You’ve probably heard the tragic stories of women who’ve been scammed by a man they met on a dating site. Just when she’s thinking this is the man of her dreams, he tells her he needs X number of dollars wired overseas right now because he’s been robbed. Or he was caught in an accident, or a hurricane swept away all his belongings, blah blah blah. With her heart throbbing in sympathy, she sends him hundreds of dollars, fully expecting a huge thank you, or even a ring. Instead, she never hears from him again. To her horror, she realizes she’s been conned.
I wish I could turn the clock back for those poor sister-women and point out all the red flags these guys wave, flags we can recognize, if we would only pay attention. (On a side note – some of them might even be women posing as men, just to get their little hands on your hard-earned moolah.)
I myself have encountered these persons online more than once. I’m happy to say I never fell for their sordid schemes, but I can see how it could be easy to do if I’d let my heart run loose. Over the years, I’ve found they all show some common traits, so, for the sake of sisterhood, I’m here to tell you what those are so you’ll never, ever have to be victimized.
Here are five red flags. When you see several of them in one match, Run! Unless you want to “sting” them, which is super fun. I know from personal experience. J More on this in Part II.
- Stilted, unnatural English. These guys are usually in Africa somewhere, most commonly Nigeria, so they don’t write like native English speakers. Scrutinize their profile and watch for language-butchering. For example: “One of my greatest passions is helping others. Its ritual of me to visit the orphanage homes and less privileged often.” Can you see the problem? This is from someone who claims to live in England, but a native English speaker would not say, “its ritual of me,” or use the term “orphanage homes.” He’d say something more like, “I often visit orphanages and the less privileged.”
- Flowery language. They use words meant to flatter, yet they’re filled with English so butchered, the sentences practically scream in pain. “Your beutiful smile captures my attention.i saw your face and want to know you better.” They refer to God and blessings a lot, careful to give the impression they’re active Christians. Don’t be disarmed by this, ladies.
- Resident of Europe. Now let’s get real. How many men do you think truly fall in love with a woman thousands of miles away before he’s even met her? Most men I know want to meet and date a woman at least somewhat close to home. But not all charmers who are only after your money will claim European residence. Sometimes they say they’re US-based, but they just happen to be overseas when they begin corresponding with you. So watch for that!
- Business owner. They take frequent business trips to Africa and Europe. This lends credibility to their claim that they are stranded in Africa and need your money to visit you because they long to see your beautiful face for the first time. Yeah, right!
- Widowed. Their wives either died of breast cancer or were killed in a terrible car accident. Obviously, this is meant to play on your sympathies. Don’t fall for it!
Naturally, there are legitimate matches out there who live overseas, own businesses, and are widowed. In my experience, flags #1 & #2 also come with loud bells attached.
In Part II, I’ll share my own experiences with online con men, and I will show you a trick on how to find out if he’s using a fake identity.