Online Dating Scam
Christian Mingle.com After being encouraged to join by well-meaning friends, I decided to just see what it was all about. No intentions of really using the site...just curious. After a short few looks, I was not happy with the set-up; etc.
But ONE and only ONE person who contacted me seemed like someone I wouldn't mind talking to. Perfect gentleman. Wanted only "friendship" (widow of 4 years). He was going to be tied up with his last job and then would go into full retirement. We could meet when he got back (2 weeks). Lovely conversation...I was not expecting my response...the thought of "dating" was somewhat distasteful to me (widowed only 1.5 years from a man who was ill for a long time). I went from "ewwww" I wouldn't even consider another relationship, I'm perfectly happy and content to a silly school girl who, in my mind, would have retired married him and spent the rest of my life in happily ever after.
No discussion of money; no discussion of anything sexual. Wonderful Christian conversation about the Bible and how God had worked in our lives. Talked about seeking God's leading in our relationship. THEN....he calls in the middle of the night--3AM (I'm guessing he doesn't live in NY and forgot about the time zone difference). He told me he wanted to share that he had been awarded the contract but it came with a contingency he was not happy about...it would require him to personally finance the project.
WIDE AWAKE NOW...I didn't answer.
He asked me why and I told him my biggest fear was being scammed. He was appalled that I would think that what he meant. How could I even think that? He was simply sharing about what he was upset about it because we should share our good/bad, right?
He challenged my "trust" issue.
(He was absolutely right and it DID open my eyes to just how deep-rooted my trust issue is.) I agree to accept this as a misunderstanding on my part. Afterall, he had NOT asked me for ANYTHING. He was upset and I tried to explain...he seemed naive about scamming so I cut/pasted several articles...one mentioned the oil rig line.
He said he didn't realize so many people had been taken advantage of...but discussed there are many hard working people on oil rigs around the world (true...I checked... 100's of rigs around the world in places I didn't know they existed...North seas; Scotland; Australia; as well as here in the US) He told me if I didn't trust him, to go ahead and check him out (I had already run a background check...and it hadn't shown anything)...I also had tried to find his daughter (to no avail).
His phone number is a Kent, OH number....said he was there before moving to West Hemstead, NY (Long Island).
I did a reverse phone # search and the number, according to the info, had last been issued to someone deceased, but not with his last name. (Maybe his wife??) The next day he sent me a BEAUTIFUL floral arrangement with the most beautiful note speaking to relationships having ups/downs and working through misunderstandings. I was convinced that I had been over-reacting and needed to learn to trust, again....read some literature on how to learn to trust again (previous relationship caused this mistrust)...our conversations continued. They were so wonderful. He made me feel so good---he made me feel loved, cherished, and tenderly cared for. I didn't think I would ever feel this way again---was very pleasantly surprised that love was still a possibility for me.
One day he hadn't called in nearly 24 hours. I was sick with worry...I had no way to contact him and no one would know to tell me if something had happened. I tried to fight worry and prayed for him all day. He finally contacted me and apologized and explained his phone was damaged and needed to wait for the store to open so he could get it
THEN...a red flag, again...in his text he started out with My darling Lola (my name isn't Lola). I thought he meant LOL...but he caught himself and said OMG I just called you my late wife's name. I asked him to call me. We had a tender talk about how I wasn't offended...he had loved her for many years. He said a similar situation had happened when he was on a rig once and remembered how worried she was. At this point, I'm talking to him and searching for Lola.
When our conversation ended I started researching obituaries and death records for OH at the approximate year of her death. NOTHING. More research on the daughter...nothing. I wanted to believe in him, in us. Surely I would find something that would confirm who he said he was. I didn't. The next day, after I had returned from church he asked if I had time to talk. He needed to discuss something very important. Deep breath--would this be a talk about his late wife...maybe he needed to talk about her; was it the talk about intimacy?; or was it going to be the worse--he was going to ask me for money.
I told him we could talk or chat...whatever he felt most comfortable. He texted. Sadly, it is what I was hoping it was NOT. He had tapped out sources. His men wanted to be paid up-front and he wanted to borrow it from me.
My response, "NO, I won't. Please do not try and convince me.
Walk away from the project if you can't fund it" He replied that he understood my hesitation and assured me of his love for me. He knew God had brought us together...he would never let me down." My reply, "You just did (let me down)...cut your losses, I can't believe we are having this conversation. I don't have money, anyway"...he swore he had already borrowed from his daughter and son-in-law and the sources he thought he had were not working out.
Even after listing all the "red-flags" he continued to profess his love for me. I told him I wouldn't talk to him until he got his business in order and came home and met me face-to-face. I told him he would need to prove who he was and if he couldn't respect that, then there was nothing more to say. "If it will make you happy, no problem" was his response.
A few more back/forth conversations until he got frustrated with me and closed with, "Please, I don't have time for this, okay? Since you cannot help, don't contribute to my problems" With that, I blocked him. He does have my email, home phone, and address. A bit scary, I know. So far, no contact.
I have reported this to the authorities. Thank you for allowing me to tell my story.
Fortunately, although I thought this could be real...I also kept my heart in check. At church, prior to our conversation, I was reminded that God is all I need. I had told myself from the very beginning...this is either the best thing that is happening to me...or a really BIG learning lesson.
I DID learn-- I have major trust issues (and this didn't help with that!)...but most importantly, I did learn that I could love again. That I can accept someone's love and I can feel deeply connected to a man. It is disappointing...and even as I write this my heart wants to believe that I am very wrong...that I am the exception to all of this scamming...but my head tells me that my heart is wrong.
Sad, but not defeated.
Will NEVER go on another online dating site...curious or not!
Too bad these guys are scammers. They communicate love, compassion, understanding and make us feel so wonderful. They could certainly write books about "How to Woo a Woman" or "How to Make a Lady Feel Special"...if only real men could have the love they pretend to have.