Looking for love in all the wrong places Singletons are signing up to Irish online dating sites in the hope of finding love, but instead of finding Ms or Mr Right, they are increasingly being targeted by con artists,fraudsters and rip off merchants!
From the initial…“Now HE looks nice-let’s chat”( online of course because you’re so careful of not giving too much information about yourself away-this is quite ironic as you have already put your best photo online for the world and sometimes his wife to see and written an in depth personal profile about yourself, mentioning where you come from, your age and little details about your family)
Remember that old adage-“if the enemy’s in range then so are you”
But soon the buzz of the male order toy shop empowers you and you’re lost in the moment and all a flutter..
To….”Really, do you think I’m attractive? why thank you.. we hardly know each other but already you think you’ve found the one!-This is all happening soo fast but hey ain’t this modern love”
And then.. “Ah that’s such a pity, I thought we could meet up soon but you have to travel to visit your son in Africa but let’s keep in contact while you’re there”…
“Oh that’s dreadful..you were mugged and everything’s stolen and you need some cash to tide you over til you get home..and your son is ill in hospital and you can’t afford the urgent medical treatment he’ll need to survive”..
To finally…“Of course I’ll transfer some money to tide you over..”
Sounds ridiculous? D’oh.. who would fall for that in this day and age?
According to recent figures, these requests for cash appear to be working and on the increase. There were over 800 dating scams reported in the last year, with the average victim paying out Euro 10,000. These are UK figures but as Joe Duffy pointed out recently, it’s definitely happening here too.
With one in 5 Irish adults using a dating website at some point in their life, it’s time to either get real or get away from internet dating and their scams.
True story…Back in 2010, Brenda Parke, a 60-year-old retiree, was scammed out of £60,000 after joining an online dating site and befriending a man purporting to be a successful Dutch businessman called Bradford Cole.
Mr Cole told Ms Parke that he was a widower and that he had moved to Britain with his young daughter, Maureen.
He said that while abroad on business, his daughter had been injured in a hit and run accident and he required £9,600 for the operation in hospital.
Through subtle manipulation, the fraudster encouraged Ms Parke to pay up. Though hesitant, she eventually made the transfers and went on to send a further £44,500 to Mr Cole for various travel costs, accommodation, and to help him with his business. Ms Parke realised her mistake when Mr Cole failed to arrive at Birmingham airport where they had agreed to meet so that he could go to the bank with her and return her money.
“With great hindsight, I am fully aware of how utterly stupid I have been,” said Ms Parke, “and I appreciate that there is little, if any, chance of getting my money back. “My embarrassment is overwhelming but I feel that I must take this step in reporting my experience in order to help promote awareness and to help other innocents to avoid such devastating situations,” she added.
As reported in the Guardian in 2015.
That couldn’t happen in our little country could it???? But it does!
So what do you do to help protect yourself against these predators?
- Trust your instincts. If he or she sounds too good to be true they probably are!
- Always guard your privacy online and be careful about what information you share…(but that’s almost irrelevant as you’ve already signed up and put your profile in full view of the internet!)
- It sounds too silly but…Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.
- Remember if he or she is emailing and eventually dating you who else is she or he emailing or dating? It’s the law of the jungle and there’s not a lot you can do about it…except maybe play them at their own game and therefore defeat any meaningful purpose or logic of actually meeting someone!
That seems like a lot of work to do just for the fun of actually meeting someone, doesn’t it?
Be on your guard, be vigilant and careful and trust no one! don’t say this, don’t tell them that!
Come on..where’s the reality here?
Of course you could make life an awful lot easier and employ a Matchmaker who will meet you face to face, who operates confidentially with discretion and is by nature obsessed with your privacy…and gets you REAL dates!!
Forget online dating..the odds are good but the goods are odd.
It’s just not worth the hassle!
Finders of Keepers.