Steve Vig - Oil Rig Engineer

by Sharon Henson
(Springfield, Oregon)

I joined POF in mid November, which was my first time on a dating site. Shortly after joining, I got a message from a man named Steve. He said I had pretty eyes or something like that. One of his profile pictures had him with a yellow helicopter behind him.


Trying to be funny, I asked him if that was his helicopter. We messaged a few times, then he asked me if I would be willing to leave the dating site to see if we had a connection and where it might lead us. I found him attractive and thought why not. He was from Victorville, CA, just one state away from me. We exchanged phone numbers and soon we were texting a lot.

I found out that he was preparing a presentation to a oil company for a job on a oil rig in the UK as a private drilling contractor. I encouraged his project and soon he was flying to DC to meet with the company. He, of course, got the job and was soon on his way to the UK. He had mentioned maybe meeting or video chatting before he left California, at that point though, I was more comfortable just texting.

I struggle a bit with my weight and thought if he got the job in the UK then I would be able to lose some weight before we met. I looked forward to his text messages. When ever I got one it seemed to brighten my day. He started calling me babe, which I liked, as no one had ever called me babe. We continued to text for a while even after he got to the oil rig but roaming charges were high for him so soon he secured a landline and he had me install WhatsApp on my phone.

I did and we were soon communicating on there. Eventually, I asked him if he would just call me. He did one night as I was leaving a local grocery store. I sat in my car and talked to him for quite a while. He had a bit of a accent which he told me was Swedish. He was born in California but his mother was Swedish so he lived in Sweden for a big part of his life.

I was so hooked, even at that point. I love accents and with the pictures that I had of him, I knew that I was going to fall in love. So we texted when he wasn't at work and talked when he woke in the morning which was usually around 10:00 p.m. here in Oregon because his time was 8 hours ahead of my time. He would send me emails asking me how I felt about family and if I thought that an online relationship was a true relationship.

He asked me how I felt about cheating, was it cheating if it was just a online relationship. We both felt that even a online relationship was a true relationship. It seemed we wanted the same things. Christmas and New Years was hard because the app we were using to communicate didn't staff on the holidays so it took forever to get messages through.

By this point, I was missing him and we had already said that we loved each other. It felt like it was meant to be. I felt he was an answer to a prayer that I had made long ago that God had not answered. Things were going well until right after New Years.

That was the first time he asked me for money. He told me that his 'stuffs' from the job he had before this one was in Iraq and he had left two boxes in storage and the storage time was set to expire. He asked if he could have the boxes sent to me. I would have to fill out some sort of certificate to have beneficiary transferred to me so it could be delivered to me.

I have never really been out of the U.S. so I didn't know how things worked in other countries. I thought, ok, I will have some of his belongings here and he will come get them, we will be together. Then of course the other shoe dropped.

He then asked me if I could pay the shipping costs because he didn't have any money. I was so depressed because I was starting to have doubts and maybe I was being taken. I did some research and couldn't find much on his name or phone number but I was already in love with him at this point.

I won't go in to how much money was sent, but I did a bank transfer and was given a date the boxes were suppose to be delivered to my house. Well, the day that they should have been delivered, I got a email from the shipping company, KDR Security Services in the UK, that I would need to fly to ATL in Georgia to pick up the boxes and pay the non-inspection fee.

I said I am not flying anywhere and I'm not paying anymore money. I paid a lot of money to have the boxes delivered to my address by a secured shipping company. I was told the non-inspection fee was $22,500. Steve told me that he did not want me flying any where, he was adamant. I told him I can't, I don't have the money to fly any where and I don't have that kind of money for the fees.

He told me that one of the boxes had a safe deposit box of sorts in it that he gave me a code to and that it had his money from his last job in it, in cash, a lot of cash. He said when I get the box, I can enter the code and get back all the money that I had spent getting his 'stuffs' and to pay off a ex-boyfriend who I was paying off a car loan to that he didn't want me having anymore contact with and to buy a new bed for us, stuff for a house that we would be getting when he finished this new job.

I was really suspicious now. I read up on scams and found that scammers sometimes use unsuspecting women to money launder money that they have collected from scamming other women or that they would ask you to open up bank accounts with the money. I was scared. We argued a lot and I was to the point where I didn't care if he sent me messages or not.

I would delete the messaging app only to miss him and reinstall it. He then tells me that if he can pay half of the $22,500 by a certain date it will keep the package from being scanned until we can get the rest of the money, how much can I come up with? I told him maybe $3000. He said he had a friend who would wire $10,000 (even supplied me with a copy, forged I'm sure, of a wire transfer from Bank of America) and expected me to wire the other $3000 by the end of the day that Friday.

