I feel compelled to write this warning to all you wonderful women who have been reading my blog for the last 3 years. I want to tell you about my newest client and give you a heads-up if you’re Internet dating.
Marcie is 52 years old and a highly accomplished woman. She’s recently divorced from a long marriage and has a beautiful 24-year-old daughter. She’s a world traveler and has spent much of her life helping women to find their authentic voice and their true-life path.
She came to me in shame and embarrassment over a very recent experience she had with a man she met on Match.com. It had deeply shaken her confidence and also broken her heart.
It seems a very good-looking man, who lived one town over from her, started pursuing her on Match. He said he was a gemologist and he seemed more interesting and than most of the men she had been meeting.
He said he was ready for a serious relationship, in fact, he told her in the first few days of their correspondence that he was sure she was the perfect woman for him. He was anxious to meet her but a month went by and he just wasn’t able to make that happen; he always had a good excuse why he couldn’t see her.
They emailed at first and then moved on to texting and even phone calls. She began to fall for this man who seemed so loving and so interested in her. Here’s an example of what he would write:
“Honey, I may not get to see you as often as I like. i may not get to hold you in my arms all through the night. But deep in my heart I truly know you’re the one that i love, and i can’t let you go.”
Like many of us, she was hungry for love and chose to overlook certain things that were not quite feeling right. For one, his voice did not quite match his photograph. He seemed to be of a different race than his photo portrayed him to be and he had a strong accent and sometimes she found him hard to understand. But he said such wonderful things that all her common sense went out the window.
Another indication that something was not quite right was his spelling and his use of the English language. It wasn’t that he was a bad speller; he just had unusual grammar and sentence structure. For example:
“Marcie, i promise to see you before you leave on thursday…why i relocated to colorado was when gota decvoice from my ex wife,i will tell tell you more about it not now my dear… I can hardly wait to show you all my promises… I LOVE YOU SWEETIE.”
He said he was going on a business trip to Scotland. They were supposed to meet before he left but he canceled at the last minute. She was disappointed again but still not seeing the path he was leading her down.
Then she received an email a few days later:
“Today has been the worst hours of my life. I lost my wallet, just as I finished with the customs clearance and pre-shipment of the boxes…Baby, the problem I have now is sorting out the agent and final shipment cost. I have called to block my cards. And I have invested so much on this. I feel like a broke man now…I am feeling so bad about it all. What I need now to pay the agent’s half of his fees is about 4,500 Pounds ($6,885 US). I wish I could just lend from you and pay you on Tuesday. I will be glad if this is possible Honey. I love you. Please get back to me as soon as possible.”
Well needless to say that message woke her up. She had been scammed. When she refused him and told him to stop writing her, he continued. As I write this he’s still texting her the name and address of the bank where she should send the money in London. He also keeps telling her that he loves her and can’t wait to see her and “whisper in her ear.”
It may seem obvious to you what had been going on but we can’t judge Marcie, we’ve all been in similar situations at some point in our lives. It kills me to see the damage that this kind of manipulation and betrayal can do. I know that Marcie is one of hundreds, maybe thousands of women being preyed upon on online.
Marcie thought she may have met her Mr. Right only to be deeply disappointed. The damage this can do to a woman’s self-esteem is devastating.
So much so that she was having a hard time following my instructions to report him to Match.com, but I’m happy to say today she did.
I shared Marcie’s story with you so you can recognize this kind of man if he approaches you on line. As they used to say on the TV show Hill Street Blues, “Be careful out there.”