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The On-Line Scammer

I’ve waited about two months to tell you this story, because I sent the story in to a couple television stations during the time when Manti Te-o, the college football player had been scammed by his on-line girlfriend. I was in the middle getting scammed, figured it out, bating the scammer, and was trying to get the FBI or the news to take notice and try to catch the person. Unfortunately, no one came to my rescue or wanted to catch the son of bitch. But this is my story, and I hope you can learn from it.

I visited a dating site called OkCupid, which is known to help people find their life partners and dates. On the site I met a person who’s profile said he was from Atlanta. His picture was a robust, handsome man with three pictures: one standing by a road sign and two of him in combat gear.

His profile said that he was looking for the one. He was tired of all the crap and wanted to find a person who was real and could share the rest of his life with him. All of that sounded pretty damn good, and the person who was saying it was absolutely, stunningly gorgeous.

I didn’t expect to get an answer from this person, because I just thought I wasn’t in this guy’s league. So, when he answered and said that I was very handsome and he was interested in talking more, I was really excited.

He told me that he was in Iraq right then, but would be home in Atlanta in two months. He also said he really needed someone he could talk to while he was there. In his discourse, he asked things like, “Do you own a house in Nashville?” Now I realize he was trying to figure out if I had money. Then I didn’t think anything of it, because his response was about the house he owned in Atlanta.

He wanted to know if I could download Kik and chat with him on-line, because his GPS mechanism that would allow him to talk with me on that from over seas. I checked out Kik, which is a chatting service, and realized it was a solid on-line device, so I took the bate and began talking to him.

Since he was overseas, our conversations would be in the morning and late at night. He was loving, fun, caring and very romantic in conversations. After about three weeks, he began to admit to me about his fear about being in the war. One day I didn’t hear from him at all and got a bit frightened. When I did hear from him again, he said that his barracks had been under fire.

I remember asking him what time it was there. He answered 3 P.M. I checked the news and I checked the time in Iraq from Google. The time in Iraq was supposed to be 7 P.M. Also, there was no news of an attack. I began to get suspicious and probe deeper.

I noticed that the emails always had misspellings in them that an American would not make. At first, I just thought it was on-line and he didn’t care about spelling. But these were the same kind of pigeon language misspellings a foreigner would make. Even the dialogue was a little too formal, as I looked back at the conversations.

So I contacted authorities and said I had someone bated on-line that was clearing acting like a scammer. I thought someone would come and try to figure out this person’s whereabouts, especially since he was impersonating a military person.

I asked him to send another picture of himself. He sent a face picture that looked similar to the original person, but wasn’t the same man. But at this point I want to catch him.

Then the real telling of the story began. He waited almost a month to say that his camp had been destroyed and all he had left were the clothes on his back and no food. Then, of course, he needed money me to send him money, cashier’s check to a Nigerian account.

He told me that his sergeant was going to Nigeria to pick up supplies and that if I sent him some money he could get some clothes and food. He prayed on my innocence and the idea that he was starving and abandoned. At this point, even a fool would have been suspicious. I asked him a myriad of questions about why his officer would go to Nigeria. He had semi-legitimate answers to all the questions.

Then I said there was a tornado where I was and my house got hit bad. I told him that I couldn’t afford to send him the money right then, but I would try to send it when I got over the problems I was having. There was no letting up of asking me to send the money, despite hearing that my house had been damaged in the storm.

At this point I just stopped talking to him, because it was clear no one from any of the agencies I called was going to try and get this person.

The things to beware of when looking for on-line for romance:

  • Bating—subtle questions about your finances;
  • Conversations written in Pigeon English;
  • The person is in a situation overseas;
  • The person can’t talk on the phone, but can continue to talk on-line;
  • Wants to talk to you on another device and with another address;
  • He or she sends pictures that don’t look like the same person;
  • Sends conversations that include situations that seem to be leading toward a disaster; and
  • Of course, the obvious, asking to send money to off-shores account.

If after a couple weeks of talking, the any on-line perspective doesn’t want to meet for coffee, it’s probably not a real person, or a person who just wants an on-line friend. Remember, you have no idea if this is even the person in the picture until you meet. This is exactly why you have to take on-line experiences from 2 dimensions to a actual 3-dimensional, real place to see if test if they are the real thing.

On-line discourses for a long period of time can have people falling in love with an enigma, which isn’t good for anyone’s spirit, especially the person you are communicating with never intends to meet you.

It’s best to just move on at that point.

I hope this helps all of you who are authentically looking for a match on-line. Don’t let it scare you away from searching, just know that there are many more scammers on-line than there ever used to be.

* * *

Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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