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RESOURCE PERSPECTIVES: Online predators aren’t who they say they are

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud’s Resource Perspectives features articles written by members of Lovefraud’s Professional Resources Guide.

They Aren’t Who They Say They Are
By Skipp Porteous, Sherlock Investigations

Skipp Porteus profile in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

People contact Sherlock Investigations every week that have been taken by someone they met online. To make matters worse, the perpetrators die off before the benefactors even realize that they’ve been had.

We’ve all heard of the Nigerian scams. (It’s amazing how many people still fall for them.) They contact you by email claiming to be the wife, husband, son, or daughter of someone who had control of a lot of money. They want you to help them retrieve the money. If you help them, they’ll give you, say, a 20 percent commission.

The other day we had a guy who fell for this. He contacted us because he wanted to know if a certain person was the head of The Bank of Africa. He was already in over his head when he emailed us. He had called a number in Africa and spoke to a “lawyer.” The lawyer assured him that he could help him negotiate the red tape to retrieve his money. His only fee would be $850, in advance.

The fool sent $850 to Africa by Western Union. A week later, the lawyer said that he needed another $5,500. That’s when he contacted us. I told him that he’d be had, and not to go to Ghana to try to find the guy and get his money back. People have been murdered trying to do this.

There are many, many scams on the Internet. Some people list themselves on dating sites or other social networking places. After weeks or months sending back and forth engaging email or instant messages, they win your heart. Then, they usually want money or sex.

One potential client sent a guy $6,000 for supposed necessary knee surgery. When our would-be client started to get suspicious, he got an email from someone saying that the guy who had knee surgery died of a blood clot. Without a doubt, it was the same guy who received the money. Time to move on, he thought.

This week alone we received pleas for help concerning three different people who “died” during the course of an Internet relationship. A guilt-trip was even placed on one woman. The writer said, “It was all your fault that he died.”

Young men often fall victim to scams because they engage in online chat with young females who are charming and beautiful. Of course, the photos they send are not usually themselves. One person was sending out photos of an Italian porn star. We tracked him down and found a fat kid living with his mother. We even got a surveillance photo of him.

But, in one case, a guy had been having an online relationship with a girl from the Philippines. He hired Sherlock Investigations to check her out. She actually turned out to be who said she was, and he went to the Philippines and proposed. Now, they’re happily married. This is true, but unfortunately, uncommon.

A lot of people are greedy and think that they can get something for nothing. It ain’t gonna happen, folks. The bottom line: Don’t give money, or yourself, to someone you don’t really know.

The Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide is a listing of professionals who can help victims escape from entanglements with sociopaths. All professionals in the guide are recommended by clients or colleagues. We’re looking for therapists, lawyers, child advocates, private investigators, forensic accountants, expert witnesses and social services organizations. If you know someone who can be an effective advocate for victims, please submit a referral.

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23 Comments on "RESOURCE PERSPECTIVES: Online predators aren’t who they say they are"

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  1. penelope says:

    lightheaded,
    It hurts when you lose them, that is true. I’m glad you’re here

  2. shabbychic2 says:

    lightheaded: I can understand the feelings you have about being addicted to a person… and the pain, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it. I am also glad you are here, this is really a healing place, and a site with people who will help you get through all this, I know it has helped me a lot. I don’t know if it is possible to visit a person one has such strong feelings for “just for fun”, you’re heart would be in it too much, of course you still feel love for her, that doesn’t disappear overnight, even though we wish it would! Keep reading and I hope you post again!

  3. akitameg says:

    Lightheaded!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh My God!!!! WE are in the same damned boat. I can hardly believe what I am reading b/c It is so where I am — not done reading yours– right back. Please hang in there! I feel your pain b/c it is mine like you cannot imagine. I feel my S got to my soul through sex—

  4. akitameg says:

    Lightheaded–
    you have to keep coming here. It is safe here and the people are wonderful and understand.
    I can relate to your post the most thus far (Do not mean to offend anyone.) and I am so grateful.
    My ex was the most physically gorgeous man I have ever seen and the sex was literally to die for– and I was so sick– that I almost did! That is how they get you.
    My withdrawal symptoms have been so severe that I now owe 800 bucks for an ER visit!!!! Yeah– just to be put on ATivan intrevenously.
    Please keep up your honesty here! Please keep reading. Please know you are where you are supposed to be AND IT IS NOT WITH THE SOCIOPATH even though you and I BOTH FEEL as if we should be with them. It is all a lie– as are they.

  5. learnthelesson says:

    Lightheaded… sometimes when i read my own words…it helps me…

    “I guess a month or so ago I started asking questions; and since I was on the right track about her she became defense,then changed her email,phone etc.” Lightheaded.

    **RED FLAG -Stay on the right track!

    “But mostly the accusations ,the projections,the crazymaking,I was the one doing things wrong,( and here I am trying to please her more all the time to fix ME!” Lightheaded.

    **2nd RED FLAG-You really dont want to go back to that do you? All in the name of a little fun – it will only get worse.

    “she stopped communicating 2 weeks ago cuz she has a new “visitor” form the USA for a couple weeks to use for money and sex I hear.” Lightheaded

    ***- 3rd, 4th and 5th RED FLAG *** NC. NC. NC.

    “I still feel love for her and wish I could change to be tough enough to take it;or preferably she could change” Lighheaded.

    ** Try to find out within why you would continue to feel love for someone who isnt giving, showing sharing her love with you. Try to find out within why you wish you could be tough enough to be treated badly. SHE WONT CHANGE.

    “I nearly went crazy myself with her tirades and anger,and projections; and thought of suicide.” Lightheaded

    **FOCUS ON THE BAD TIMES, REMEMBER THE HARD TIMES…BECAUSE IF YOU GO BACK JUST FOR FUN, OR SEX… YOU WILL HAVE TO ENDURE WORSE TIMES, AND MUCH HARDER TIMES… IT NEVER GETS EASIER LONGTERM WITH AN S/P.. NEVER

    “And I miss the incredible sex” Lightheaded.

    **YOU CAN HAVE INCREDIBLE SEX AGAIN, WITH SOMEONE WHO WILL TREAT YOU AMAZING OUTSIDE OF THE BEDROOM AS WELL. THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID ABOUT “INCREDIBLE” SEX THAT IS SPOILED/TAINTED/RUINED/FORGOTTEN SHORTLY THEREAFTER HAVING IT WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESNT CARE, CONNECT, OR WANT YOU AROUND AFTERWARD. ALL OF A SUDDEN ITS NOT SO SPECIAL WHEN YOU PUT THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER. ITS ALL DISCONNECTED.

    IM SORRY YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THIS. BUT YOU WILL MAKE IT!!! TRY TO STAY STRONG FOR YOURSELF IN A WAY THAT YOU CAN HEAL. ITS A LONG JOURNEY, BUT THE BLOGS HERE ARE VERY HELPFUL. SOMETIMES EVEN JUST REREADING OUR OWN WE CAN GAIN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON OUR VIEW – OF WHERE WE WERE – WHERE WE ARE – AND WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD. GOOD LUCK! GLAD YOU ARE HERE.

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