Is it a scam? An over-60 woman’s real life experience… 199



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After an incident free move from Brisbane, and starting my new job, I settled into my new abode in Melbourne. I knew Victoria was diverse, beautiful and worth exploring, so went online to a dating site looking for a companion to do this with. I had not done any online dating before, but felt ready to give it a go. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love.

Surprisingly the first person to contact me was not local, but a good looking grey-haired engineer from America, but with an English home base. I wrote back asking, “Did you know I am in Australia?” He answered that he would go anywhere for the right person.

And so it began. It was not till contact was finally broken, 72 days later, that I realised I had been scammed, and that I would not get the over $260,000 that I had sent him back. He had promised, often, that I would get it back once he had managed to get out of Dubai and back to England. He had even shown me bank statements showing he had the money, knowing I might not believe him.

He made me feel so special, that the love that we had together was destined, magical and forever. The early questioning of likes and dislikes I had thought was just getting to know each other. At least he was a man who was interested, wanting to commit, and able to communicate, I thought. When he sent me a YouTube link to ‘Bless the Broken Road’ by Rascal Flatts, I thought this was his experience, and it mirrored mine. We progressed from online chats, to talking on the phone, eventually to video chats. We spent hours trying to get the settings correct, but his video just didn’t work. He could see me but I could not see him.

We talked late at night, we talked in the early morning. He loved me to call him as I left for work, like the kiss of your loved one as you go out the door. By the time he took a contract fixing pipelines in Dubai, from where he was going to come on to Australia to see me, I wanted this to be forever, and I suspected he did too. I was deeply and totally in love with this beautiful man, even though I had never met him. When he finally ‘popped the question’ my answer was immediate and without hesitation. Yes, I would marry him.

In hindsight this was to him the verification that he had me truly under his spell, and so the requests for money started. Initially it was for tax he needed to pay in Dubai. He could not access his own funds in England as his bank account was on hold. I decided I would help him, just once I thought, out of love, and sent money. I wanted to be a full partner in this relationship. The requests for help kept coming though, for materials he needed for building; and some weeks later after threats of violence and jail, more tax.

“Was he real?” I demanded of him. “How could I imagine he wasn’t”, he argued back, righteously. By this time I was borrowing money, on a current and a new credit card.

Then he was bashed and robbed of the tax money on his way to pay it. I wouldn’t want to know him he said, but of course I did. I took money out of my SMSF and sent it to him again. He was by now not working and needed to pay back his employers or else he would not be able to leave Dubai. I took more money out of my SMSF to send him. I wondered if it was all a scam, but what we had between us seemed too personal, too intimate.

Finally he had paid enough and could leave Dubai, and soon I would get my money back. I waited through the night for his message that he was boarding his plane but there was nothing. The next day there was a call from a ‘nurse’ in a hospital saying he had been in a car accident, and he had asked her to call me. As next of kin, a doctor calls me, asking for his bill to be paid so he could be released. I talked to the British embassy, who said it was a scam. I could not believe it even then and sent the very last of my money. Out of hospital he now needed more money for replacement air tickets and his accommodation, so I sent my just received pay. Truly, now, I had no more to send… and finally he got on a plane.

“Boarding the plane my love….

I love you sooo much and thanks for everything”.

Over the coming days, with no more contact, I finally understood… it WAS a scam and I would never get my money back.

People ask, “How could you give money to someone you have never met..?” But in my mind he was the love of my life. I did not know that it had all the hallmarks of a romance scam.

I know NOW that I was groomed by a skilled and professional fraudster, and that it was not personal, it was not about me. Their intent is to break down their victim’s defences by exhaustion, social isolation and an overwhelming amount of attention. The love hormone oxytocin helped me to trust him. He deliberately and successfully manipulated my emotions to get my money.

When online dating or even on other group or social media sites where you may be contacted by strangers, be aware of the potential for scams. It can happen to anyone. Early attempts to build intimacy are a red flag, as are contacts through the night.


Tell us, have you ever been the victim of a scam?


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  1. Don’t these women ever learn. There are warnings everywhere re: all sorts of scam artists, in newspapers, radio , TV and social media. I just cant believe how a woman can fall for it. The guy…from the little i read as it’s the same old story……probably resides in some African country (for instance). can’t feel sympathy.

