Nov 2012. This romance scammer got caught – but not until after he’d taken large amounts of money from several victims. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235191/Oluwamayola-Ajayi-posed-pilot-oil-exec-widower-match-com-steal-120k-lonely-women.html
I cannot stress enough – NEVER send money to someone you meet through an online dating site, no matter how plausible their story. NEVER. No exceptions.
Sept 2012. A reader has sent me the story of a scammer who contacted her via Skype. He calls himself Michael Cole, and fortunately she realised he was a scammer when he started asking for money for his son’s school fees but didn’t seem to know anything about his son’s school. You can read the full story here http://keepsafeonthenet.co.uk/2012/09/michael-cole-romance-scammer/
Aug 2012. Another reader has emailed me with the story of someone who friended her on Facebook. Fortunately she soon realised he was a scammer. He claimed to be called Terry Phillips and you can read some of the emails that he sent to my reader here: http://keepsafeonthenet.co.uk/2012/08/terry-philips-romance-scammer/
July 2012. A reader has just sent me her story of nearly being taken in by a romance scammer. He showered my reader with gifts, but then asked her for $4500. Fortunately at that point she became suspicious and Googled his name. You read her story here http://keepsafeonthenet.co.uk/2012/07/david-woods-romance-scammer/
June 2012. It’s been a while since someone sent me their story of falling victim to a romance scammer. Fortunately, the person who sent me this story realised what was happening before she parted with any money. She had the good sense to Google the phone numbers the scammer was using. The scammer claimed to be a Marine Engineer living in London. I can tell from the way that the email is written (poor grammar and giveaway sentence and grammar structure) that the write is a scammer whose first language isn’t English. To me it sounds African, but I don’t have the headers of the original emails so can’t trace them.
In one email he describes the work of a Marine Engineer. It is obvious that he didn’t write it himself. It’s structure is totally different – and it was taken from an answer on the Yahoo Answers site http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100515065034AAN8daF.
I have made a post for this scam as it is a bit long to include on this page. You can read the full thing here, including the scammer’s emails to his potential victim.
I have just read this article on the UK Daily Telegraph website about romance scams. It explains in detail how one lady fell victim to a romance scammer.
Victims of similar scams have also posted their stories here as a warning to others.
NEVER send ANY money to someone you have met online EVER. What they ask for is standard – money for fares, money for visas, money for fees, etc.
These victims contacted me in Oct 2010 with their stories:
Romance Scam Victim
I have just been scammed and have posted on romancescam.com. I did do some searching but didn’t find anything.
James Norlan acting as firstname.lastname@example.org re-locating to UK for job, White Male around 46, using Global Xpress Cargo and Courier Services. e-mail email@example.com. Payment relating destination duty taxes and wanting help with hospitalised grandma. Found in internet dating sites, at least two I know of. Communication over 6moths, via e-mail msn chat and txt. If you have any reports, please report it.
Romance Scam Victim’s Story
It’s just to say that I have just been the victim of a Nigerian romance scam. Fortunately for me, it only took one week of MSN chatting and one phone call to realise. The person I believed to be an American/Italian civil engineer with a bachelor’s degree, suddenly had a Nigerian accent on the telephone. I have been very lucky. He told me he was on a 5 week contract in Benin and would return home to Dagenham. His claims regarding his dead wife, daughter and various other details now prove to be classic scamming stories. I know all of this, but yet I cannot get the face of that handsome man out of my head…I fell in love with his photo and he simply does not know what has happened. Although I know I have been very, very lucky, I can’t suppress the feeling of violation I have and I cannot get the face of a complete stranger out of my head. It has had a devastating effect on me.
