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(The Cut)   I lost a million dollars in an online dating scam   (thecut.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Online dating service, Debut albums, Dating, 2008 singles, number of dating sites, online romance scams, Confidence trick, Last year  
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3681 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Apr 2019 at 8:02 AM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-04-15 03:17:35 AM  
Listen, old ladies, I'll give you five years of my devoted attention for $500,000 paid in monthly installments. Also I need insurance coverage for my wife and kid. It might not be genuine but it will be real.
 
2019-04-15 08:06:57 AM  
In other news you once had a million dollars.
 
2019-04-15 08:10:25 AM  
STOP GIVING LARGE SUMS OF MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU HAVEN'T ACTUALLY MET.

I met someone through the internet who lived out of state. There was never any discussion of her buying my plane ticket or me buying her ticket for meeting in person, much less sending thousands of dollars to help out.
 
2019-04-15 08:10:44 AM  
"Online dating" and "scam" are redundant.
 
2019-04-15 08:14:40 AM  
This happened to me. I ended up having to use a very old MacBook and had to drink squid ink as I could no longer afford coffee. I was the laughing stock of Starbucks.

img.fark.netView Full Size


/on the upside, my demand as a hand model for stock image libraries went through the roof.
//who's laughing now you sneery baristas.
 
2019-04-15 08:17:47 AM  
I had this roommate in Chicago 20 years ago who was getting hustled by an online dating scam.  Basically, this Thai supermodel totally wanted to hook up with him, but she was so busy jetting off to so many model shoots that she never had time, but she would like some money to come see him soon.  He was broke as a joke so I don't think he ever sent her any money.

The interesting thing was how much he resisted anyone telling him it was a hustle.  Once she promised to "stop by Chicago" on her flight from New York to LA.  I'm like "Dude, that makes no sense.  What airline just drops you off?"  He wouldn't have it.  Crazy the lies people tell themselves.

He's a big Trumper now.
 
2019-04-15 08:22:10 AM  

moofburger: This happened to me. I ended up having to use a very old MacBook and had to drink squid ink as I could no longer afford coffee. I was the laughing stock of Starbucks.

[img.fark.net image 850x850]

/on the upside, my demand as a hand model for stock image libraries went through the roof.
//who's laughing now you sneery baristas.


I had that MacBook.  It's a 2006.
 
2019-04-15 08:26:26 AM  

Rapmaster2000: moofburger: This happened to me. I ended up having to use a very old MacBook and had to drink squid ink as I could no longer afford coffee. I was the laughing stock of Starbucks.

[img.fark.net image 850x850]

/on the upside, my demand as a hand model for stock image libraries went through the roof.
//who's laughing now you sneery baristas.

I had that MacBook.  It's a 2006.


Back when they were known as P-P-P-Powerbooks.
 
2019-04-15 08:28:56 AM  
GFA. As a one time some time con artist when very young, it surprised me how much people can be vulnerable and want to believe.  The first thing they want to believe is that they're too smart to have "it" happen to them.  And all you need to take the first step towards that arrogance is ignorance.  Plenty of that shiat to go around.
 
2019-04-15 08:29:13 AM  
Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?
 
2019-04-15 08:29:36 AM  
People pay for sex. Sometimes its a dinner or a drink, sometimes its a million dollars...
 
2019-04-15 08:29:47 AM  

imaconnect4guy: Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?


Yes
 
2019-04-15 08:31:23 AM  

imaconnect4guy: Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?


I would go with horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer.

It's like James Bond falling for old a 3 card Monte trick.

Sad.
 
2019-04-15 08:31:32 AM  
If that's how you lost a million dollars, it was never yours to begin with. You were just holding it for whichever lucky scammer happened upon you next.
 
2019-04-15 08:31:59 AM  
This is when it's handy to have a million  of those old Zimbabwe dollars around.
 
2019-04-15 08:32:04 AM  
I may just be cynical but I have my doubts about this story.  I'm thinking this is a scam to create a persona in order to make money by advising people to avoid scams.
 
2019-04-15 08:32:13 AM  
"Then I was contacted by a fellow who was from London, who was an international businessman"
And nary a red flag was raised. Smh
 
2019-04-15 08:32:23 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Rapmaster2000: moofburger: This happened to me. I ended up having to use a very old MacBook and had to drink squid ink as I could no longer afford coffee. I was the laughing stock of Starbucks.

[img.fark.net image 850x850]

/on the upside, my demand as a hand model for stock image libraries went through the roof.
//who's laughing now you sneery baristas.

I had that MacBook.  It's a 2006.

Back when they were known as P-P-P-Powerbooks.


i.imgur.comView Full Size


I always loved the tale of the P-P-P-Powerbook.
 
