Internet love & being phished: And that’s a wrap, folks!

Aug 28

(This is part of a short series about being phished for love on the Internet. This is the sixth and final part of the series, which has run the past two weeks on A ‘lil HooHaa).

Being skeptical can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing.

It works both ways because sometimes the skepticism can go against you. By this I mean you could be skeptical about what is in front of you and it could be a legit situation. On the other hand, it can be a good thing as it makes you think a bit more about the “too good to be true” situation.

This includes internet scammers.

int-lov-phish

As you have read in the series I’ve run over the past couple of weeks (if you haven’t read them, go back and check it out – the links to each are at the bottom of this post), people will go to pretty much any level to try and scam cash out of people. The promise of love goes a long way, and if you add in religion, you can really pull people’s strings.

Thankfully, in each of the situations I wrote about, nobody lost any money or fell for anything,

That doesn’t change the fact that every day people fall for scams. It can be something as simple as household repairs or calling about back taxes or things on the internet where you can get rich quick.

But as the old saying goes … if it’s too good to be true…

The reality of these two situations is nobody got hurt, lost money or had anything truly bad to them.

That’s a good thing.

But what if somebody fell for the one and wired $875 to this person – in Ghana. Most of these money transfers would be through Western Union (which, for the record, has a good page on fraud and scams) and when they get the money – goodbye!

For research purposes, I tried to e-mail both Irina and Linda to see if they would respond, speak up, talk or whatever.

Not shockingly, both e-mails bounced back as no longer working. I didn’t, however, try the one phone number as I didn’t want to deal with anything on the other end. With internet numbers and all of that easy to get now, it’s a bit better just to let it go.

For me, this made for a good series of blog posts. But in the bigger scheme of things, it also shows what is out there. People pry on others emotions and things like that to try and scam you out of money. They reel you in with a sob story, promise of love or something else and then try and guilt you into money. When the money doesn’t come and they realize you are likely onto them, they move on to the next person.

Hopefully that person is skeptical, too.

And hey, the Internet is an obvious medium for finding love or friendship. Look at all the legit dating sites and things like that. But, always keep in mind that anybody can be anything on the Internet. So if they come asking for cash quickly, you may want to re-consider this possible mate.

It’s my hope this series of stories was entertaining to you and, maybe, informing.

To read the other parts in this series, please click on the following links:

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Internet love & being phished: No money for you!

Aug 27

(This is part of a short series about being phished for love on the Internet. This the fifth part of the series, which runs this week at A ‘lil HooHaa).

In the world of scamming, things can take a turn for the worse quickly. That’s how this all works, after all –iIf there isn’t some sort of tragedy, it’s hard to pry cash from somebody’s hands.

It’s time to take that turn in this story.

int-lov-phish

She begins by telling him how lucky he is.

since you started communicating with me, I can see that you have a beautiful soul, there are so many ways I have found out about this, I will explain in details later. I just want to inform you that I really appreciate our friendship and I have prayed to God to give us the strength to take it to the next level. I have desired to have a man of patience, this is one of the virtue I have seen in you.

Amen!

She’s also slightly younger than he, and she likes that because guys her age don’t know how to handle the ladies (and she should know, with her two relationships and all).

Then… mixed in with her regular e-mail, she drops it:

I have decided its best for me to go over to Africa and bring my dad home so that he can have adequate medical attention. I will be flying this morning by 10:am. I have booked my flight yesterday because I can’t bear it, if anything should happen to my father. I pray that almighty God keep you safe till I return.

So, apparently, her father isn’t doing well in Africa. That being said, she’s a registered nurse and her father owns a pretty solid business, so this should be a slam dunk, right? Go get him better and come back and then run to your prince. Seems simple, no?

He responds wishing her well and that he is praying for the safe return of all.

She’s now in Africa and claims she will try and call him later that evening (didn’t happen). But, this all begins… now, the phishing starts.

It’s raining heavily here and I am trying to get the doctors to sign papers allowing me to fly dad back home but they still insist that they can handle it. I am limited on cash and my credit cards is not allowed access at the atm here and this is getting me worried since dad is not in a good condition to give me some cash which i needed for an urgent pressing matters.

