Carol's Story - Dating Scam
I am 53 years old and after the death of my fiance, I decided it was time to move on so I decided to try a well known Christian dating website.
I was new to internet dating sites and I hoped most people on this site were of God and that there was a chance I would meet my soul mate. Sadly this was not to be the case. I was first contacted by a man who said he was from south Florida, a wealthy and a very attractive man my age. He stated he worked in oil exploration and dealt with the most influential people in the world. He told me his wife of 25 years had died of cancer and that he was very lonely and immediately asked me to begin corresponding with him via personal e-mail which I did. After several long and very beautiful emails were exchanged between us the correspondence immediately stopped after he asked to call me and then never did. He told me that my e-mails were beautiful & that I seemed to be exactly what he was looking for in a wife. I was so confused by this but decided not to call him even though I had his cell number.
After a week or so I was on the dating site looking at pictures and decided to send a message to one of the men on line. As soon as I hit send I received a message from him. I thought this was an amazing coincidence at the time. His profile showed that he lived in the same city and attended the same church. I was elated and felt so comfortable speaking to someone who actually went to my church. He immediately asked he to correspond via personal e-mail so I agreed. He said he owned his own business and was currently building an oil platform near Capetown, Africa and that the job would end in mid April when he would return home.
Our conversations started out slowly talking about what we were looking for in a partner, a little about our lives and much about our faith in God. His e-mails were articulate, and his knowledge of the bible was excellent. He stated he was very lonely, his number one priority was to be a good father and to live a God fearing life. His son just so happened to be the same age as my son. Over the course of 8 days our e-mails were frequent and long. I poured out all of my feelings and he also seemed to do the same.
He promised to “guard my heart with his life” and to have “faith bigger than my fears” when I was sceptical. He told me that he never dreamed he would find his soul mate on a dating site but knew that we were destined to be together. He wrote wedding vows and we began talking on the phone 2-3 times per day. He sent flowers on the very day that he called me and told me a deal for equipment had gone bad and asked for money. I knew immediately this was a hoax. I confronted him about his address and asked him to tell me what street our church was on. He could not and became angry.
I called the FBI & police and filed a report to the internet fraud division. He called incessantly all night and all the next 2 days, I did not answer. I am okay though I feel really foolish. The worst part is that I sent him pictures of my son and his fiance which I fear he will use. What he did not count on is that countless friends came to me in the days before warning me this might be a hoax and I remembered God’s word telling us to test everything. My faith has carried me through but I am determined to help prevent this from devastating someone who might be more vulnerable.