He asks you for money

by Dating Goddess on November 2, 2008

Unfortunately, this is becoming more common. And not just with men who list themselves from Nigeria or London — hot spots for scams (Nigerian scammers claim to be from London sometimes) — but from others who represent themselves as all-American.

A gal pal’s friend was contacted by a man on a dating site who said he was deployed in Iraq. After 6 weeks of daily sweet emails and deepening phone conversations, it happened. He was coming back to the US, he said, and got stuck in Guam. Some mishap happened and he was $2500 short in getting back to the US, where they could finally meet. Could she wire him the money?

Luckily, this midlife woman knew enough to say no. And she cut off all contact with him. I have no idea how he got around the fact that the US military would bring him home so he wouldn’t need additional funds, but I don’t know all the details.

It’s happened to me as well. After 10 days of talking to a man, supposedly a CEO of a 40-person firm in my city, he was called away on business overseas for a week. So our first meeting would be postponed until he returned. But he didn’t skip a beat calling, IMing and emailing romantic messages every day. While away, he was assigned an immediate relocation to — you guessed it — Nigeria. He would only be in my town for less than 48 hours to close up his house and get ready for his 6-month relocation. He promised he’d make time for us to meet during this whirlwind visit. He didn’t.

During this virtual wooing, he said he’d like us to start a business together, as I had a good business mind. I said we’d discuss it down the road. Once he knew he was going to Africa, he said he’d like us to import African art. I said we could discuss it at a later date. A few days after landing in Africa, he called excitedly telling me what beautiful sculptures he’d discovered. He’d negotiated a 75% discount and had put money down for the first pieces. He investigated that we could sell these in the US for $400,000. He just needed the $12,000 balance. Could I send it to him?

No. I would not be sending $12,000 half way around the world to a man I hadn’t met for art I hadn’t seen for a business I didn’t want to be in. What kind of idiot did he think I was?

Yet women (and men!) fall for these scams all the time. When someone calls you “honey,” “sweetie,” “sweetheart,” and “darling” before they’ve even met you, that is a yellow flag. When someone tells you he’s falling in love with you but hasn’t met you, more yellow flags. When he seems to shower you with affection you crave, another yellow flag. But when he asks you for money — any amount of money — that is a red flag. Game over. Move on.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine November 3, 2008 at 12:09 am

Oh so true! I heard from one of these guys from a reputable on line dating site that “screened” all their members. He was supposedly a widower who lived about 30 miles from me but was temporarily on assignment in…. you guessed it Nigeria! My first clue was the odd English phrasing from someone who was “raised” in California. My second clue was how quickly I was “the love of his life” after only two emails. The third clue was the sob story about being attacked and having all his money and a very “expensive” watch stolen from him. He never had a chance to ask me for money as I reported him to the dating site and they froze his account, partly due to my suspicions and partly due to the fact that he was accessing their network from an unauthorized country.

After my experience I did a little research and was amazed to find out how many people have been taken advantage of by these crooks. Some of the victims are of reasonable intelligence, but just get conned by very persuasive con artists. It is sad.

I met a good looking man in So. Cal who had virtually bankrupted himself sending money to a Russian “model” that he had met when she was on an assignment here in the states. She kept promising him that if he sent more money she would be able to bribe her way into a visa and be on a flight to live with him here. He had sent her at least $30,000, over 2 years. It was clear to me that he was living in a fantasy, and that she was never going to leave Russia to be with him. The really sad thing is that he could have “settled” for a nice normal woman and had a great life, rather than trying for the ultimate beauty that was forever out of reach.

rkintn November 3, 2008 at 6:51 am

I am amazed that people are still falling for these scams. Even though I am not active on any online dating sites, I still have some pretty obvious scammers contacting me through my MySpace page! Some hints of a possible scammer: poor usage of the English language and poor spelling (especially if they profess to have been born and raised in the USA); the first message contains pledges of undying love or sings high praises of your beauty or good looks; asking for money and a suspected fake photo. I very rarely add or answer back any messages on MySpace from people I don’t know and I have no problem reporting anyone who makes my scam-o-meter go off LOL As people become more aware of the current scams, new ones will be made up..just as your article illustrates. Better to be safe than sorry.

BTW..I love your site. Your articles are very insightful and helpful:)

Mitsy November 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm

I am amazed at anyone who even remotely considers sending someone money that they are corresponding with via the Internet. The minute someone even hints for money is the cue to say “bye”. I think there is enough info through the media and Internet that if people are that stupid, then I don’t have much sympathy for them. People need to be intelligent enough to be on guard for that. If someone asks, you simply say NO, sorry, I can’t do that. Then see how interested they are in you. The guy who sent $30,000 must be a total idiot.

Catherine November 3, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Yeah that was the conclusion I drew “total idiot” when I heard the whole story and realized that he didn’t have a clue that he was being “played”.

Emily Booth November 4, 2008 at 8:31 am

I met a man for a coffee date. He had arrived first and had already received his order. He was seated at a different table and when I arrived, he moved over to my table. It was obvious we were not interested in each other and after some conversation, he left. I think he stiffed the waitress because of the startled expression on the waitress’ face when she looked at his table. Thankfully, she didn’t say anything to me.

The internet is rife with con artists preying on lonely hearts. Then, there are the kind of men my father would refer to as bums.

LuckyatCards November 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

You need to run some kind of reverse scam. “I can come up with the $12,000, but my financial manager says I need to open a new account. There’s a $500 fee to get this started. We can split that. Send me $250 and then I can open it and deposit the $12,000.”

Something like that. I’m not a money person. I’m just looking for a date.

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