Catfished In The Virgin Islands:My Military Romance Scam ExperienceScammed by a 19-Year-Old Nigerian Man
by Dee Richards
I am a forty-six-year-old mother of two, living in the Virgin Islands, where I was born and raised. I consider myself to be an intelligent, well-rounded, woman of good character. I am single and have been for quite some time. I love computer technology, and internet activities is one of my favourite “pass times”.
I have engaged in a variety of online activities, over the years, including building long-term friendships. Although I am not a huge fan of social media, I do have a Facebook page, which I have had for several years.
I never imagined in my wildest dreams, that one day, an online friend would turn out to be a smooth cyber swindler, set to manipulate and defraud me out of my hard-earned money.
However, that became my reality in 2021/2022, when Facebook eye candy "Rechard Sheppard" captured my attention. I was taken on a four-month, mind blowing ride, which left me emotionally distressed, embarrassed, and laughing at myself. Surprisingly, I never heard of Military Romance Scams, until then, but that was what I fell victim to.
I was forced to become a cyber detective, to uncover the truth about my new online heartthrob.
I have written a short story "Catfished In The Virgin Islands", about my experience, which is in eBook form, and can be read in full on Kindle, Kindle App, Kindle Unlimited. It gives the timeline of my experience, from the day two images of an attractive man caught my attention on Facebook, and our very first conversation, to the day, four months later, when I realized he was a fake and confronted him, including the intense confrontation conversation, to the moment I received closure.
I was embarrassed to share this true story, because I felt ashamed, that as intelligent as I think I am, I was tricked in this way. However, I do hope that by telling my story, it will help others avoid becoming a victim of romance scams, or other online and social media scams.