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Online Dating Scams - beware!

(38 Posts)
adamadamum Wed 16-Dec-09 12:57:53

Hi. I just want to warn other women about what has happened to me. On Dating Direct I "met" a "lovely" man called Johnson, said he was widowed 5 years ago, has a 7 year old daughter living with him. Said he was a construction engineer. He wanted to chat with me on hotmail, set up an account for me (he never got my normal email address btw). I've learnt since, that scammers do that as the chat isn't recorded as it is on the dating sites, though I copied and pasted it all anyway!!!

He told me he had just got a new contract which involved a 3 week trip to West Africa, and then went last week. Two days ago he told me he had some trouble with customs and he wouldn't be able to come home until he paid the £900 they were asking for which he hadn't budgeted for.

Of course he couldn't access his bank account from Nigeria! So could I help! Send him the money via western Union!

Of course I smelt a rat straight away, he continued to go on about me sending him the money all last night (I haven't told him how obvious it is that he is a Nigerian dating scammer....!)

I've reported him to Dating Direct and it seems that they've removed him, but heaven knows how many other women he may already be fooling.....I reported him to the police as well, after all it is fraud.

I had been really excited about this man, he had seemed perfect for me (all part of the con I know), I wasn't duped financially because it was obviously a scam but until then I WAS duped emotionally.

Just thought you all should be warned!

adamadamum Fri 18-Dec-09 19:13:29


adamadamum Fri 18-Dec-09 22:30:58

I can't believe no-one is interested in this! You don't have to part with money to feel robbed, not after a guy (supposedly in this country) has "groomed" you! You can be taken in emotionally even if you have the sense not to be robbed financially! Just beware of anyone who wants to use hotmail or something, rather than the chat facility on the dating site. If he does that, and has any kind of work that might involve travelling (i.e. "engineering") be more alert to a scam. If he has to go abroad (especially to West Africa) do not believe a word he says. Next, he will invent a problem whilst there, that can't be resolved without you sending money via Western Union!

Also, you might notice patterns in his "chat" that don't seem typical of the UK. Like instead of I am, it's just "am". And being called "babe" or "baby" constantly, never your name.

There. I have done my bit and informed you of my experience, which has broken my heart, I hope this helps some other women not fall for such a scam.

blueshoes Fri 18-Dec-09 23:00:41

Sorry about your experience, ada. Glad you had the presence of mind to not send him any money. We need reminding about scams like that.

2kidzandi Fri 18-Dec-09 23:25:20

Yes! I saw a program on TV where a woman fell for exactly the same scam. She met this guy on a dating chatroom she actually thought was from america, and then he started asking her to buy expensive electrical stuff on his behalf and ship it over to him because he was travelling. Anyway she was was shocked to discover that her 40+ cyber boyfriend was an 19year old west african!

She was so hurt emotionally and felt so silly and betrayed I felt really sorry for her. She kept saying 'my family always tell me that i'm gullible'

adamadamum Sun 20-Dec-09 23:19:35

I HAVE FOUND HIM OUT GOOD AND PROPER! Sorry for shouting but I am a bit in shock! I did some googling about online dating scammers and saw advice to copy and paste the first paragraph or sentence from their profile message...then google it. I did, and low and behold, there he is on an Australian dating site, same picture, same words!

Please, use this method first if you have even the tiniest doubt that a man might not be genuine! Well, now I know that the passport he emailed me must be fake, is it worth telling the police?

I am shaking having just discovered this. Pleased with myself for not being duped, but it's upsetting.

Calyx Sun 20-Dec-09 23:36:24

Well done for finding him out adamadamum, especially before you lost any money and I'm sorry he's made you upset this time of year as well. (Good on you for putting it up here as well, girl power smile)

TwoIfBySeasonsGreetings Sun 20-Dec-09 23:47:09

Oh god, this is exactly why I no longer use these sites. Not that I was particularly bothering about them before but ex duped me so much, and that was in a 9-year marriage, I can't trust my instinct.

I'm so sorry for you ada, these people are unbelievable. I have to laugh when I see appeals for computers to send to Africa, yes, send them so that criminals can scam people.