Here she is... how can you say no? Send the money!

Here she is… how can you say no? Send the money!

 

I manage to tell him about you and he smile. I know he is happy because that has been his desire for me to find a good man and date again. Anyway, I gotta go now and take care of him. Waiting to hear from you.

Am I the only one who realizes she writes like those scam e-mails we all get about winning a lotto in Nigeria or something? Exactly.

Life is not good for Linda at this moment, though. She needs money to help her father, despite him owning businesses and her being a nurse and all. Who travels to Africa – even in an emergency – and doesn’t find a way to make sure they have access to money? Apparently Linda.

Somewhere along the way, she asks him for financial help. He’s broke. He wishes she had asked around payday and maybe he could help some It’s money she needs, though, so she can get her and her father back to the United States.

Then, he wonders, how much does she need? He now questions her, too, about this. Is this real? A scam? He’s talked to friends now (me included) about this and we agree it’s a scam. So he plays on to see what happens. She responded:

Honey I was paralyzed after reading what you wrote, and i tried to put myself in your shoes and I agree with you 100%, I said to myself that you are a good man, for even accepting to assist me, it’s not easy to trust people you have not met these days due to so many issues going on the net. But for clarity sake I am attaching a scan copy of my dad’s Int’l passport.

If you want any more evidence about myself I will provide. Tomorrow I will get a plate card and write your name boldly on it. I am sending you some pictures I took today at the hotel where I am lodged. 

It’s all about trying to get things done and get money. Now, Linda is realizing this may not happen. All this work to get stranded in Africa? For goodness sake!

She still asks for him to help. She’ll pay him back as soon as she’s home. She will wait until payday. Her father will be forever grateful that a stranger would help.

This was the proof that she was real... because, you know, that poster definitely looks written by hand...

This was the proof that she was real… because, you know, that poster definitely looks written by hand…

Here’s the kicker:

There are people I can call for help to send me money on my fathers behalf but my dad will get mad with me if I do that due to his pride.  I just want to do something to show him that I am a grown up lady and that I can take charge of things when he is not around because he always sees me as a kid. 

Here’s a grownup plan – call people you know and trust and get the cash. I would be calling whoever possible to get the money rather than trying to scam somebody.

And heck, she only needs $870! That will settle things and get him out of there! And how should he send her the money? Western Union, of course. It will be in the nurse’s name who has cared for her father because she lives in Ghana and has been very kind. It’s easier for her to pick up the coin, you see.

She tells him all how to do this. After all, she needs this money to make her father better. But, until then, she’s going to take a warm bath and go pray at her father’s bed.

Oh … and $870? Not a chance our fair friend can come up with that scratch. Sure, he feels bad he can’t help, but damn, that’s a lot of coin! In fact, it’s nearly two paychecks! He has no connections he can borrow from, either. He’s stuck. What’s a man to do?

After all, he trusts she would pay him back (not really) and her father must be able to forgive her if she calls his connections, no?

But Linda still believes she can get some cash. How? She talks to the nurse about selling a bracelet she has. It’s expensive. Maybe that will do it? So the nurse takes her to a place, presumably some sort of a pawn shop, maybe?

We went there this morning and they prize the bracelet at 500$, that bracelet is a gift dad gave to me on my last birthday.

I think its a good idea if I sell it. But my fear is that it does not cover all the amount required. So I thought to ask you, If you can get the remaining balance if I sell the bracelet at 500? What do you say, please let me know.

Well, now we’re down to $370! Maybe this is affordable and manageable?

Not a chance, Linda.

Then, a miracle!

She sold the bracelet. Her father is doing better. She even fed him his favorite food. When she’s able to, she’ll let him know.

And that, of course, makes our prince happy. And he hopes they will be able to chat soon. Maybe – just maybe – this person is legit and she was truly in need of help.

She needs but just a small amount of money to save her father... and then together you will be forever!

She needs but just a small amount of money to save her father… and then together you will be forever!

No?

Fine. Be cynics!

She responds, though. And yes, of course, things took a turn for the worse. It’s sad, you see.

