Lizzy, the Myeloma Warrior
Dating Ladies Beware: 9 Ways To Spot Online Dating Scammers
by Lizzy Smith
December 05, 2014
Last week, I received an email from a guy "John" who moderates a very large on-line group for single adults in the dating world. Several of the women in the group started sharing stories about men they had recently met on-line. As time went on, the stories started sounding eerily similar. As he started asking more questions and then did a little digging, it turned out, several were communicating with the same guy, "Casanova." Casanova happened to live too far away from any of these women to actually meet up with them, but he managed to win quite a few hearts nonetheless. There were a few women who had been dumped by Casanova and they were devastated, nursing wounds and wondering how they allowed themselves to be strung along by a guy they never met. A few other women were convinced they were in love with Casanova and would some day marry him, just like he promised. I never found out if any had given him money but it wouldn't surprise me if they had. John asked that I write an article to warn my readers that there are Big Time predators out there that peruse dating sites looking for gullible, desperate women looking for love. And those men are experts at drawing those women in and then emptying out their bank accounts. Or, sometimes, the guy is simply bored and looking for companionship. None of it's ok.
John's story is not the first that I've heard. I know a 70-year old Momron woman who is active in the dating scene. One day she giddily told me about a guy who was mad for her. He lived several states away, was some 20 years her junior, was super good looking and rich, and he wanted to be in an inclusive relationship with her. He was already talking about how their life would be when they married. STOP, I almost screamed. "Does any of this make sense to you? Why would a really hot rich young guy be looking for older Mormon women who live really far away to date? Especially when devout Mormons won't be having sex before marriage, or sharing a bottle of wine, either. Why can't he find someone locally if he's such a great catch?" She was silent. "He's a fake! He wants your money. Stop communicating with him-- like right now. Disappear." I hope she took my advice.
When I first split with my husband and got on a dating site, Mr. Wonderful contacted me. He loved to travel, was incredibly good looking and had tons of photos that he sent me. He was kind and perfect. He lived in Colorado but was moving to my same town in just a few months once he wrapped up a few things. He was an airline pilot so could live anywhere he wanted. After several days, I started to wonder if any of his story made sense. I asked him to call me, let's chat by phone. He wouldn't. He hemmed and hawed and I stopped responding. And then he became belligerent. Obnoxious. I deleted him. He wasn't real!
On my Facebook account, for a time, I listed myself as "divorced." Wow-- I was contacted by probably 50 different men who all happened to live in London and worked for the oil and gas industry but were Americans and soon moving back to the US and would move to where I was living if we hit it off. Except their written English was deplorable (no doubt, they were probably sitting in a dingy warehouse in Nigeria). I deleted them all, except one day I couldn't resist. I responded: "I worked in oil and gas, too. Who do you work for? We probably know a lot of the same people." Silence.