Romance Scams offers Support, Education, and Healing For All Who Find Their Way Here
Over the past few years thousands of individuals from all walks of life have shared their personal experiences on how the scam affected them. How they were able to over came the scam by describing the process of dealing with the embarrassment, heartbreak, financial crisis, pain, and anger.
These are a sample of the heartbreak resulting from romance scammers.
I am pretty sure that I have fallen victim to an internet dating site scammer. I am new to the group, but have read numerous emails at this point. My story is like one that I read and it has just stayed in my mind since I joined and read this man's story. So, I thought that I should tell my story.
I had a profile on singlesnet.com. This man started an email conversation with me. I was flattered considering that he was quite handsome, and from Florida. My intention was that I would talk to him and it would go no further of course, due to geographical reasons. He and I began IMing each other. Soon, like within just 24 hours, he was telling me that he loved me and proposed marriage.
Yes, a flag sort of waved, but since he said that he was originally from the UK, I made the excuse that maybe things just worked differently there than here. We continued emailing and IMing each other. He decided that he was going to quit the job that he had as a marine engineer so he could move to be with me and my son. He had to go to Nigeria to buy oil for this new company that he was starting. Ever since then, he has had nothing but bad luck. Actually, I have had nothing but bad luck, including losing about $10,000, my home, personal possessions, and the only safety and security that I had built for me and my son.
I did all on the promise that he was coming to the states to make things right. I have no friends left because I didn't heed their warning, I lost my home, sold the majority of my personal possessions and am now living with my ex-husbands parents basement with my special needs son. I am embarrassed, and hurt. You are the first person that I admitted this too. I have to file bankruptcy to try and bring my life up to "zero" again.
I hope with all my heart that he hasn't gotten to anyone else. He used two supposed immigration officers, as recipients for the money. The other things that should have keyed me in were things like he didn't know his astrological sign, he didn't know his kids favorite colors, what they liked, and some other little things. I took for granted because the kids weren't with him was why he didn't know
Now I am lost as to what to do. This relationship has been going on for the last 4 months now, so there are a lot of details. I am in it emotionally and trying to understand and rationalize, and figure out how to start healing.
I was caught up in a more elaborate scam than most, even law enforcement officials and US Secret Service were not that familiar with this one.
My situation has some of the classic traits, but the major difference is my scammer paid off my credit cards…and so far, everything has been ok, but I'll give it a few months to see if the
payments were made by fraudulent means.
I met this person on Yahoo, he immediately captured my affection and within 5 days he was asking me to transfer money. He requested I take cash advances on my credit cards and that he would pay the balance on the cards which he actually did, can you believe that? I'm pretty sure this was to gain my trust. He is using the name Phil Collins, white male, 45 years old, never married, has built orphanages, owns a Diamond mine and lives in Beverly Hills, CA.
Well, did that a few times and wired money to where he wanted it to go, but the stakes started to get much bigger. I even went as far as to hand a real person a large sum of money to take to CA, which I now regret. This is a twist on the normal scam since people don't usually meet anybody in person. I think this person was probably a "MULE" which is a person who is paid for the transport of goods but doesn't know much or most likely nothing of the scam.
When I went to Western Union and Money gram to transfer subsequent funds, they would often stop the transfer at their end, say it was suspicious, and then I would get my money back. From then on when he asked me to do that, I said I would, then the transfers were stopped by the agents and there wasn't anything I could do. I was so distraught, I was only trying to help him and then he would tell me to forget about dealing with those crazy people.
He had proposed marriage, which flattered me and I believed it….dumb, I know, but he is good at what he does.
Last Saturday is when I found out he was part of a Nigerian scammer ring….thanks to my neighbor and best friend…she truly saved my life. She searched high and low on the internet found this yahoo group and found him on this website:
http://www.romancescam.com/album/index.php?cat=6&page=17 – third photo on left, Mike Jones.
He asked me to send $27,000 directly to a Bank of America account, the guy was his tailor in Beverly Hills, CA. Said his tuxes for his and his best man were very expensive and that he wanted to look his best. I told him I didn't have that kind of money and they only way I could
get it was to take a 3rd mortgage out on my house…which he expected me to do….NOT!! I told him I did, to get him off my back, and have made excuses as to why the transfers couldn't be done. In addition to the large sum of money, he wants me to purchase 30 laptop computers, ship
them to a guy in London, who will then ship them to his orphanage in South Africa…yeah right. From Fed Ex, I discovered you can't send anything over 2500.00 without a Shipper's Export Document explaining what and why you are sending.
In the last week he has been in and out of the hospital for chest pains due to stress…scamming takes a lot of out him, I guess.
Yesterday 3/17/06 I called him out telling him I received an email from a friend showing me all of his pictures and he was even on the Nigerian scammer site I listed above. He asked me for the website's I found him on and I wouldn't tell him. He claims the ex-girlfriend has posted them and is trying to ruin his life. For good measure, I have been conversing with a person using "the photo" and how he loves me after chatting for about 10 minutes. I don't believe it is the same person I have been communicating with.
Yesterday, he was supposed to be flying home from South Africa, but there was a problem with the wing on the plane…flight cancelled. Today he has been admitted to the hospital for tests and observation because of his heart condition (he disclosed today he had heart surgery two years ago), so he will be there for the next 3 days at least.
His only concern right now is sending the computers to London and the
money to CA.
After the scam was discovered, I wasn't emotionally scarred because I loved him, so getting over
that was easy...the deceit made me very angry.
As a 911 dispatcher, I can honestly give insight and compassion to people who have had similar things happen, telling them they are no stupid, only caring individuals someone has taken advantage of...then they don't feel so alone...that in itself gives my life and experience tremendous worth.