I have been thinking so much about you and my heart is at peace any time I think of you. Honey I tried to sell my bracelet and they refused to buy it. They want me to give them the receipt which I used to purchase it and I told them its just a gift from my dad and i also explained the circumstance to them but they couldn’t. But not to worry i am trying to explore other ways to get the rest of the money. Today I thought of what to do to make you believe in me so I decided to snap myself this way. Just view the picture below and tell me what you feel about me.

By then, our hero was past this. He knew this was a scam. The romance was no more. Alas, 10 days later or so, he reaches out to her. He says he hasn’t heard from her and hopes she is well and that her father is doing better.

Turns out, not so much.

My dad is dead

Well, that was an abrupt way to end things.

And just like that, the phishing ended. No more correspondence. Nothing. I sure hope Linda is OK.

No money lost and none gained for the scammer. That’s the best thing about this.

Final wrap of this series comes tomorrow!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Day Zero Project: Completed No. 14

Aug 26

A Day Zero Project goal of P.J.’s has been completed!

Goal completed: Write a blog post about the DayZero project within the first week of the start date.

Date completed: August 4, 2014

Number: 14

Description: This was a blog post to talk about my upcoming Day Zero Project, as well as putting it out there that I am doing it.

Why I wanted to do it: One, it shows others I am doing it. Second, it gives me a bit of accountability, despite not making the list public until I finish a goal and/or the project. Plus, all completed goals are going to be put on the site.

How I did it: I blogged about the project and my thoughts on it, as well as what I hope to do with it.

About P.J.’s Day Zero Project: Day Zero is a project where people come up with 101 things to do over 1001 days. I started the project on August 1, 2014 with an anticipated finish date of April 28, 2017. Goals will not be revealed until they are completed. A private list is at the Day Zero website and the list will be made public upon completion of the project. It’s my thoughts that if things are kept private, should I not do them, change or find a way around it, I’d only be cheating myself.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Internet love & being phished: Utilizing dating sites to cash in

Aug 25

(This is the fourth in a six-part series that finishes this weekat A ‘lil HooHaa)

You’ve read my tales about an attempt to be phished on the Internet. But all the while, I knew it was a scam and knew I wasn’t going to be hitched to some Russian beauty and living the American dream.

That was 2005. These days, it’s a lot easier to tug on somebody’s heart and work a scam. But, a scam is still a scam.

int-lov-phish

So this story is of a deeper attempt at phishing and, truthfully, quite despicable.

A friend of mine, who will remain nameless for this story, was on a Christian dating site. Now, I’ve personally seen ads for things like this, but never really looked into them. Heck, I’ve barely ever looked at mainstream ones, such as Match.com. But, apparently this site caters to the Christians in the world, which is perfectly fine and understandable.

What happened next is a sham of all shams. And the way it ended is quite disturbing and shows what these scammers will do to make something work, or to make sure things end quickly.

This story starts sometime in April of 2013. I don’t have all the e-mails, but enough to tell the story of this scam. And it all has to do with this dear girl Linda, a beautiful gal who is searching for her Christian mate.

This isn’t just about love, though. This is about tugging at somebody’s heart, playing with emotions and anything else to try and scam a few bucks.

And that’s just wrong in many ways, but especially if you are throwing it out there in the name of God. No matter your religious preference, I think my readers would agree that playing with the name of God isn’t really the way to go about a scam. Not that there are morals involved, but ya know …

Hello my sweet man, happy Monday to you! I feel so wonderful this afternoon because my heavenly father spoke to me this morning through his word – which really refreshed me. You know I’ve prayed for a Godly man to come into my life and I’ve been waiting on the Lord to bring him into my life and to open my eyes and soften my heart so that I would not miss him.

Hello, Linda. On a legit dating site, she looks to connect with a friend of mine.

Hello, Linda. On a legit dating site, she looks to connect with a friend of mine.

I’m not a church-going person by any means, but even I can see this would be tip-toeing in a place one shouldn’t go.