He said he was getting his first installment pay and his ticket to come to Oregon to be with me that following Monday. He said he would be going to London to cash this check and could pay the rest of the money for the fee on the boxes. He also told me that he would be able to video chat with me, something we had not been able to do because of regulations on oil rigs about cellphone cameras being used while drilling is going on.

Anyway, I didn't make the payment on Friday. I told him that I would wait until Monday. He then of course was very angry and got the high blood pressure he got every time I disagreed with him, making it impossible for him to do his job. He got over it though and asked me to please send the money on my lunch break Monday. I told him that I would but really I had no intention of doing so.

That weekend I got in touch with a local FBI agent and told him my concerns about the possibility of a shipment with a large amount of cash in it, that he had not declared, addressed to me, sitting in a Georgia airport. The agent came to my work on Monday and collected names, email address, phone numbers, names of people I had already wired money to and the name of the person I was expected to wire more money to.

In the end, I am heart broken but also relieved that the man in the pictures, that I have attached, the man I feel that I have fallen in love with, is not the man I was talking to at all.

I was a victim of a dating scam.

How could it be that the first time I go on a dating site, I am a victim of a scam? I didn't feel that this was possible but here I was, out money and my heart and soul given to a handsome man in pictures sent by my real scammer, a man that I will never know, who is also a victim, and I don't even know his name. I hope by sharing his pictures on here, and I have also shared them on Facebook, and will share on other sites, that maybe someone will recognize him, he has very distinctive tattoos that maybe someone will recognize and let him know that his image is being used to capture lonely women's hearts and their money.

If I can save just one woman from falling for his image, as I did, thinking he is who she is talking to, maybe I can save her from the shame and embarrassment that I am going through, and maybe I can get some of my dignity back. If I can find out who the man is and let him know too, then maybe even more of my self respect will return.

Please if you can, if it is allowed, share his image with as many as possible. I am a victim of a dating scam, some of it is my own fault because I was gullible enough to believe all of the loving words of my true scammer because I was just so lonely. The man in the pictures is also a victim of a dating scam and probably doesn't even know it.

My name is Sharon E. Henson and I live in Springfield, Oregon. I am on Facebook under that name. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

This site was a God send in letting me share my story and somehow ease some of the pain I am going through.

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Mar 16, 2017
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Still
by: Sharon Henson

A friend asked me today if I still think about you. I wish I could say no, but the truth is, there isn't a day that has gone by that I don't think of you. I try not to look at your pictures anymore but I still do occasionally.

I still pray to God that he will let our paths cross someday and that you are alive and well out there, somewhere, in this big world. I may never know you but that doesn't mean I didn't love you. I know in time it will get easier, and it has somewhat, but yes, I still think about you.

I wish you nothing but happiness, my handsome man.

Feb 25, 2017
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Steve Vig-Oil Rig Engineer
by: Linda Martin

Sharon you did very well in writing this. And.... just if, if he were to read it, just know that whatever is supposed to happen, it will. You have done all of your part. And in the outward world looking in, you are by far the one that will benefit from all of this. He won't.

I met you on here, by us both being part of this horrible scamming and you have come such a very long way since we became friends.

You are going to meet someone who really does exist, someone who really does love you. These morons don't have any other motives in their tiny little brains than just to try and get money, that is it!!!

We are better as any person can or could be, and we will reap those benefits.

Keep the faith, keep the focus, keep yourself first and you will attract that man!

Your doing it.

Your doing great! 💜

Linda

Feb 25, 2017
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Goodbye my handsome man
by: Sharon Henson

So I guess this is goodbye. I can't believe it is so hard to say goodbye to someone that I never even met but it is. My heart is breaking all over again. I tried to find you, I wanted to find you but even though I tried, it wasn't good enough.

I don't know what else to do. I know that you didn't have a wedding ring on in any of the pictures I have of you but that doesn't mean that you aren't married or that you don't have someone. I can't be the one to cause problems in your life, I don't have that right. I care about you, in ways that others and possibly you can't understand.

I said that I don't mean you any harm or ill well so I can't be the one who causes you any kind of problems because of what happened to me. None of it was your fault. I wanted to know you and to love you so much but I can't wait around and hope that someone may see the pictures of you that I posted and contact me.

That may never happen.

