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Is my Ex DH's girlfriend real or a hoax/scam?

(30 Posts)
UnlikelyLou Tue 20-Dec-16 19:37:14

I have a relatively good relationship with my Ex DH. Recently he told me that he is seeing someone. Naturally I asked questions, and this is what he told me:

She is 32 (he is 63). He met her on a dating App and they speak regularly on What'sApp. They have been in contact for two years but he has never met her (!), because of the distance between them in the UK. He has never spoken to her on the phone (!), however he says he 'really knows' her as they have discussed everything. He has spoken to her Husband (yes, you read that correctly) on the phone quite a bit, and they get along well. Her DH does not care about her. She is 'loaded' as she is about to buy a house worth £350,000 cash. She has mentioned that she would like him to move in with her, and he is considering it.

My initial thoughts were - what an earth would a 32 year old girl want with a man his age (who has not aged very well btw). This does not come from a place of jealousy; we've been apart 15 years and I've moved on. But after letting this sink in, I've started thinking - is this a hoax? He has never met her or even spoken to her. What if the supposed Husband is running this scam, gaining my Ex's trust (convincing him this woman is real and got money), before trying to get personal details or ask for money?

Has anyone heard about anything like this happening please? If my children or I need to have a conversation about it with him, it would be good to discuss similar experiences others have had/heard of.

forumdonkey Tue 20-Dec-16 19:44:06

Does sound odd. Catfish springs to mind. He's never spoken to her but her DH. Don't know what you could do or say to him, especially as its been 2 years I doubt he'd listen.

forumdonkey Tue 20-Dec-16 19:45:29

Do you know if he has given any money already? Would he even disclose to you if he ha

WallisFrizz Tue 20-Dec-16 19:50:36

You're right to be suspicious. All you can do is warn him and hope he makes wise choices.

WellErrr Tue 20-Dec-16 19:53:47

So he's 63.

His girlfriend is 32 and married.

He speaks to the husband on the phone but has never spoken to her.

My feeling? She doesn't exist. It's all the 'husband.' Why? I don't know. But I would be very suspicious.

I doubt if he'll listen though, sadly.

What's his explanation for why they e never spoken?

FatOldBag Tue 20-Dec-16 19:54:47

It sounds like 2 lonely blokes engaging in a bit of fantasy and role play. He must realise after 2 years never speaking to her, but speaking to "the husband" that there is no 32 year old woman! It's not really your place to say anything I don't think. If he wants to engage in this, he can.

LoveforPGTipsMonkey Tue 20-Dec-16 19:57:48

is your ex usually this gullible? AND she 's not his GF if he never met her, not even spoken to her. I think he's got some delusional/fantasy land issues - which could be badly used by a scammer.

rollonthesummer Tue 20-Dec-16 20:00:03

How has he spoken to the husband several times but never her?? Does he phone and ask for her but she's just never in??!

LoveforPGTipsMonkey Tue 20-Dec-16 20:00:06

if there is money talk already, next thing he'll know is having to lend her a deposit for the house as evil H of hers wouldn't divorce her yet or smth - or help her with divorce costs as she can't access he house money until divorce or whatever.

tribpot Tue 20-Dec-16 20:01:47

This sounds like a romance scam. There was a very good piece on Woman's Hour about it, I'll see if I can find it.

Sometimes they run them for years before asking for money - in order to make it completely plausible. This could be a guy - the one he's spoken to on the phone. That's a neat touch. I would lay odds there's no girlfriend, it's completely surreal.

I would take advice yourself from Action Fraud or similar about how to approach a friend you think may be in the middle of a scam. My guess is it will be very difficult to convince him that all is not what it seems.

tribpot Tue 20-Dec-16 20:08:04

Woman's Hour on romance fraud - it starts at about 9 minutes 10 seconds.

UnlikelyLou Tue 20-Dec-16 20:10:43

He seemed deluded and defensive when I asked questions, so he didn't really explain away the odd aspects in this situation.

You are right that it may not be my business but our children are very worried. If this is some kind of scam which could involve money, it would directly affect them. Not least because they will be the ones to deal with the fallout probably.

UnlikelyLou Tue 20-Dec-16 20:14:25

Thank you Tribpot x

HardLightHologram Tue 20-Dec-16 20:18:44

I expect she'll ask him to 'lend' her the money for the house because her cash is all tied up somewhere.

Helloooooitsme Tue 20-Dec-16 20:22:04

Yes and he will pay it as he thinks he is moving in with her confused.

LemonSqueezy0 Tue 20-Dec-16 20:28:37

The difficult part of this is whether or not he'd ever listen to your voice of reason as 1) he really wants to believe it and 2) as you are the ex- it'll sound like jealousy as 'he's so absolutely happy, going to be comfortably off etc' and you just want to ruin it..... It's a shame, so many people get the wool pulled over their eyes and they don't deserve it.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 20-Dec-16 20:37:16

Yes this sounds like it is going to evolve into a scam

Perhaps if he is forewarned that the 'girlfriend' will ask for money it might make him more suspicious when it happens

However these scammers are so successful for a reason - they create a fantasy that the victim really really wants to believe, and suck them in gradually. After 2 years of believing she is real he probably has too much emotionally invested in her to see it rationally, so many victims will cling on till the bitter end sad

How old are your kids? Are there any steps that can be taken to limit how much money your ex dh has available to send to her when a request does come?

FranticalFidget Tue 20-Dec-16 20:39:47

The husband is the gf.

Either for a long game scam or maybe just as a bit of fantasy/escapism.

HeyRoly Tue 20-Dec-16 20:43:38

It does sound like an elaborate scam.

He won't take that well, if you suggest it, but I agree with Hopelessly: if you gently suggest that the "girlfriend" may ask for money, in the event that it happens, he may be sensible enough to question it.

jo10000 Tue 20-Dec-16 20:51:54

I heard on R4 recently a policeman was in contact with two women online after his martiage failed (so vulnerable). Never met either. Found out all about their lives. They both eventually asked for money, which he gave. It was the same man running both scams.

girlelephant Tue 20-Dec-16 21:51:56

Agree with @WellErrr

UnlikelyLou Fri 23-Dec-16 10:16:35

He was a policeman, that's why its wierd he has fallen for this.
Our DS has shown him the website page linked on here and had a word with him. He seemed quite worried about it - especially that his identity may be stolen. I'm not sure how much he believes that it is definitely a scam, but I think he may now be very wary about giving personal details or if they ask for money at least.
Thanks everyone who posted x

tribpot Fri 23-Dec-16 10:39:35

Oh good, well that's something - if he perceives it could be an identity scam that's better than nothing.

girlelephant Fri 23-Dec-16 20:09:34

Would be worth him getting a copy of his credit file and checking nothing he has not approved

inthekitchensink Fri 23-Dec-16 20:16:20

I used to work in this area combatting fraud of romance scams - he will be sending £5 or £10 here and there until he is groomed into sending a few hundred and eventually all his savings, could get worse. Her husband will be the scammer, no woman involved. Get him to contact action fraud who won't be able to do much but at least there is info there that should lift the scales from his eyes.

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