Are there any decent guys around? And where do I find one?

adamadamum Fri 25-Dec-09 23:42:22

What bugs me is that when you report a scammer to the particular website (ending in direct!) they may well block the criminal temporarily, but how many women has he emailed before they have blocked him?

I think they have a duty of care, to inform correspondents of "suspicious profiles", that their contact has been removed from the site because of suspected fake profile at the least? I dread to think how many women are being wooed by this vile parasite, who wouldn't be hurt emotionally or financially if the website had the sense to warn them that he had been removed!

SolidGoldpiginablanket Wed 30-Dec-09 00:25:23

I think you're asking a lot of the website - they can't boot off every man who sounds too good to be true.
Also, people do have to take a degree of responsibility for themselves. You've had your pride a bit dented but were smart enough not to part with any cash.

adamadamum Wed 03-Feb-10 12:25:57

Solidgold I didn't just have my pride a bit dented. These scumbags groom women just like paedos groom children. It is very easy to start feeling far more for these guys than your common sense would normally let you. I cried for weeks over this. It was hardly as trivial as you seem to think!

And if they actually remove someone's profile from the site, then they obviously know that this profile is suspect. They wouldn't remove them otherwise!

So I do think it's only right that they warn women he has contacted via the site, that the profile has been removed as suspicious!

Also, often if you have never encountered this scam before, and (and by the way he did not seem "too good to be true" - the scammers are learning that it's easier to con women if they seem more "normal"), there is every chance that it may be weeks, sometimes months before you realise that the man who seemed so lovely is a conman, and not even the man in the photo! They sometimes "groom" women for months before they ask for money! There is nothing trivial about it, as it seems you think. Hearts get broken. And yes, some women do foolishly send money. I didn't but it was a terrible experience.

IvanaPavlov Wed 03-Feb-10 15:27:55

A really frightening story, ada. I was thinking of using these sort of sites in the future, but continually have a funny feeling about them and then get cold feet. Sounds like a horrible, cruel scam to me.

I signed up to a free 'flirt' type site but felt a bit intimidated when men were asking if I was on MSN etc. and giving out their e-mail addresses without being asked. I removed my profile but am left wondering, like TwoIf, where on earth do we single mums find a decent guy?

poshtottie Wed 03-Feb-10 15:54:43

Sorry you had such a bad experience.

I think these type of scams are everywhere. I got an email recently regarding a nanny job which was the same type of scam.

I met my wonderful dh on dating direct so don't let it put you off. I only had one scary date but met some nice people.

adamadamum Wed 03-Feb-10 21:36:08

Oh absolutely there are some great guys on the dating sites, some real gentlemen, totally genuine. And some men also get scammed - these men in Nigeria and Ghana also use womens pictures and do fake female profiles too, to con men!

I am continuing with the sites because after my experience I now know who, or what to avoid. The men are usually at least reasonably attractive but then so are many genuine guys on there (there is one absolutely gorgeous Anglo Italian guy on there who seems so, so lovely (and without a doubt a real profile!) but he's in the South East, too far away for me alas...!)

Anyway they are usually good looking, sometimes model like (stolen photo's), usually, but not always widowed with a young child, in engineering or another occupation that can involve overseas travel, they want to chat on hotmail or something similar, rather than the chat feature on the site, they may go over the top with how they are falling for you, rather too quickly, and before long they get a contract overseas, usually but not always West Africa. By then there's a good chance that they will have really gotten under your skin, groomed you basically! Unless you are of course aware of how they work! Then their "problems" start happening. Trouble with customs, or they've knocked over a child and need money for the hospital bills, or basically anything they can think of to try to convince you to send them money!

I now assume that an attractive widow with a child, who is an engineer, is probably a fake profile put up by a scammer. Oh, also the stuff they write on their profile is often a little over the top!

If you remain aware of those signs, then hopefully you won't waste your time and emotional energy on a conman.

So I still think it's worth using the dating sites, just look out for the signs!

nighbynight Wed 03-Feb-10 22:06:33

Well done for spotting him.
I tend to look at the english (or whatever language I am talking in). If they claim to be british, and cant write grammatical english, Im not interested lol. now shoot me as an intellectual snob!

adamadamum Wed 03-Feb-10 22:43:56

I'll have to be shot too then! Even if they are not scammers, if their English is poor it's a big turn off anyway!

