(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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