James Pacheko, Norway - Cardiologist for UNICEF
James with his dog Jason
Charming and handsome, quite good written English. Says he is from Oslo, Norway. His profile reads 40, but says he is 49. Started on Tinder, my first match ever. Had never been on Tinder before. I made the mistake of not researching how this kind of interaction works before I started. I'm a widow, married for almost 20 years. Have never dated this way, Im old fashion.
So he tells me he is a volunteer Cardiologist for UNICEF, serving in "Sanatorio Los Arcos in Argentina", sent me pictures in front of the place and everything. I assumed the few mistakes he made in his writing, were because English was not his main tongue, so I let that one pass.
But as we kept chatting, I noticed a few things were off, didn't add up and gave me an uneasy feeling. Long Story short, we spoke for about a week, and even though he said he was very busy at work, he was always sending me texts over Whatssap. He was up in the middle of the night texting while I was asleep and we had only an hour difference. He did state early on that he had worries, and I asked what kind, and he said money wise, relationship wise. etc.
He was divorced, wife cheated on him, but was casual about it, as if he moved on. He said he would be home by the next weekend and that we could meet. I said I was not in a hurry, to take his time. Three days into the conversation he asked me if I could buy him an iTunes card, because he had taken a few with him from here (US), and he had ran out and could not get them there.
I thought that was odd, and made me feel uncomfortable, but I am always willing to help. So, idiot here goes to Walgreens and there were none, sent him a picture of the gift cards display and left the store.
When he replied he said to get him an Amazon one instead. Everything in me told me not to do it, but I went out to another Walgreens found the iTunes ones and purchased a $50 card, took a picture of the code and sent it. I figured I could afford to lose $50 just in case this was true. He said he needed to purchase some apps in order to make the paperwork he needed to finish before coming back home.
Right after I sent the code, he writes back saying it didnt work and If only I could go back and get him another $50 card, that sometimes it works better when you have two codes.
That's when I decided to investigate. I Called Apple Support and explained and they said the card can only be use in the country you buy it at, so I wrote to him and told him and even sent him the phone number I called for info, to see if he had better luck. But he kept insisting, and I
I explained I had made payments and had to be sure I had enough money in my account for them to clear. I had to say no a few times. I also said I was not comfortable with him asking me for money, and asked what would he have done if I was not around, as he must have other friends to ask for help.
I stopped writing so often, it put me off. So two day after that, he tells me he is trying to buy his plane ticket home, some sob story of how he didn't have the money to buy it and if I could help him. By now, I had already researched the internet, found out this is a very common scam, how they do it, found this page, etc...
I took screen shots of everything I read and sent it to him, and told him I didn't like it, I am sending you money, I don't lend money, I don't lend my credit card, I don't wire transfer any money, and then blocked him a whole night. The next morning I unblocked him just to see. He apologized and went on on how he didn't want to harm me that I should know that, that he thought I trusted him blah blah blah, but immediately after that requested the money again and accused me of not wanting to helping him when he was stranded.
I said you are right, I don't want to help you, I guess you are gonna have to stay in Argentina forever. I then looked for the telephone number of the place he was supposedly working at in Argentina, called there and requested the Administration Office, and then I asked if they ever worked with volunteer doctors from UNICEF, they said absolutely not.
I also, looked for details in the pictures he sent and was able to find the street and exact location in google maps, called the place, there is a new business there and they told me that the place in the picture had closed a couple of years back.
So he stole someones' pictures.
I think the victim is a gay man, as he sent me pictures of "him" on a Pride parade, he had a ring on his finger and he said it was his grandmothers, and sent another picture with a man who also had a ring in his finger, and he said it was his uncle from whom he had inherited a home where I live. The picture seemed to be the picture of a married couple. Bells rang in my head!!!!
I went back to our chat, and told him exactly that. He got furious, and denied everything, and said that was not true and gave me attitude. I closed up saying I was no fool and then blocked him for good, both from tinder and whassap. My only worry now is that he uses my pictures (clean ones I promise, Just my face), to scam others.
Beware. He is very smooth and charming.