2019-04-15 08:33:15 AM  
TLDR: Don't give money to strangers on the internet. Nothing is ever legit on the internet.
 
2019-04-15 08:34:55 AM  

steklo: imaconnect4guy: Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?

I would go with horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer.

It's like James Bond falling for old a 3 card Monte trick.

Sad.


Counter-point: Just because someone is smart and experienced doesn't mean that they CAN'T fall for something stupid.
 
2019-04-15 08:38:03 AM  
This is why I never pay for the prostitute before the meeting. I've had women from the interwebs ask for money, and I have sent some of them (Farkettes even) money, but it's purely charity. If there's quid pro quo on the table, it's probably a scam.
 
2019-04-15 08:40:10 AM  
How do you get a million dollars if you're that dumb?
 
2019-04-15 08:40:33 AM  

Urmuf Hamer: GFA. As a one time some time con artist when very young, it surprised me how much people can be vulnerable and want to believe.  The first thing they want to believe is that they're too smart to have "it" happen to them.  And all you need to take the first step towards that arrogance is ignorance.  Plenty of that shiat to go around.


There's more to it than that, at least in this case.  I can very easily identify with this woman - my wife passed away around the same time her husband did, and just as suddenly.  It really does leave you almost literally gasping for air, because your entire life and the future you've planned just... disappears.  When that happens, it's very much like drowning, metaphorically-speaking, inasmuch as you're frequently just flailing, looking for something, anything to hold onto to regain some sense of normalcy.

My saving grace is that I'm intrinsically asocial and I very much don't enjoy interacting with people I don't already know well, even online.  So while I did attempt to use dating sites to sort of get back into a "normal" life pattern, I eventually sabotaged myself by never responding, never reaching out, and not pursuing any opportunities. But if I were more outgoing, I could imagine something like this would be possible. And I like to think I'm smart enough (or at least embarrassingly skeptical enough) to not send money, but if the person had spent months building a believable rapport instead of just launching straight into the scam, hell, I probably would have been in a similar situation (albeit with a lot less money because I's broke, yo).

My point, aimed at all the "wow, she was so stupid" people in this thread, is: don't judge too harshly.  People in horrible situations are vulnerable.  We as a society should be working hard to protect and rehabilitate the vulnerable when possible, not simply scorn them.
 
2019-04-15 08:41:19 AM  

iheartscotch: Just because someone is smart and experienced doesn't mean that they CAN'T fall for something stupid.


yeah, its like a driving instructor getting into a car accident...
 
2019-04-15 08:42:26 AM  

iheartscotch: steklo: imaconnect4guy: Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?

I would go with horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer.

It's like James Bond falling for old a 3 card Monte trick.

Sad.

Counter-point: Just because someone is smart and experienced doesn't mean that they CAN'T fall for something stupid.


I would agree with this.  As an AF intelligence officer, she probably has zero emotional involvement in the stuff shes's analyzing.  A lot of intelligence work, is just reading the local newspaper from Bummfarkistan and knowing who all the players are and what's happening in the country.

In this case, she was emotionally invested in the situation.  She's compromised, and her prior experience is useless.
 
2019-04-15 08:44:57 AM  

Permanent Solutions For Permanent Problems: STOP GIVING LARGE SUMS OF MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU HAVEN'T ACTUALLY MET.


Also, don't give any amount of money, even small amounts, to anyone, even if you have met them.
 
2019-04-15 08:45:44 AM  
International businessman?

imgc.allpostersimages.comView Full Size
 
2019-04-15 08:45:56 AM  
He was in Houston, and he had just gotten a big contract in Malaysia. He was a contractor in the hardwood tree business.
I looked at his company website. I really did some due diligence, because I had been an Air Force intelligence officer, I'd been a senior branch manager at a bank, and I'd had some legal training, so all that kind of kicked in, and I started looking around to see who he was. I called the company he said he was a contractor for, and they didn't know who he was. But again, I wasn't anticipating anyone not telling me the truth, so I just figured, well, he's an international contractor, maybe they don't have those guys listed on the company roster.


Honestly at that point what can you say?  You Knew better and you talked yourself into the situation
 
2019-04-15 08:48:08 AM  
I looked at his company website. I really did some due diligence, because I had been an Air Force intelligence officer, I'd been a senior branch manager at a bank, and I'd had some legal training, so all that kind of kicked in, and I started looking around to see who he was. I called the company he said he was a contractor for, and they didn't know who he was. But again, I wasn't anticipating anyone not telling me the truth, so I just figured, well, he's an international contractor, maybe they don't have those guys listed on the company roster.