She continues …

I’m not sure if you’re the man the Lord has for me, but I can feel you’re an amazing person, truly a man of God and someone that I am thankful that God is allowing me to communicate with, I’m very hopeful that it will lead to greater more profound things between us. I am very hopeful that God is now getting ready to give me the desires of my heart ( a man of like faith – one whom I can love as he loves me and we can love the Lord and worship him together). I am ready to meet you and any time you are ready we should coordinate a date and time to meet.

Now, let’s realize that the two had just started talking. But meeting is something that is being spoken about. It’s a game, though. There wasn’t a plan to meet – no matter what somebody may think. It’s all about believability. Send some sexy photos, whether they are of you or somebody else, learn the other person’s interest and draw them in.

She goes on to explain her background – born into a Norweigian family, parents and a brother. Father was a marine biologist, so she was closer to her mother.

Then the shit got real. She drops an early bombshell.

In June 2011 my mom was involved in car accident with my brother, my cousin and his girl friend and both died. I was very bitter and depressed and dad retired from active service and now into private business. My mom’s death made my dad to be more close to me and we became best of friends. It also draw us nearer to God. We started attending Church services and I was able to study the bible more often and I was convinced that Christ is the reason for every season and I gave my life to Christ in May 2012. Ever since then I have been renewed and the love of Christ follows in me.

OK, first –details. There were four in the car, but both died. So who died? Mother and brother I am assuming, but what about the cousin and girlfriend? Then she goes back to the God part of her letter. It’s understandable as she knows her target is a religious person.

The brunette next door and a practicing Christian -- perfect for a Christian dating site.

The brunette next door and a practicing Christian — perfect for a Christian dating site.

Apparently, too, she’s a registered nurse, so she appreciates life more. She’s only dated two men. One was a childhood friend and it doesn’t seem like it ended perfectly, as she’d rather not discuss until meeting face-to-face. The second was an Arab man (her words), but his parents didn’t approve of the relationship for religious reasons. She’s been single since June 2012, but her father is now getting worried (mind you, that’s less than a year later that this exchange started) and her father is pushing for her to marry anybody, apparently.

She also sent a list of questions and noted any time he was comfortable talking on the phone or exchanging text messages, she was up for it. He just needed to send a phone number. This is a whole new level of interesting when it comes to phishing scams.

On the outside, this still seems legit. The girl supposedly lives about an hour and a half away and seems to know some of the area she claims to be in. So this budding romance starts off and moves along.

He responds back to her with a lengthy e-mail, answering the questions. He, too, speaks about God. He gives his background and feels a connection.

Too perfect? Absolutely.

He poured his heart out to her about his hopes, his dreams and his love of God, as well as what he looked for in the future. It was very sincere and, so much so, that I don’t want to share most of it because he was pulled into this by a scam artist.

On a side note, I look at this and wonder. I’m not a scammer and am not sure I ever could do it. But I definitely don’t think I could read something from somebody about their love of God and be able to fake it to try and scam them. As noted, I am not a highly religious person, so if I see somebody who is, I’d have a very hard time trying to take advantage of that.

There is one thing I must share, however. She asked a question about what he wouldn’t be tolerant of in a mate. His response:

Lying, dishonesty! I can’t stand that more then anything! The biggest part in a relationship is trust and lying or dishonesty kills a relationship. Which includes cheating!

He then gave his phone number and personal e-mail address (the reason I don’t have the early exchanges is because he didn’t save all of the correspondence on the site and it was deleted). Some texts were exchanged, which is interesting in its own. But, it also shows these scammers are really working it.

I’d also like to note that Linda (her name) also got my friend’s name wrong more than one. Details, people!

From now on? She will be calling him her prince! God’s will brought them together! She then – seriously, you can’t make this up – quoted the scripture.

One thing stood out to me, though:

THAT IS OUR NEIGHBOR, and we are COMMANDED TO LOVE THEM in the manner that Christ has loved us. Wow- sometimes this Jesus stuff is tough! But if we are going to bring a light into this world, we must bring it to ALL, we must LOVE our enemies

I’ve yet to ever hear a true Christian say something along the lines of “Wow, sometimes this Jesus stuff is tough!”

So wait... could this actually not be the person she says she is?

So wait… could this actually not be the person she says she is?

Seriously?

