After my divorce, I joined a prominent and well advertised online dating site and my adventures began....the adventures of online dating for 40 somethings. Within 24 hours, I had three matches who by all accounts were intelligent, good looking, and well off. Well, that was too good to be true! And....that was the case, of course. The most entertaining of the three was a person named John. I really do not know if he was a man but they gave the name of John, so we will go with it. He was an architect/construction manager who built and designed a building in Nigeria for orphans. He was guaranteed a multimillion dollar payment upon completion of the project. He had a 10 year old son he had left in Germany and so the scene was set. I noticed quickly that he had problems with the English language and reminded me of the people I meet on a daily basis who speak English as their second or third language, he was only online Monday through Friday during work hours for Nigeria, personal details frequently changed and he would get angry with me if I corrected him about it, and he professed undying love for me soon after establishing the online relationship. After a couple of months, which I found quite entertaining on my part, he was "paid" and of course there was a problem...as to be expected. He explained via email that while the check was "legit", he could not cash it because it was drawn on an American bank and he could only cash it in the US. He sent me a screenshot of a KLM reservation for his ticket to Houston to let me know he was "serious" and not a scammer. So, he was just gonna need me to pay for the ticket to the tune of $2700. So did I pay it? NO. I had learned during this "relationship" that there is a very lucrative romance scam business in other countries and these people target Americans. They build you up, make you feel for them,actually can get you thinking of them as your boyfriend/girlfriend, send gifts and make calls, and then BAM! They have an emergency and they ask for money. A lot of the time, they get it and their victims then realize that they had been scammed and are SO embarrassed that they had been misled, that they never report it. There is an FBI task force to investigate romance scammers but they are difficult to catch and stop. What happened to John and his dilemma of being stranded in Nigeria away from his son and me, "the love of his life"? I told him I could not help him and I knew he was just a scam. That just made him angry then he begged and then he just went away. I assume he is still in Nigeria and his son, who is now 13, is still in Germany. I am so mean and heartless, I know. Lol.
However, within months of this highly entertaining adventure, I met my wonderful husband online. The very first thing we shared was our romance scammer stories and we both had a good laugh about it. He and I have been together now two years and I know I have found my love of my life.
It is just a shame that people take advantage of others who want to find a partner to love. All these scammers see is an easy target to take from and they count on the victims to be silent because of embarrassment. Well, I can tell you one thing about online dating....it was interesting and for me, resulted in finding a wonderful man to love and enjoy life with.