The stupid, it hurts. She was being told the truth.
 
2019-04-15 08:48:49 AM  

Rapmaster2000: A lot of intelligence work, is just reading the local newspaper


Its a bit more involved than that. They have to sometimes go "undercover" and they have to know how to "read" people. They investigate certain crimes as well as interview canadines for security clearances and its not just reading the local newspaper. They have to be on the look out for any threats. Whether by foreign forces or internal tarators and such.
 
2019-04-15 08:50:58 AM  

steklo: Rapmaster2000: A lot of intelligence work, is just reading the local newspaper

Its a bit more involved than that. They have to sometimes go "undercover" and they have to know how to "read" people. They investigate certain crimes as well as interview canadines for security clearances and its not just reading the local newspaper. They have to be on the look out for any threats. Whether by foreign forces or internal tarators and such.


A lot of != only.
 
2019-04-15 08:51:02 AM  

mrparks: How do you get a million dollars if you're that dumb?


Life insurance?
 
2019-04-15 08:56:20 AM  

Rapmaster2000: A lot of != only.


I was up for a TS/SBI clearance when I was in the army....while in a two class learning a foreign language, I noticed another soldier siting in the back of the room. He kept looking at me weird...I would talk to him from time to time about the weather or class assignments. Just shooting the breeze...

a few months go by and I'm being interviewed by someone from CID.  Turns out its this same guy in my class. So I flat out asked him..."were you spying on me while I was in class with you?"

He could neither confirm nor deny those alligations.
 
2019-04-15 08:57:40 AM  
I get these requests on an almost daily basis and not through dating sites.
I get messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, FitBit (seriously, you are going to scam me from FitBit) and a gamer site that I belong to.  They are always men that are widowed with children, in the military and overseas.  They think that using "I am a single dad" thing will tug at my heart strings.  I played along once just to see where it would go and it was two weeks into the "relationship" before he needed $2,500 to keep his child in "American School" in Africa.  Yeah, that ended that. I mean, I would be reluctant to give a close relative $2,500 so I am certainly not going to hand over $2,500 to someone on the internet.

But then again, since I just won $800,000 in the Irish lottery, which they will be transferring into my bank account any day because I just paid the $6,000 processing fee and gave them all of my personal information, I may be more generous with my relatives.
 
2019-04-15 09:00:40 AM  
I also like how her friends basically said, "Hey, we know your husband died suddenly a few months ago and instead of us being here for you, we want you to get a man to deal with you being sad.  It's bumming us out."
 
2019-04-15 09:10:09 AM  

steklo: imaconnect4guy: Should I be impressed by the ability of the conman to scam an AF intelligence officer or horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer?

I would go with horrified by the ability of a conman to scan an AF "intelligence" officer.

It's like James Bond falling for old a 3 card Monte trick.

Sad.


You mean Johnny English.
 
2019-04-15 09:13:46 AM  

Yoyo: This is why I never pay for the prostitute before the meeting. I've had women from the interwebs ask for money, and I have sent some of them (Farkettes even) money, but it's purely charity. If there's quid pro quo on the table, it's probably a scam.


I always throw my watch someplace innocuous as soon as I see her momentarily preoccupied -- that way, after we're all done I can reverse myself on my way out the door "oh I almost forgot my watch --" then I can kill her and get my money back.

/gta
 
2019-04-15 09:14:03 AM  

runwiz: I may just be cynical but I have my doubts about this story.  I'm thinking this is a scam to create a persona in order to make money by advising people to avoid scams.


It's real. I had a close relative that shared nearly the same story. Likely scammed by the same group of people.
 
2019-04-15 09:19:03 AM  

Skail: My point, aimed at all the "wow, she was so stupid" people in this thread, is: don't judge too harshly. People in horrible situations are vulnerable. We as a society should be working hard to protect and rehabilitate the vulnerable when possible, not simply scorn them.


No.  Stupid people should be ridiculed, not given a pass.  Whenever someone does something stupid like this, society should point at them, laugh, and make sure everyone else uses them as an example of how not to behave.

It is not our responsibility to rehabilitate idiots.  It's our responsibility to learn from their mistakes.
 
2019-04-15 09:19:07 AM  

imaconnect4guy: I also like how her friends basically said, "Hey, we know your husband died suddenly a few months ago and instead of us being here for you, we want you to get a man to deal with you being sad.  It's bumming us out."


Does she have any money left? Asking for an international businessman friend whose wife just passed away from cancer and sadness. He's been scammed before so he'll know for sure she wouldn't be after his money - he's a multi-millionaire; owns several diamond mines in Africa and Asia - if they ever got together. PM me for details if her friends think she might be interested in trusting men again and maybe find love with each other. Who knows, maybe they'll be a romantic happy ending and they can get married on safari, with all her friends invited to stay at his lodge.
 