    4 REPLY
    • What you mean is… you wouldn’t fall for it. That’s fine but your tone is quite heartless. I have no doubt she has learnt now. For some the warning signs may have been missed it sounds like she was new to it all. At least she was brave enough to tell her story with the hope she might help others. What did she get for that from you…. negativity

    • No Christine Grant the negativity from some of the people on here no respect and their lives are so full of respect and love (not lol)

    • What I mean is we are continually being warned. The police come on TV to warn us. Had she been living in a cave not to have heard these things? I think it was a case of ‘it won’t happen to me.’ If you knew me you would know I am neither heartless nor negative.

    • You are right I don’t know you Vee but maybe my response can alert you to how you sounded unintentionally and the way you spoke of your frustration could be just rubbing salt into the wound. Something we all need to consider before posting.

  2. Are you really that desperate. ..get a life.

    6 REPLY
    • Another nasty response. If you can’t be constructive or comment without some understanding realise what a picture of yourself you are projecting

    • Yes Christine another lot of nasty comments , Jan did nothing wrong she was only reaching out as she needed to be loved . Jan in this story has my full support as it upsets me when nasty persons ridicule another human being .

    • Sadly that’s exactly what she was trying to do, Chris. Moving to a new and large bustling city, especially as we age, can be very daunting and isolating so it’s not surprising people turn to the easiest form of meeting someone. A little bit of compassion goes a long way.

      1 REPLY
      • Jeni is so right, the Lady sounds lovely. Sometimes in life we reach out and look for friends and love, my advice is ‘friendships are free’ do not pay for it, always remember it could be a scam. The scammers are good to them it is a job, I have seen friends hurt by these scams.

    • Thank you Jeni for your beautiful input , we need to LOVE and RESPECT JAN not to ridicule her when she feels alone and in a New State where she was just reaching out to make new friends .

      1 REPLY
      • In one way Vee is completely right. There are plenty of warnings out there in the media. And yes I’m happy for that as I’m sure it made women think twice and God knows how many women have been saved from these con artists. However the guest contributor also put it ” out there” as a warning to to others. It should be appreciated and respected . This lady has fallen for a scam that she at the time was very vulnerable to likely fall for. Everybody has different experiences throughout life and she obviously had seen no reason to distrust. We don’t know her and her background. Did you realise that you only alienated her more by responding that way? In in that I agree with

  3. They are lonely
    That’s why they can be scammed
    They want someone to care for. Someone who cares for them

    6 REPLY
    • I don’t know, nor will I ever kow what loneliness is. But I have seen it destroy people
      They are not stupid just very lonely. I have seen people marry just so they won’t be alone. I feel for them

    • I feel for these women. I know a lot could be said like stupid..act your age….but let us put ourselves in their shoes…believe you me LONELY does not have a hospital. I only wish they had GOOD friends..crystal friends not tupperwares. Easy to judge..but loneliness does not make you think clearly…no matter how involved you are in different activities…these are the moments ..NOT SEX..far from it….let us NOT JUDGE them…say a little good thought for them..if not a simple prayer..even if we do not know them. Just hope for the best for them

      1 REPLY
      • Lulu, so well put.
        “Loneliness doesn’t have a hospital”
        There is a song there
        Best wishes to you.

    • Lol you are the ‘stupid’ one Robyn. Use the right grammar , it is they’re not their.
      Yes this lady was very naive , a very sad story.

    • Speak for yourself Robyn Sager you have a nerve calling these women STUPID . JAN my heart goes out to you because these scammers target the vulnerable and don’t feel bad because you aren’t the only lady to have experienced this .

  4. Why do you women fall for these scams. They are warning you all the time about people being fleeced DONT FALL FOR THEM l think it is time that if you are stupid enough after all these warnings that you fall for these cretins and their rubbish then you deserve what you get

    2 REPLY
    • I am it is a shame that these ladies still fall for these scams they get so hurt it makes my blood boil. They need a pet maybe we have a meeting cuppa weekly to welcome new people in town and then they won’t feel so lonely. It is the best idea we have come up with. I do feel sorry for her and l also apologized to her if you saw my 2nd post

  5. Get a pet ..
    They are cheaper and give you unconditional love …

    6 REPLY
    • Bit hard to go out for dinner with a cat. As for love making, which shock horror, does happen over 60 the mind boggles

    • Wendy, I go to dinner with my friends. I haven’t given up on finding someone to share my life with, but have learned that to love myself and to enjoy each day as it comes give peace and contentment

    • Good for you Phyllis. I was just being silly. I am glad that you are happy with your life and wish you every success for your future and I hope it is a long healthy one.

