On-line dating: the new playground for anti-socials and sociopaths.

I recently joined two on-line dating services and was pleased to see so many men who were interested in meeting me. Though the site did warn not to give out my telephone number, I found it annoying going to the site each time someone contacted me, so instead used texting.

The first person I decided I wished to meet told me he was an engineer; good I thought, educated. We set up a meet, but he did not come telling me that he had to leave for South Africa right away for a contract he was awarded and would I mind keeping in touch with him. I said that was fine.

A few days later I received a text letting me know that he had arrived safely but that his luggage did not. He was upset because he did not have his laptop with him and needed me to run out and buy one, he specified one that was quite expensive. I suggested he ask a friend or a family member to help him out as I had not yet met him. He told me he had no friends or family and I was the only one he could ask. I told him I was uncomfortable with his request. He begged me for days until I told him that I would block him. He then requested that I continue texting him even if I could not send the laptop. I did so and was surprised when he next asked for money, saying that his credit card was not working and that he could not access his banking account.

Over the months I have met many of these scammers. It always seems to be the same story. They are either widowed or they divorced their wives due to the wife cheating on them. Some have small children and all of them are good looking – the hook. They are alone in the world, no family or friends, setting up their victims, (you), as the only one who can help. A lot of them are overseas, many of them engineers or in the service. I have found that many ask for iTunes as this can be easily converted into money using a phone. I actually had one scammer come clean after texting with him for months. He admitted he was a 23-year-old Nigerian male who trolled on-line dating services looking for lonely woman he could ask for money. Previously he had used Facebook but was finding the on-line dating service a better venue.

These men and woman are very good at what they do, they are imminently convincing. However here are some rules I found work. If you decide to talk with them off site, download hangouts. This is a great place as no matter where they are, everything is free and it allows you to use video. This is important as all the scammers I have met all had problems with their phone, the first clue that they are not real. They cannot do a video call because, of course, it is not the same person portrayed in the picture. If they have no family or friends stay away, as most people have someone. Never send money – it doesn’t matter if they have a child that is dying because in almost all circumstances it is a lie. Besides any hospital will take in a dying child. Don’t be fooled.

And of course, they are charming, and they fall in love right away with you. If a man tells you he loves you just by texting, well come on, you have to know that’s not true. It is not amazing and a dream come true but instead the beginning of a nightmare that could cost you your savings.

Some will text you for weeks, some for months, but it all comes down to them asking for something. If you question them, they will tell you that you lack trust. One guy actually told me he was scammed himself and sent his SSN to me to try to convince me he was real. Again, he would not set up a video chat. It may have been the person he claimed to be SSN but I am sure he was not that person. I had one person tell me he was selling his house to be with me and actually sent a check. He also would not video chat with me and I told him I would send the check back to him. He became very angry and then I never heard from him again. I eventually tossed the check.

When you refuse to send these people what they say they need, eventually their true colors come out and it is not pretty. They will try to make you feel like you are a mean and cruel human being. You are not, but they are.

If someone is not willing to Skype or do a video call, my suggestion is to forget them. There are a million excuses, but trust me they are lies.

I eventually did find someone and am currently in love, so things did work out for me. On-line dating is a great way to meet people – just be careful.

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