Romance Scams Revisited

A while back, I wrote a blog post entitled Take the Money and Run. It was about a woman, who tried to trap me in a romance scam. I thought it might be fun to share some portions of exchanged emails and make some brief commentary. We will call that woman by the name of Gertrude, which is Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark.

Here’s the first email I received in July of 2014.

“My name is Gertrude, a friend of yours from Linkedln, and i got your address from your contact info. I like your looks, you are cute and you remind me of someone i used to know. i would love to be friends with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”

The person goes on to say they are a nurse in Nigeria and work for UNICEF. Here are the clues something is wrong:

Notice the works “with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”? If someone is really a nurse, they should have had some basic courses in English composition. That means knowing when to punctuate a sentence and begin a new one.

They are really NOT friends with me on LinkedIn. They don’t have many connections (i.e. only one or two) and nobody recommending them or endorsing them.

Well, this does sound interesting, so I decided to correspond. Granted, we only exchanged or two emails daily. But two days into the correspondence, she wrote about her mom dying and a past bad relationship. The problem is that if I want out with someone and went on two dates three or four hours long, neither of us would bring up family members passing or bad past relationships. At least, that has been my experience. But this person brought it up in casual email conversations.

Five days later, this was part of the email I’ve received from her:

“ It sounds so good to talk about ones feelings and never hold back and just being truthful and sincere, what we have now is the mirror of the kind of relationship I would love to go into, a real genuine relationship based on honesty. Well, as you know its the joy of every woman to have a family and its my dream here too, i want to have my own kids and a loving man in my life, to love and take care of them.”

“I am really interested in wanting to know about what makes you the special person you are today, i can date anyone as long as there is love between us. I want to know more about your family, your background, your life experiences, your goals and dreams, your interests, and anything else you want to tell me…”

Moving a bit fast, don’t you think?

Then came the con and here’s part of an email, where she shared she was sick:

“The doctor advised me to get my own food stuffs since that’s what i have always done, he also prescribed some stronger meds and anti-biotics for me to get. he said i needed them urgently or i risk getting worse cause the ones i am on right now aren’t strong enough. i am so scared here my dear, I asked the camp commandant if she will be able to help me get the food and meds from outside the camp cause i am very weak and i wont be able to go the distance needed to get them myself. she agreed to help me. But the problem i have right now is that i don’t have any money on me now. As a worker i do get paid some amount of money when I’m back home and we get little allowances for personal upkeep here,…”

What can we learn here? If you read the original post, I was asked for money. I took a day or two before responding and did some background investigation. I found out it was a scam and didn’t respond. The moral? People don’t show up with offers of much money, lottery prizes, etc., unless you are related to rich people or entered the lottery by buying a ticket. A beautiful woman doesn’t fall for you in a few days via email. In fact, it might take a few real dates, before any chemistry is happening between you. And if folks want you to buy something, give money, etc., without you taking time to check things out – walk away.

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