I need to move on with my life and try to find someone that I can love, who will love me back. I can't let my scammers win and they would be winning if I didn't move on. I do hope that someday, if it is in God's plan, that you and I will meet. And who knows, maybe be friends or something.

I do love you, my handsome man, the nameless man in the pictures. I will carry your face in my heart and mind forever. I wish you health, happiness, and most of all, I wish you love.

May God watch over you and keep you safe, somewhere in this big world.

Sharon

Feb 18, 2017
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Man in the Pictures
by: Sharon Henson

I know I don't know you but I miss you so much at times that I can't stand it. I just want to find someone who recognizes you and will contact me so I can tell you what is happening to you. I need closure where you are concerned.

I need to know you are out there in this world somewhere and that you are aware that this is happening. I need to know that, I don't want someone else to tell me. I have already had others, that I believe are scammers, try to tell me that they know you.

I don't understand how people do what they do to people they don't even know, just out of greed. I work for my money, I work hard, but someone used your handsome face along with a loving voice that I thought belonged to you to make me believe I was helping someone who loved me and that I wanted to love and that I needed to love.

I pray every day for God to let me find you, I need closure. I don't know how to put this behind me. I don't know you, the handsome man in the pictures. I don't know the man who was on the phone, the voice that I thought was yours.

How do I put this all behind me? How do I find you to tell you? How do I get answers to all of the questions that I have? Maybe writing letters to you, even though you will never get them will help.

I hope you are out there somewhere healthy and happy.

Feb 10, 2017
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Man in the Pictures
by: Sharon Henson

I have posted your pictures on my Facebook page. I don't know your name. I have sent messages to a couple of pages that I have found on Facebook in California in the area where you might live to see if I can post my story and your pictures on their page.

I am going to try to post them on Craig's List in that area, maybe Internationally also, if I can figure out how to do it. I want to find you to let you know you are being used as a pawn in their scams. I lost money but I lost my heart & soul to the man in these pictures. I heard a voice, I read loving messages (at first) and had a handsome man's pictures and I truly believed they all belonged to the same man.

I didn't just fall in love with a picture. I know I don't know you but in a way, I feel like I do. I want to find you: just to know you are happy, alive, aware. If anyone reads this and has any suggestions for me, I would appreciate it. I don't want to give this up, I want to find him. Help him.

Thank you.

Feb 04, 2017
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Email
by: Sharon Henson

'Steve' and I emailed back and forth a few times yesterday. I got brave in the emails, calling him out, telling him to quit being a weak man and just tell me the truth. He never broke, accused me of playing with his emotions and how he was going to make me pay if he loses his 'stuffs' the way he is paying now.

Still wanting me to send money for boxes that were to be confiscated this past Monday. I asked him to give me anything, anything to verify you are who you say you are - address in California, license plate on your truck, social security number, name of employer whose rig you are on.

I told him I need absolute proof that you are who you say you are, who I want so badly for you to be but it has to be absolute proof. He finally gave me the name of his employer, Chagan Engineering LTD. I looked on the Internet and couldn't find it. His reply was, I asked for a name, he gave it to me, he says I have no trust, no matter what information he gives me if I can't find anything out about it then I'm not trusting him. I sent my final email back telling him that I will love him always, always but that he will never give me the answers to my questions.

I just said 'game over, you win'. That was my last message to him. I promised him of that and I promise myself of that. No more. He said in one of the emails that he knew the only thing that would convince me would have been a video chat, which he promised on the 16th, and wanted me to send money now with that promise.

Of course I knew that would never happen.

No more emails. What is that quote about insanity? Doing the same thing over & over again, expecting different results.

I'm not insane, time to qiut acting like I am.

Feb 04, 2017
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Because
by: Anonymous

Don't feel too bad for reaching back out. Of course you miss "him" or at least the contact and attention, that's part of his plan. His words are designed to make you feel good about yourself but only to the point you remain agreeable.

You're emotionally invested and thats tough to give up no matter the circumstances. Seems crazy what hold a photo, voice and words can have on someone. There will come a time when he's no longer important to you.

It may be a while, but you'll know when you're ready.

Feb 03, 2017
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Why???
by: Sharon Henson

I don't know why I did it but I did. I emailed 'Steve'. Told him that I miss him, and I do, in a way I guess. I miss who I thought he was, I miss the messages and the daily phone calls. I can't sleep well at night, obviously, I am on here leaving a comment at 1:55 a.m. and I have to get up in just a few hours to get ready for work.