Red flags are waving, folks!

Then things got a little shaky. See, her number got lost when he got a new phone. And he’s quite sorry about it and misses speaking with her. She was not too happy about him losing her digits, though, you see.

But, she’s been busy over the past few days anyway. Her father called and asked her to go to Boston as it was around the time of the Boston bombings and he wanted her to check on cousins because they wouldn’t answer the phone. So she headed to Boston and then just got back. She wants to meet face-to-face. After all, she wants to make sure he’s the man of her dreams.

In response he tells her his tales of phones crapping out and things were erased. He’s praying for her family and wants to meet. They need to plan a weekend and can talk at any time. He also – and I loved this – corrected her about his name.

What follows is an exchange of e-mails where it’s discussed about actually chatting on the phone. This is a scamming thing for sure, but there’s a bit of stringing along.

And then it begins.

It starts when she travels to Tucson to pick up some things for her father. See, they have two commercial buildings there. Her father traveled to Africa on a business trip, and she was sent to Arizona to get some items for him.

Let’s remember what I noted in previous posts – details, details, details! If they own these buildings and a business, wouldn’t there be people who could do these things? Instead, she travels from New York to Arizona to do this.

She finishes it off with this, though:

I am thinking about you daily and I am looking forward to meeting you. Send me your mailing Address I will like to send you something nice. Take care of yourself ok and don’t forget to always eat healthy.

Kisses from my heart

Linda

Keep ‘em coming back for more!

But then it slowed down. She didn’t respond much. He was looking forward to talking. She finally sends a phone number. Could it be the girl of his dreams? Could he be the man of her dreams? Only time will tell.

What happens, though, is reality when scammers are busted or know they aren’t getting anywhere. And it’s rather crazy. So stay tuned for the conclusion of this tale.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Soundless Sunday: August 24

Aug 24

“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and the solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

– Paul Tillch

august24_2014

Soundless Sunday is a weekly feature where I’ll try and feature a favorite quote and a photo that I’ve taken. Enjoy life — it’s the only way to go!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Snapshot Saturday: August 23

Aug 23

Another blast from the past!

It would appear that my grandmother was a bit of a jovial person in her youth.

Wonder what the story was here ...

Wonder what the story was here …

Enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Internet love & being phished: The truth is revealed

Aug 22

(This is the third in a six-part series that will run over the next two weeks at A ‘lil HooHaa)

Irina’s next letter made it official. Her beginning words sealed it.

Hi my lovely boyfriend

In just a few short weeks of sharing e-mails and talking about things, we were an item. Not too shabby, right? I think I did OK with this one. She’s exotic and looking for love. My future wife was taking the next steps and being assertive. I liked it!

int-lov-phish

The only issue was the nearly 5,500 miles between us, but what’s a few miles between soul mates?

And then add in her prose following that initial salutation and … who wouldn’t be all in love?

I am very happy to receive your letter. I as though to fly in heavens when I see your new letter. Your letters to give to me of forces in work and to support my fine mood all the day long. In fact our attitudes approach with each letter and develop into friendship. They become more than friendship. You agree with me? By the way you there is nothing I to name you mine boyfriend and to subscribe your girlfriend?

Pure. Freakin’. Gold.

At least she asked me about the whole girlfriend/boyfriend thing. But hey, she continues saying she’s strongly attached to me and she waits impatiently for my letters and when she can write me.

And her days are thinking about me … all day and night. You can’t make this stuff up. Well, obviously you can, but you know what I mean.

It means that I to want to be your girl and that you were mine the man. It is important for me to
know your opinion on this question? I to speak yesterday with my mum. Whether mum has asked me really I is sure, what at me with you the future is possible? And I have told, what yes I believe, I believe all Heart in successful development of our attitudes. How you think?

So I am in because her mother apparently is on board with this whole idea. But, her next line is where this gets fun. It’s almost like she is setting up for what’s coming and trying to make sure I wouldn’t believe it – when it comes. This is awesome stuff, folks.

I to hear many histories about that as women to deceive men. For many women on the Internet are necessary only money or an opportunity to come to other country and to receive citizenship. I to not want that you thought that I one of such women. I to not want any games and to want fair attitudes. I to not search for money or citizenship. I search for my love. Therefore I to want to meet you sometime and to look as to develop our attitudes.

