Just for kicks, and to write about it for this column, I joined a very well-known dating service.
I posted some photos, described what I was looking for in a date, filled out the information form they provided, paid the reasonable fee, and off I went.
The service provides every member with “Daily Match Profiles.” You’re able to vote yes or no to each one. If you vote yes, the guy gets an announcement that you like his profile. I met a few nice guys on line. But nothing ever materialized.
The only “promising’ message I got was from an entertainment industry-type that sent me a message saying: “We really don’t have anything in common, but do you like S&M? I reported him to the service that day.
Then there was James. He was so cute. He lived in Beverly Hills. He was from London. His wife died of cancer. His family lived in England. He was in the oil and gas business. He was looking for new love. Hmm. Sounded interesting. I sent him a message. I said a simple “Hello.”
He answered back:
Good Morning and how are you doing? Thank you for the message and after going through your profile, I thought to myself, “wow,” a “wink” just isn’t going to do it!
I believe that life is an adventure, you never know where it will take you, and it’s always full of opportunities, so I figure the worst thing that could happen is I scare you away with my note and that’s that…or, on the other hand, you’re intrigued, we find we have a lot in common, you write me and go from there.
Hope you have a great day, take care and I hope to hear from you soon.
He said he was going to Dubai to finish a large project with the government there. He was going to be gone for two weeks. He thought I was beautiful, had a great profile, and said it would be a good time to get to know me by writing back and forth. Ok. I went along with it.
Good Morning Barb (smiles),
What I realized is that it doesn’t matter how far you live, how different the culture is, it doesn’t matter if you meet someone on the internet… true love can be found everywhere and it happens when you least expect it. What else do we live for if not for love, maybe my time may have come (smiles.)
So tell me something Barb, are you ready to love? (Smiles)
I will be leaving for Dubai this evening, I expect to be there for a week plus or minus a day (smiles.) Completing my contract will surely be a great deal sealed, I have waited for this moment all my life, and prayed for a complete family to share the dividend with at the end, just maybe the timing may be good, (smiles.)
Upon arrival, I do plan to meet you, but I guess I have some days to plan a good scenario. How do you see a good home? How do you envision a good private vacation for two? Do you like sailing?
If they had ever told me how fun meeting someone over the air could be, I would have said, ‘Impossible, impossible for me.’ And if they said I’d find someone I really feel comfortable talking to beyond the computer’s end, I would have said, ‘Impossible, impossible, my friend.’ To dream about what might have been is strange enough for me, but now it seems I’m living in a dream too beautiful to be. Now you have my attention. Love is like trust, when you find your special someone it is as if you trust them with your heart.
Things with him progressed very quickly. He wrote me every day. And the writings got very deep, very passionate, very sweet. “Wow, this guy is too good to be true,” I thought.
A couple of days went by. All of a sudden all hell broke loose in his corner of the world. Something fell from his oil rig and killed one man, injured five others. He called me, sobbing, wanting to be comforted.
In the next two days, he said that the accident cost him $75,000. Money that he didn’t have. And that as soon as he was able to pay it, he was going to receive his final payment of $19 million from the government and come home. He looked forward to meeting me.
Later he said that he got most of the money he needed from his lawyer, mother, friends, etc. but still needed $25,000. This is where I got very suspicious. I told him that my money was held in trust and I could not lend anyone money in this way – not like I would have anyway!
Here’s an excerpt from one of last his texts:
How was your night? You are the reason for my tomorrow. I have been thinking about you all day wishing we were together. Myself and the lawyer had an early rise to the prime minister’s office, the appeal of the waiver was still not approved, we only got the funds release document from them but still require the tax clearance approval document which will only be given once we pay completely for the bank to release our funds.
So now, myself and my musketeers have come up with the idea that we don’t sit doing nothing but gather hands to solve this little problem and see what we can come up with. I got $30,000 from my lawyer, $30,000 from my mom and another $15,000 from a friend so now I am left with $25,000 to go as soon as I pay this money my funds $19.6 million will be ready in my account and I will be on the next flight to you.
I feel bad enough having to ask you but I have no one else to turn to now and the whole thing is really straining my veins. You must understand that I wouldn’t let anything come between us and I can’t risk my relationship for whatever I may need, but if you want to give me a hand with whatever amount as even a dime from a loved one will mean a lot, let me know how best you can then I can know what more to go and be sure I can be able to repay you ASAP. What do you think? NFW!
Sweet James was a fraud! Nothing he said was true. He didn’t even exist! I spoke to my best friend about it, who told me that one of her friends – successful, beautiful and single – had a relationship with a guy who did business overseas for months. After a while, he asked her for money as well. Different guy, same scenario. Scam!
I started doing some research about men who scam women into giving them money. Holy shit! So many women have been contacted by guys like “James.” And a lot of them have fallen for the bullshit. Women who are attractive, educated, well-traveled, wealthy and worldly. Some scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. All to feel they were loved.
It turns out that there are organizations all over the world that are making a killing cheating unsuspecting women who are innocently looking for love. Wow. Crazy. And I just wanted to write about the funny adventures I had on line.
Ladies (and gentlemen) this game is running rampant. And they are very good at what they do. I know that people meet real, genuine people on these sites. But be careful. Here are some of the warning signs:
He’s a widow
He has business overseas
He falls for you very quickly
He asks you to get off the dating service’s texting platform and start to communicate privately
He says he wants exclusivity and asks that you go “on hold” from the dating service
He asks you for money
I got lucky. This was a writing assignment for me. For others, they haven’t been as fortunate.