Over the last few months I got so used to waking up to see if my phone had a flashing light on it, meaning I had gotten a message from him. It's pathetic, I know, but I long to see that light flashing now. I know it can't because I uninstalled the messaging app we used but I still wake up hoping it is flashing.

So, back to the email.

I don't know why I emailed him. Of course he emailed me back. No "how are you babe", just still asking me to send him the money for his 'stuffs'. I told him I thought the deadline to get your boxes was on Monday, today is Thursday. Still sticking to some stupid story.

I told him that I was tired of giving to him and never getting anything (answers) in return. He says I will get my answers on the 16th, I guess now that is when he is supposed to get his pay and plane ticket to come see me.

Still says he is the man in the pictures. I haven't responded to his last email and I won't. I don't know why I did it. I know he is not the man in the pictures I posted, the man whose image I can't bear to look at now, because it makes me so sad that I will never know him, I will never know his name, I will never know if he is alive and well and happy somewhere in this world, I will never feel his tattooed arms giving me that hug that I dream about every night.

I have never wanted a hug more than that hug. Again, thank you for this site. I hope I hear from others. This has been very good for me, being able to share how I feel with out being judged or told to just get over it.

I will get over it, in time, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Feb 02, 2017
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Nigerian spammer
by: Linda

Sharon I just asked to be a friend on Facebook. Happy to connect with you and talk.

Feb 02, 2017
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Linda
by: Sharon Henson

I hope you will look me up on Facebook. Right now my profile picture is my grandkids, one of each, wearing mustaches. Soon it will go back to a picture of me with Donny Osmond, my forever teen idol. I was only talking with 'Steve' for a little over two months but I felt this connection and it felt like it was meant to be.

I really felt as though I was going to finally have my happy ending. Today I thought about deleting the pictures I received but I'm not ready yet. I know I will have to eventually but not yet. People say you can't fall in love with a picture but I did. It wasn't just a picture though, I associated a voice with those pictures, I didn't know that the voice didn't really belong to the man in the picture.

I associated sweet messages filled with love with the pictures, I didn't know the man in them wasn't the one writing them. I do now but I can't just unlove him because I know. I will have to do it eventually, but I know I will. I will have to do it one at a time, like you, but I only have about a weeks worth. Thank you for listening to me, you'll never know how much I appreciate it.

This has all been really hard but being able to connect with others has been very good for me. Really, look me up. Sharon Henson in Springfield, Oregon. I invite anyone who wants to look me up, please do. There is strength in numbers. Let's show them how strong we are.

Let's make others, men & women, aware of these predators. Wishing you the best.

Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute until we find ourselves again.

Feb 02, 2017
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Nigerian spammer
by: Linda

You know as I read all our similarities in these men, in our feelings and emotions each day, I can really kinda heal more as I see that my emotions are being so similar to others who have been played around with and I just want to say that I have had the same feelings, the missing of his voice, the texts every single morning, all through out every day, even through out the nights. The phone calls, the poems he supposedly had written by him just for me, and all the 1,000's of promises that he gave me, and the lies go on and on.

I miss the truth in all of this, but each day it gets gets better, and it dies a little bit more, and I am getting stronger each day. But...
I still miss that feeling of being loved, the feeling that I had or was going to have a future with someone. But it wasn't a true person, nor was any of it ever going to happen.

It's a very eye opening experience for me and I'm questing you also. I read other women's blogs and they're just all almost identical. It blows my mind at times, but I want to honestly say to you and others, let's use our communication that we have as building blocks and a source of strength for one another. Let's stop letting these monsters take anymore from us. We are more than this, we can and will find a true and lasting love!

I know our hearts were really in them, and we were as a perfect storm in their Web. But not any more.

Each day we will get stronger, but I have found it hard to delete the pictures that he sent, but every day, I delete one. And soon they will all be gone, and he is gone in my life so it's just still me looking at the false man and his little girl and still finding myself remembering how I felt when I thought he was this real person.

All of this was a lie, even after I found out the truth, he still wanted to call or text me for over a week! And I did too, but....
I felt it leaving, it was OK to do this for me because I was falling apart inside, and couldn't let go all at once.

But I told myself, stop putting yourself through this, he's not who he said he was, he doesn't even have a daughter! It was crazy. So I have had maybe a whole week now of no Michael, no calls or texts, no nothing, and I am getting stronger. I want to go on, and I really hope that you also.

I feel your pain, and I don't recall how long you had been corresponding with this guy, but thankfully mine was only 6 months. That felt like 6 yrs.

Please stay in touch ok? Take care of yourself!