She, too, hopes I feel the same way. After all, she wants to feel my sight, my smile and all sorts of things. She’s becoming attached to me and she is in love. She wants a family. She’s 29, after all, and needs to have that chance … and I am it. She can’t wait. And she sends me a gentle kiss.

This is when it gets real, though.

Her next letter is shorter than most – probably setting up for the haymaker. We’re becoming attached, you see. We are far apart, but we need to meet.

I hope, that we can soon meet. I to think that I to fall in love with you! Probably, I to find what to search in this life. And it you – my loved and unique. And It seems to me that I fall
in love with you with each letter more and more and more.

We will have fun and live happily ever after!

We will have fun and live happily ever after!

Well, she’s only human!

Her mother, too, is happy with her finding love, but she doesn’t like the distance. Therefore, we need to meet. Irina wants this meeting … but how? She must run for now … but is forever mine.

And then … the shoe drops.

With no response for a bit, I went fishing … I expressed my devotion and said I hadn’t heard from her and hope all was OK. Was it? Oh … yes, of course.

Here’s my thought – I was taking too long to bite the bait and she had moved to the next person. But when I went back, it brought me back up the chain.

Turns out she had met with an old girlfriend, Tanya. They studied in college together and they visited at a café and had ice cream. At that point, Irina drops the bombshell. She has a boyfriend in the US (who, for the record, is totally awesome) and she has found love.

But that distance…

Turns out Tanya is all over this. She works in tourism, you see, and she has connections with the United States embassy in Moscow. The two of them can go there and she can get all the legal papers to get a visa so she can get to the US to find me!

She trusts in God, who is the one who made this all happen.

And Tanya? She’s ready to help, too. She promised to make everything right and organize this trip But it takes some time … and money. She needs about $250 to travel and stay in Moscow, and then another $500 for something else. She doesn’t earn a lot of cash, though, and she can’t afford this. She has nowhere to get this money, either.

Remember when I said in another part of this story that you need to make sure of details? Remember her mother was a lead accountant? I’m pretty sure that in Russia, as well as the US, she’d get paid decently. And if her daughter had found love… I would hope a loan, no?

She ends her first plea with this:

I cannot ask you such money, but I to understand that to me such sum to not collect never in a life. Therefore I am compelled to address for the help to you. You can help me? If I to lose you I to not go through it. I to love you my prince. Successful to you of day. I to send to you a passionate kiss. With love your princess Irina.

I am the only one who could save Irina... and I must, for my love, right?

I am the only one who could save Irina… and I must, for my love, right?

Are you with me here? She’s saying she’ll never earn $750 in her life. So she needs to ask me.

From this point on, there weren’t many letters. I think when I started to balk at sending nearly $1,000, the gig was up. It’s not that she didn’t try, however. In her follow-up to asking for all that money, she responded to me (my letter back was short, basically asking how $750 would ensure we were together) after a few days.

It was also her birthday, so she turned 30. I had wished her a happy birthday as well.

I was happy to read your letter. It to please me as the little girl. I very strongly love you. Thanks for your congratulations. I to have a celebratory supper with my relatives and girlfriends. Anything especial. It is not a pity that you could come and congratulate me personally. Now to me 30 years.

That didn’t last long. Then it was time to get back into it. After all, we had a life to live together, right? So she talked to Tanya again. The best way to go is a Visa B-2, which Tanya was going to work on. It will be valid for 90 days and will only take 14-21 days to get this. Tanya, of course, can do it quickly.

Basically, according to Tanya, we’d meet and stay together for 90 days. After that, we can decide what we are going to do.

Probably we to decide to marry and I to remain with you for ever. Write to me where to be the international airport nearest to you? I shall try to learn about cost of tickets. I shall fly to you from Moscow. I now to require in 500 $ can receive my visa and the passport. If you to send me this money I can at once start to make out my visa that she was ready, when we to decide date Our meeting. I hope, that you can help me with this money. If you can send me money that bett make it through the Western Union.

