the details may change — 20 years ago it was the face to face romantic con job, today the con is made a bit easier with the Internet but the outcome is the same. A would be lover left broken in wallet and romantic spirit due to someone’s expertise in thievery. An excerpt from CNN story on rom cons:
Patrish Giocolo is a moderator for RomanceScams.org. She’s also a victim of romance fraud.
“Most people have this picture of this lonely old woman surfing the Internet, but that’s not the case,” Giocolo said. “These con artists are intelligent, kind, and people are losing their hearts.”
Among the members of RomanceScams.org, the financial loss doesn’t resonate as strongly as the emotional toll, Giocolo said.
Through the Yahoo Personals dating site, Giocolo met a man from California who had traveled to Ghana to build roads. At least, that’s what he told her.
“He said he won a contract in Ghana, but when he got back, he’d like to meet me,” Giocolo said.
After the first month, they started chatting on the phone. Giocolo says she had her suspicions, but after some light research, everything seemed legitimate. “I did an Internet search, and sure enough, they were accepting bids in Ghana for building roads.”
After a few months, Giocolo’s Internet friend started to make requests. “He said someone had stolen his workboots, so I sent him a new pair.” Then, it was $500 to help pay his men.
When the man asked for another $500, Giocolo hesitated. She was strapped for cash herself and sent only $150.
Then, after the man claimed that he had been in a car accident and asked for more money, Giocolo got a sinking feeling.
“I literally stumbled on this Web site on romance scams, and boom, there was his picture. Your heart sinks. There was no contract job, no car accident — it was all lies,” she said.
I’m sorry that Giocolo lost her money but I’m also sorry she was so willing to give it away. $650 could have gone into a money market account with a much better return on the investment. $650 could have paid for a self empowerment course. $650 could have been sent to me so I could explain why you don’t send money to men you’ve met over the Internet.
Okay..for the die hard romantics who would say to me,
‘But Tallulah, what if this was her last ever chance for true love?’
I would answer:
‘If that man was into her and not her wallet, she doesn’t need to send him money, liquor, food, anything. He would have found a way from Ghana to be on her doorstep. That’s what men do when they want something. They make it happen.’