2019-04-15 09:20:23 AM  

Rapmaster2000: moofburger: This happened to me. I ended up having to use a very old MacBook and had to drink squid ink as I could no longer afford coffee. I was the laughing stock of Starbucks.

[img.fark.net image 850x850]

/on the upside, my demand as a hand model for stock image libraries went through the roof.
//who's laughing now you sneery baristas.

I had that MacBook.  It's a 2006.


I bet you were one of those rich bastards who had a mains adapter as well. I just had to sit there and pretend I was skyping with a black hole, whilst trying not to cry into my ink.
 
2019-04-15 09:22:57 AM  
(reads the article)...

....Aaaaaaaand, of course he was in Nigeria.
 
2019-04-15 09:28:56 AM  
As someone who met his wife through online dating, I have to say, she got off easy.
 
2019-04-15 09:30:27 AM  

TOSViolation: Skail: My point, aimed at all the "wow, she was so stupid" people in this thread, is: don't judge too harshly. People in horrible situations are vulnerable. We as a society should be working hard to protect and rehabilitate the vulnerable when possible, not simply scorn them.

No.  Stupid people should be ridiculed, not given a pass.  Whenever someone does something stupid like this, society should point at them, laugh, and make sure everyone else uses them as an example of how not to behave.

It is not our responsibility to rehabilitate idiots.  It's our responsibility to learn from their mistakes.


I disagree.  This person is not necessarily stupid.  This person had an immense personal tragedy that almost certainly had severe psychological ramifications.  Her judgment was compromised, and her friends let her down by pushing her right back into a social scheme that was ripe for fraud.  A scammer found her and noted her vulnerability, then took advantage of it.  The fact that she's speaking out now in an attempt to help others by admitting her mistakes and educating others means she is not stupid, she was manipulated.
Stop with the f*cking victim blaming.  It is our responsibility to help rehabilitate people.  That's how f*cking society works.  The scammer is the asshole, here.
 
2019-04-15 09:38:33 AM  
"I called the company he said he was a contractor for, and they didn't know who he was. But again, I wasn't anticipating anyone not telling me the truth, ..."

So she assumed the company wasn't telling her the truth.
 
2019-04-15 09:42:33 AM  

Skail: Stop with the f*cking victim blaming. It is our responsibility to help rehabilitate people. That's how f*cking society works. The scammer is the asshole, here.


Society is one thing, the way Fark works? We victim blame.

Not saying its right, just saying its what we do on Fark. Plus I bet original poster was being sarcastic.
 
2019-04-15 09:48:28 AM  

steklo: Society is one thing, the way Fark works? We victim blame.

Not saying its right, just saying its what we do on Fark. Plus I bet original poster was being sarcastic.


Yes, I know, welcome to Fark and all that.  My view is simply: "there but for the grace of FSM go I."  Given my personal experiences, I can see how it's possible that even an intelligent, skeptical person can fall for something like this if they're in a bad enough place.  Twenty years ago, I would have been on the "she's such a moron!" side.  Having been to those dark places (and in many respects still residing there), I see things differently.  :P
 
2019-04-15 09:52:58 AM  
FTA:  I'd never heard of anybody being taken by an online romance, I'd only heard the good stuff.

What rock have you been living under, Lady?
 
2019-04-15 10:09:11 AM  
Just how does one learn the tricks of this trade? I'd think the more people who understand how the scammers operate, the more they would be easily identified and shut down.

Are there books on 'how to convince vulnerable people to send you money over the internet'? That would be an interesting read, assuming you can read Pidgin

I figure I could pick it up - I've listened to enough Fela
 
2019-04-15 10:12:43 AM  

Skail: steklo: Society is one thing, the way Fark works? We victim blame.

Not saying its right, just saying its what we do on Fark. Plus I bet original poster was being sarcastic.

Yes, I know, welcome to Fark and all that.  My view is simply: "there but for the grace of FSM go I."  Given my personal experiences, I can see how it's possible that even an intelligent, skeptical person can fall for something like this if they're in a bad enough place.  Twenty years ago, I would have been on the "she's such a moron!" side.  Having been to those dark places (and in many respects still residing there), I see things differently.  :P


yes...agreed. Its no fun being scammed.


Happens to my father who is in his late 70's I feel for him every time he answers the phone...

one day he calls me...

Hey what are you doing home? Some guy just called and said you were in a Brazilian jail cell...I was gonna give him $1500 in something called I-tune cards but then I remembered...you don't fly. So you wouldn't  have gone to Brazil.
 
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