Hugs

Linda

Feb 02, 2017
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Anonymous In Oregon
by: Sharon Henson

I would love to meet soneone eho has been through the same thing, close by. We should start some kind of support group where victims can meet and talk about how they feel but also talk about how to move forward.

Please message me again here or on Facebook.

I'm hoping to hear from Linda too. She may not be local, I'm not sure, but we should all stick together.

Give us all strength.

Feb 02, 2017
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Sharing your pain
by: Anonymous

Sharon, I fell for the same thing and am now heartbroken and broke. As I read your story and others along with the comments it's surprising how many of us have been taken by these people.

Like your scammer, my scammer talked about his "stuffs", different photos but very similar tactics. If you feel like talking, let me know.

I'm in Oregon also, not far from Springfield.

Keep your chin up girl!

You are not alone!

Feb 02, 2017
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Doubts
by: Sharon Henson

This is so hard. I find myself wanting to reinstall WhatsApp on my phone so I can see if 'Steve' is still on there, but I haven't. I want to hear his voice. Just one more time saying "hello babe". I had doubts when we were talking, so many doubts, because I could never get him to answer questions.

I wasn't sure he was who he said that he was. Today I was talking to a couple of people and they said to me "are you sure he isn't who he said he was and that he isn't on a oil rig in the middle of the ocean somewhere?"

Why did they have to do that?

Now I find myself having new doubts, what if he was who he said he was? I know they say if they ask for money, it's a scam, but what if I just made the biggest mistake of my life? What if he was who he said he was and just really needed my help?

This is all so confusing to me.

My emotions are all over the place. I can't make it through work without tearing up a couple of times where I have to tell my coworker that I have to step away for a minute. That's not always possible where I work because our office can be very fast paced and stressful. This has just made my life more stressful.

I hope things start to get better soon. I have a counseling session scheduled on the 13th, wish I could have gotten in sooner. This site really helps. I hope to hear from more who are going through the same thing soon, makes me feel less alone.

Wishing everyone the best.

Feb 01, 2017
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Linda
by: Sharon Henson

Thank you so much Linda. Talking about it seems to make it a little easier. I have my first counseling appointment on the 13th, wish it could be sooner. I know what you mean, I know the person I was talking to on the phone was my true scammer but I miss his voice.

It will just hit me out of the blue, I hear the way he said my name or called me babe, and I am in tears. Contact me if you would like and we can message on there, privately. I do think talking to others that have had this happen to them will help. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. I really hate it when someone says to me "I told you so". I had a very good friend say that to me and I told him that I don't need to hear that right now and he doesn't know how he would respond if it happened to him.

Have you ever posted the pictures of the man you thought you were communicating with? I really hope someone recognizes the man in the pictures I received, I would like him to know he is a victim also, and honestly I would like to know he is okay. I don't know how old any of those pictures are and I know I would feel better knowing he is out there somewhere.

Thanks for sharing.

Hope to hear from you again.

Sharon

Feb 01, 2017
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I too was scammed, by a Michael Freeman
by: Anonymous

Sharon, I am just so heart broken right along with you. I just got taken also on a pretty long friendship, love affair. I got so blinded too. It hurts, it really does, and I feel like I need counseling after going through what I did.

I had so much to say, that there is no way to put it all down. These horrible men are very believable, and they steal your hearts right from the start. I have always thought that I was pretty careful, that if I saw a red flag that I would stop and turn the other direction. But just like you, I was so blinded by the way they were taking my heart at the same time, that even if I was feeling a little uneasy about something, my heart was so already 1000% taken, that I couldn't say no.

I am still having such grievances over the guy I was so in love with, but as time does go by, I just still think about all the phone calls all the nights we stayed up talking about our lives being knitted together, our hopes and dreams, we'd talk until one of us would literally fall asleep on the phone!

My heart was truly broken, and it's going to take some time. I feel for you, I know for myself that my eyes will be wide open now. I have never been through anything like this in my life. Such a violation on our minds, our souls.

Please contact me if you would like to have someone to talk to. I know I could sure use someone who would understand, to listen.

Take care, Linda

Feb 01, 2017
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Facebook account
by: Sharon Henson

I just realize that I put my Facebook account as Sharon E Henson in my story. It is just Sharon Henson, I live in Springfield, Oregon.

If anyone wants to chat or just say hi, you can message me on there. Please no scammers. Just kidding, my attempt at being funny and lightening the mood of the topic. It's really not funny.

Thank you again for allowing me to share my story.

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