I will meet my dates in person first. I suggest all women be careful. You are NOT desperate even if you think you are.

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