Online dating scams!

South Africa
July 9, 2011 6:25am CST
I just wanted to warn everyone who is online dating about some scams that are out there.. This happened to a friend of mine! She was skyping a guy online and had been chatting and skyping with him for over a year, and was sure that she had found the love of her life. So they started organising a trip to meet each other. He was going to fly through to Europe to see her. But then he told her that he couldn't afford the whole airfare, so she gave him some money to help him to pay for it. Then he told her that there were problems with his Visa, so she deposited more money to help him pay for that. He then said that European officials needed him to have a certain sum of money in Euros in order to allow him into the country. Thinking that she had found the love of her life, my friend was happy to help him with all of these problems, sure that he was a good person and would pay her back. Needless to say, he never made the trip and was suddenly uncontactable, after he had taken thousands of Euro from my friend. She was left heartbroken and broke! So I just want to warn people - yes, there are some wonderful people out there who really are just looking for true love, but there are also some sick people who are looking to take advantage of people's trust and vulnerability. So just be careful, and never hand over money to someone you met online! Has anything like this happened to you or anyone you know before?
10 responses
• United States
9 Jul 11
It has not happened to me, but I do know someone who by the way was supposedly dating for almost a year in a half. She was so taken by his charm and patience that with time she actually did give the person a great deal of money. Sad too because the person she thought was the love of her life, OMG turned out to be a woman. A lot of us knew she was being charmed too easily and we tried to help. It cost friendships because she thought we were against her. This person she was supposedly dating gave her a lot of information, in which a lot of us easily traced a few things. Finally a few of us found out who this was and although we told her she still would not believe us. She finally got wise, but not until she sent $1200 for a plane ticket for the person to come and meet her. Suddenly no plane ticket ever bought, the person disappeared completely. Our only assumption is that she has scammed so many and was able to patiently hang on to our friend until she finally sent money. This is just too sad for anyone to go through, therefore, hopefully the more people discuss as you are with this discussion, the wiser and sooner people can see signs.
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
Sounds like exactly the same thing happened to your friend as happened to my friend. I also find it amazing that these scam artists can actually wait and wait and bait these people until they are certain that they will definitely be trusted enough to be given the money they are looking for. Obviously these people are also great actors to be able to make others believe they are really in love with them!
• United States
10 Jul 11
Yes it is common for bots to participate in these types of activities. Sadly though this was no bot and a real person, as my friend out of excitement use to 3 way some of us to speak to the person. This is where I personally got the first clue that it was a woman and not a man, as the voice was way to female and very easy to have differentiated. Though my friend stated he had a feminine voice many of us could not be fooled. Since she thought she was in love it was hard to convince her otherwise.
@thatgirl13 (7307)
• South Korea
9 Jul 11
I'm so sorry this happened to your friend. Does she have any way that she could get the money back from the culprit? Anyway No, this has never happened to anyone around me. Yes there might be good people and some people have even found true love through these dating sites but for me, I just can't trust them. I have trust issues (not a strong one though) and sometimes it's a hard thing for me to trust a person who's right infront of me. There's no way I would trust a person million miles away and who I haven't even seen.
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
I think that its actually a good thing to have some sort of trust issues - the truth is that there are very few people in life you can truly trust, and you definitely can't trust someone that you hardly know or have never met! I don't think there is any way my friend can get her money back unfortunately - knowing what the internet is like, its so easy for people to just disappear and never be found again. I think this is just a lesson for her and for everyone to be wary of people in the future. Its sad that this had to happen and that we have to learn that lesson though!
• South Korea
9 Jul 11
Yeah if we learn a lesson from our past experiences, I think that's the best reward. I hope liars and frauds like this never cross our paths in our life. Have a wonderful weekend
@ptower76 (1618)
• United States
9 Jul 11
That happened to someone I know also. With her it was an engagement ring. He told her he was sending an engagement ring and she was excited. Then she received a call telling her that her package worth 4500 USD was being held pending payment of tariffs. She was ignorant and sent the price 800 USD. Never saw the ring, the money, or her fiance again.
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
Isn't that so terrible? So she thinks that she's getting engaged to the love of her life and mean while all he wants is her money with no thought to her feelings. I don't know how anyone can do that to someone else.
@ptower76 (1618)
• United States
9 Jul 11
Like the real world, the internet is also full of creeps and scam artist. We just have to be careful not to succumb to their wiles.
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Jul 11
That is really awful. That poor woman. =( Some people can be so mean. Do they not have a conscious at all? I feel so bad for her! =( I would be heartbroken too...
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
I know - its such a terrible story. I guess the lesson to learn is that clearly there are people in the world whose only aim in life is to get money, no matter who they hurt in the way.
@Graceekwenx (3163)
• Philippines
9 Jul 11
I had been very cautious of this because i too had signed up for online dating. Once someone asks for money; then consider that as a scam sign. Those scums! They suck on hopeful singles!
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
yes, exactly - I think the people that are for real will never ask you for money, that can only ever be the sign of a scam. Good luck with your dating and I hope you find one of the good ones out there!
@ifta11 (22)
9 Jul 11
oh this is really really very sad to hear. I agree with you yea there are scams in this on-line stuff.this thing also happened to one of my friend but this is a little bit different .she was really in true love.love made her so blind that she got even married to him on the internet without meeting him and when they met he was a fraud.he showed him self a bid engineer but in reality he was a clerk.so people be aware of these things.
• South Africa
9 Jul 11
wow - to get married online before even meeting someone is really taking this to the next level! That is definitely not a good idea. Marriage is a huge huge decision that you should only make once you are absolutely sure that you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. To marry someone before you have even met them or know anything about them is really foolish! I feel terrible for your friend and hope that she is able to sort out this situation that she has found herself in before she gets more hurt!
@yugasini (12839)
• Anantapur, India
10 Jul 11
hi bouncybug, it is very sad that your friend was cheated by his boy friend,but some times it may happen like that,because we trust others and give some money to them,the others take the opportunity to escape from the scene and cheat us,but though i am male and aged,i have not cheated any friend either boy or girl till now,have a nice day
• China
10 Jul 11
It's vulnerable to be scamed when you chatting online. So don't look forward to finding the true love from the net. there are a lot of people around me that have been scamed with money. My opinion is if you just want to find chat friends to get rid of boredoms then the online chatting may be a good way. But you should never involve your privacies during chatting.
@swissheart (6486)
• Romania
9 Jul 11
woow..I'm sorry for your friend. it's sad to realise that are people like that. be there for your friend and support him/her....he/she needs this..and advice her to be less naif...not all the people are good
@DoctorDidi (7030)
• India
9 Jul 11
This is no doubt very unfortunate but it is happening off and on. So, like you, I also like to warn people to be more cautious while dating online and never to believe anyone online. The consequence is usually a cheating and nothing else.