    • With you on that one…On line dating ??? OMG tried a few dates..over 60..and they were terrible. Sounded fine..looked fine..but in the flesh and with an open mouth..awful. Like being by myself..have friends..have a small dog..and do what I want when I want. And intend staying that way 🙂

  6. Seriously grow up and act your age all this love crap is ridiculous you are getting older and should know better you’re not 16 get over it and act your age.

    19 REPLY
    • You ARE kidding, right? Where is it written, love is for 16 year olds? She was looking for a companion after a huge life change. Where understanding fails, try empathy. Where empathy fails, try compassion. Where compassion fails, try silence.

    • When you’re old you’re old get over it this never to old for romance is just wrong on so many levels. These old women and men that go on about love and sex creep me out you had your time give it up and act accordingly.

    • Wow! I’m 65 Robyn and I believe you can fall in love at any age, yes she was gullible but low life’s prey on lonely people, you sound very bitter and perhaps you have been hurt recently

    • Indeed, Leigh, Robyn is entitled to her opinion – as are we all. And we are as entitled to express our opinions….

    • It’s not only older people that these things happen to, give the lady a break, express you opinions with a little compassion.

    • Robyn Sager you speak for yourself , Jan just wanted to be loved like any normal human being and just because we are in our senior years we aren’t done and dusted .

    • If you are looking for companion or love, for goodness sake look for someone within your surrounding area.
      Yes, it’s true we are never to old to look for love, but really, for this woman’s it was utter desperation, she fell in love with a man who said all the right things to her over the internet????????? and then managed to fleece her in just a short time.
      She fell in love with a ‘fake’ photo and fancy words.
      We are supposed to be wiser with age, not dumber and gullible.
      We are all responsible for the choices we make in life, and even though this lady told her story, people will still fall for these scams. Because ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality.

    • ladies so nasty and you accuse me of it and Shirley Dengate I never said I was crash hot but then neither are you I’m just saying what I think and I think old people should age graciously not like a pack of seedy dirty old creeps.

    • At our age having been brought up in a different era where civility and good manners were taught it is sad to see the nasty comments and personal attacks on those with different views. It us called “ad hominem” in law and means attacking the person instead of debating the substance of the subject.

    • Poor Robyn. Something must have made you a bitter old woman. Maybe you haven’t had enough love in your life.
      I am fortunate, as I met my lovely, tall, kind, funny and sexy man when I was sixty, seven years ago, and we’re still having the best time of our lives. That’s not to gloat….just to say, falling in love, and love, can happen at any age. It’s not just for the young.
      (And I’ve had my share of wankers too)

    • I’m not bitter Helena Ackroyd just saying how it is I’m older yes but there’s nothing more vulgar than a dirty older person I have nothing against romance when you’re older just leave the seedy bits out or keep them to yourself its gruesome. What grandchild wants to hear about grandparents sex life its creepy.

    • Well actually Robyn Sager the only person referring to sex is you!! Not sure why you are finding it so distressing it’s perfectly natural at any age and no one is suggesting for one minute we all discuss our sex lives with the grandkids,the article was about a poor lady who was scammed,it’s very easy to be critical when you haven’t been in that situation,just like asking why battered wives don’t just leave,not everything in life is black and white..

    • Our bodies may change, inside we are the same person, with maybe a little more wisdom, not too old to live though.

  7. Jan ignore the posts of negativity. You have tried to turn your awful experience into something that might help someone else. I am sorry you had such a horrible experience

  8. I can’t understand females are still falling for these scammers, there have been warnings out for years about them. I suppose if you are so desperate for companionship you will get caught in one of these webs, it is frightening of how easy some poor lady can be stung, such a real,pity

  9. Don’t fall for this you only have one love in your life be. Grateful for that I would not trust no one. ??

  10. For the life of me I cannot understand why these lonely people do not join their local clubs there are so many different clubs and things to do for the retired now, you do not have to sit at home being lonely
    The old saying holds true if it looks too good to be true it then it is probable a scam

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