She then gave me an address in Omsk at a bank, under her name. And then, of course, she puts all the pressure on me.

Our meeting depends on you, my love. My life depends on you, my love. We shall be happy only together. I to want to make that happy in the world. But I to understand, that we far apart and to meet it costs money. Without money I cannot be with you. And can expect only for your help. I to cry when to think about it. But I to trust, that I we with you to be together fast, my love. When I to think of you my heart comes to life, I wait yours kiss, your love, your touches. You my
destiny, my life. Know, that I wait only for you and your love. I to want to be with you. I shall wait for your answer. Know, I to love you and only you. I love you my Prince. Yours for ever Irina.

Talk about pressure!

It apparently wasn't meant to be... such a shame as we could have been the real deal!

It apparently wasn’t meant to be… such a shame as we could have been the real deal!

So, I skirted it. At this point I knew she wasn’t going to continue with this charade for long as if I’m not sending the coin, then what’s the point of us chatting? She’s seeking somebody to scam money from and if I am not giving it to her, then she’ll work on somebody else who might. So … I bought some time.

I told her I wasn’t a rich man, but I was working to save the money. Each e-mail I sent, I upped the ante a little. The first time I had saved $50, then up to $100 and so forth. Her letters stayed short, but she remained her normal self – though she didn’t lose sight on the prize. I played off her words, noting she didn’t have the money and she couldn’t expect me to have it all right away, either.

In one letter she talked about love and how co-workers notice the difference in here. But she is also lonely because I am so far away.

Then there was a break. I thought it had passed… but I had sent an e-mail – fishing, if you will, for a response.

And I got a nice, short and to-the-point e-mail.

I cannot write to you earlier. How there are your affairs? Under the visa of the tourist I can be with you of 90 days, but we can decide to marry for this time and I shall be with you always. I to want to give birth to two children of the boy and the girl. But not at once. We all over again will need to create favorable conditions for this purpose. I so to dream about it. I very much to like to look at stars when I am warm to leave in the evening on street and we to sit with the girlfriend in park and to look at stars. When I was small, I frequently to think of desire on falling a star and sometimes they to be executed. I shall do it again and to think, that we were together and for ever.

So she’s looking for the coin, that’s for sure. After this one, I decided it was losing its fun… but about a month later, I sent one last e-mail. This was her final e-mail to me before I finally decided I needed to stop because the entertainment factor was leaving and, truthfully, I think she realized she wasn’t getting a deposit via Western Union from me.

I am happy to receive your letter. You very for a long time did not write to me. Me did not suffice your letters. I to love you, to love that you me to write. I to think, when we shall be together you will speak me tender words every day. At us it is now cold. It is raining.
I very much to not like cold weather and to want, that you to warm heat. I very strongly to want to be with you. I to love you and cannot without you, my love. When I to think of you my heart comes to life, I wait yours kiss, your love, your touches. You my destiny, my life. Know, that I wait only for you and your love. I to want to be with you. Write to me when we shall be together. I shall wait for your answer. Know I to love you and only you. I love you my Prince.

And like that, I lost my internet gal. No cookies. No milk. No nothing. No coin sent. No loving or kissing.

In a funny twist, I’ve since – more than once – Googled her name and each time come up with little scams and such. So, as originally thought, I wasn’t the only one. Apparently internet love is something else.

I even attempted to e-mail the address, but of course it no longer works.

But why – some nine years later – do I bring this up?

Well, for one, it gives me some good blog fodder. But for two … it happened again, to a friend, in a totally different way. And this was way too good to not write about. It happened in a way that can only happen as technology continues to grow – so that story will follow in upcoming posts as the second part of this series.

The lesson of all this is simple – you always have to be skeptical about things. This came to me via a pen pal site, so expressing love seemed awful crazy. As for my friend – it came on a legit dating site, and one for Christians none the less. Imaging that? Talk about testing the almighty!

But what it really shows is people are willing to go to any level to try and dupe somebody when money is on the line. If it takes professing or using love as a way to get it, so be it. But when one is found out, things can get quite testy.

So continue reading in this week of scams and love – and see the phishing as it continues.

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