Whoa, this is gonna be a tough one. I'm about to out myself as a guy who's been scammed.
Just to set the scene, I'm a man who loves to love and be loved. It's a really important part of my life. And without going into details, love has been absent from my life for too long. I try hard to accept the "new normal" of living alone (well, with my two faithful dogs), and on some days I do alright with that. But there are way too many other times when it just doesn't work, leaving me facing despondency. OK, nuff about that: this isn't meant to be a pity party for yours truly.
The point is, I guess I'm a patsy should some delightful young lady come by who wants to convince me she's falling for me. And that's just what happened. But sadly, turns out she's wasn't so delightful after all.
What's happened is this: After swearing I would not do the online dating thing, I finally relented. Damned if I didn't meet a very pleasing lady online. Lisa. We texted back and forth for some time. As we did so, it seemed we had much in common. So much to the point where I started to fall for her, big time. And she for me (or so she claimed). She was very encouraging. Gotta tell you, there was a new, joyful spring to my step and a tune in my heart as I danced about, full of love for this wonderful lady. My future seemed rosy at last.
Tough part was, she works in Hawaii on a contract. Or, so she said. She insisted the contract would be up in a couple of months and then she'd be free to come and visit with me and we could see if our romance could stand the test of face-to-face living. Made sense.
But we started to get hotter and heavier (if you can do that on the Internet!) and soon decided that, if she could get some time off on her contract, she'd come and meet me now for a few days. Have to tell you, I was thrilled: really excited at the prospect of having real love in my life once again. The dates were set and I was pining.
But then, her sister, who lives in Italy (supposedly) contacted her to say she was ill and needed her sibling to come and be with her. And so, the plan to visit me had to be sidelined. I was devastated, but accepted the need for one sister to help another.
On arriving in Italy (?), the texts started coming in quickly about needing help to pay her sister's medical bills. Apparently I would need to pay for these. Me?
Now, I'm a "doubting Thomas" at the best of times. Yet, I had fallen hard for this beautiful lady (she'd sent me photos that were stunning!) and I did try not to think the worst. Still, mentioning this to a few friends brought a universal rebuke: "Don't be a chump! You're not sending money over the Internet to someone you've never even met! Don't be an idiot! Even if it's real, it isn't your problem. And it's very, very likely not real. You're being scammed."
Yeah, they had a point. But not one I wanted to admit to. Not yet, anyway. I mean, I was just too lost in love, unable to see the forest for the trees.
Still, I tried to nicely explain to Lisa that I couldn't help. But she made me feel guilty. So now I felt like a jerk.
It was then that I decided to go back and review the mountain of messages we'd shared between us over the past weeks. And in the cold light of dawn, it did become apparent there were a number of inconsistencies that should have stood out to me earlier. (But hey, as they say, "When you're in love, you're blind!") Could this seemingly delightful lady who I could see building a life with actually be a scammer?
I spent a sleepless night going through all of the evidence. It wound up being too overwhelming. Just too many unanswered questions. Too many questionable descriptions. Too many incomplete explanations. It didn't add up.
And so I composed a text to Lisa, not going into specifics, but simply saying we seemed to be at an impasse: me being unable to send money to her, she continuing to ask me to do so nonetheless. Adding to this, I explained, was the frustration of the long-distance romance where we hadn't even met. I told her that was playing on me too, and not well. I added that none of this boded well for our future. After much consideration, I told her, "I'm going to have to call this off and say goodbye." It was a tough call. She'd really made herself out to be the lady I wanted to complete my life with for so long.
Hoping against hope she'd come back at me with a solution and explain that everything was fine and she'd truly be with me very soon, I waited. And waited. But nothing! No response.
I assume she realized I was on to her and dropped me like a dead fish, presumably going on to her next victim.
Guess who'd been scammed? Yup, l'il ole me. And do I feel foolish? You bet (but hey, at least I didn't send her the dough.) However, along with feeling stupid, I’m left grieving a false image of what might have been, and I’m unsure how to handle that. To lose something you wished for is never easy nor fun. In this case, it's downright sad. Oh, I did hear from a friend whose family member had experienced the same thing. They too were left with feelings of doltishness and remorse. "Man, these people are good!" she told me. "Bastards!!" Indeed.
So, why am I sharing this story with you? Just as a warning for others who may be as vulnerable as me. Don't get scammed! And not that I'm at all brilliant (clearly I'm not!), but make sure, if you have even the slightest hesitation about someone, run it by some friends who care. Their objectivity is like gold!
And yeah, there's still that side of me who thinks wistfully about what might have been...
OK, those dogs aren't gonna feed themselves... onwards!
Hi there. I've written 8 books so far and am working on others. Feel free to comment