SolidGoldBrass Sun 07-Feb-10 21:14:36

Are you still banging on about this? People have to take responsibility for themselves, you know: it's almost impossible to stop the desparate and gullible from being conned.

adamadamum Mon 08-Feb-10 22:49:59

Well, solid tin, I was neither desperate or particularly gullible. The same goes for many other women who have wasted a lot of time in contact with a fake profiler, a criminal in a nice man's clothing.

Why do you have to be so nasty? A lot of women who are new to online dating are unaware of this scam, as I was.

They should be made aware of it.

Your attitude is selfish and extremely inconsiderate of other people.

abouteve Mon 08-Feb-10 23:00:05

A male friend of mine was involved in something similar. This very attractive younger woman was emailing him and sending photos of her family etc. I did warn him, he's quite wealthy and in his 60's but there are women overseas who are of the internet bride variety so he was open to that.

He is pretty clued up with money so realised it was a scam as soon as 'a problem' came up and money was asked for. However I'm sure other men fall for it especially if the woman is asking for air fares to visit.

I personally think that women are much more tuned in to this sort of fake profile scam. Technology is such that if you are ever suspicious again then ask for a mobile photo or chat on webcam.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 09-Feb-10 10:24:11

Look, it's not possible to protect stupid people from their own stupidity, especially unattractive stupid people who think they have found 'love'. They won't listen to warnings. Luckily, the majority of people are not this stupid and will ignore such con artists or get suspicious anyway - just like you did.

But for that small number of desperate brain donors, you just have to consider it as evolution in action when they get scammed - they will either learn from it or they won't.

adamadamum Thu 11-Feb-10 23:58:21

solid, you are a really nasty, inconsiderate, uncaring creature.

It's funny that nobody else has said such nasty things on this thread, because they realise the seriousness of this fraud.

Just you.

If you don't agree with this thread then why don't you just leave it alone.

It's a con that many are not aware of. People don't have to lose money to be damaged by it.

Most of them / us are not unattractive or stupid.

Stop being a troll. It's not nice. It's plain cruel and insulting to a lot of attractive, intelligent people.

People new to online dating are likely to be unaware of this scam until they have been hurt emotionally. So it is important that they are made aware of it.

Calling people unattractive and stupid does not help, does it?

People will listen to warnings if they actually get them.

Has it occurred to you that some extremely successful, intelligent people have actually fallen for these scams at times? I myself wonder how they could be so gullible, but for a while, before he actually mentioned "trouble with customs" I was really enjoying contact with "a man" who was attractive (not model like, just "normal" attractive), the right age, who seemed to really like me. He was "widowed with a five ear old daughter", and an engineer. Now my last real date via a dating site was an engineer. The fact that the scammer had a contract abroad didn't phase me because my last real date was actually in Bahrain when we got chatting (though via the dating site)!

I fell for the scam (emotionally, though not financially) because I had not heard of it, and also because I had met in real life an engineer who worked abroad alot!

Why do you have to be so harsh and uncaring? There will be some people who will fall for the scam no matter how many warnings they get. But I bet the vast majority will take heed of warnings.

RedbinDippers Fri 12-Feb-10 00:02:47

SGB, I have £12,000,000 I would like to share with you 50/50 But I need £3000 up front, are you on?

bellabelly Fri 12-Feb-10 00:30:11

RedbinDippers - I'm in, just email me your bank account details and a copy of your passport please grin

Niceguy2 Fri 12-Feb-10 05:38:44

LOL, and I thought I was a bit blunt! SGB beats me here.

Anyway, two phrases spring to mind.

"A fool and his gold are soon parted"


"No system is foolproof becauses fools are so ingenious"

Scams have been around since the dawn of time. If you are really gullible enough to send money to a Nigerian man whom you have never met then you really are foolish.

I know plenty of female friends who have been received e-mails guaranteeing larger penises. To date I don't know of one who has sent their money off! wink

MadameDefarge Fri 12-Feb-10 06:03:07

I now have a very large penis. It was worth every penny.

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