I have copied below (from the Scam Victims page) the stories that other victims have left on this site:
“Please can you advise me on a possible scam. My sister has recently hooked up with a man she met on a dating site who calls himself Michael Wigins. He is aparantly in the USA Army serving in Iraq. He is 47, widowed, has a six year ols daughter living in Canada. This man is promising my sister the world he wants to marry her he is coming here in a few weeks etc, etc,. Through this my sister who has some health issues that makes her very vunerable has sold her home in order to make funds. I have written to this man via email asking releveant questions and he refuses to answer. I have also emailed my sister links on the website with scam stories which I may add are very similar to hers. I am at my wits end please can you offer some advice”
“I have recently been the victim of scammers. There were at least two and it was the usual stuff, one guy hooks up with me through a dating site, chats for a few weeks and then supposedly goes on a business trip with his young son to Ghana where he is robbed of his wallet, so he has no cards or cash. He does his business deal and names me as a trustee to receive some of the money so that I can send him some to come home as for some reason he can’t access his bank account (which I question on several occasions, also if he goes on business trips abroad regularly why can’t he claim on his insurance). It is at this point that the supposed bank manager takes over and there is tax to pay on the money he is sending me and a fee for this and that with me questioning all the time why can’t they take tax etc out of the money they are supposed to be sending to me. Of course this can’t be done for some reason or the other. I know now that it’s a classic scam. When I said no more money and they realised that I meant it Mr Bank Manager rings and tells me that my “friend” has been taken into hospital with a heart attack and he needs money to pay for his medical treatment. I tell him to contact the British High Commission in Accra who will help. For some reason he’s not very keen to do that, I wonder why. At this point I have already informed the British High Commission about it all anyway, informed the dating site where I first made contact, informed the Bank that they are using as a front, told my bank etc, etc. What is strange is that I have still had contact with one of them ( the “bank manager”) and really riled him by telling him what low-life’s him and his friends are as up until two days ago they were still using the same mobile phones! Extraordinary. I still have the photographs that the first guy sent me and I’m wondering who it is. I suspect that they’ve got them by nefarious means as part of an identity theft but I would love to post them all over the internet and see what happens.
By the way I’m a 57 year old disabled woman living on benefits, something that they were fully aware of, so I didn’t have much money to begin with and I don’t know how I’m going to pay back the money I borrowed on my credit card.
But as I said to “Mr Bank Manager” at least I’ve still got my self-respect and can look in the mirror without feeling shame which seemed to upset him. I think he may be in the wrong profession!
This potential victim realised she was about to be scammed and fortunately didn’t send any money:
I have a new story experience for Mr. Terry Martins ‘s scam of year 2011.
It just happened to me today. I live in Thailand. One month ago, I met a man who said he is from London through website www.thailandfriends.com , we chat and wrote email to each other for a while. Then he told me that he will fly over to see me in Thailand. A few day later, he sent me by email his e-Ticket shown his flight to Thailand. After that he sent to me another email, explained that he had sent me a parcel of gifts to me to Thailand just before his coming. There were; Jewellery, watch, Louis Vitton bag, and computer labtop with money 7,000GPB hidden in the batterry.
A few hours after I received his email, I got an email from INTERNATIONAL LINK COURIER to confirm the shipment and provided me detail to check the status of shipment. And today, I got a phone call from Malaysia said the parcel for me is pending at custom office in Malaysia. So, I have to pay the custom clearance cost 700 USD. for the custom clearance then they will deliver to me the parcel on time within today. I also got an email from Terry Martins stated about the detail for the custom clearance money transfer to Larry Martins as below:
For your kind attention, this is to inform you that your package sent By Mr. BRADLEY LEONARD from London United kingdom have be pending in Malaysia due to the custom verification exercise, meanwhile your package is under custom custody now and they demanded that you will pay for the Asia delivery tax and clearance fees before the parcel will be release and send to your address, due to custom law and restriction from some import duties…this fees will also cover for all other clearances to avoid any delay once our delivery officer arrived in your country as Malaysia is our Asian regional office. A receipt will be issued to our delivery officer who will deliver the package to your giving address in your country. Failure to pay these fees will result to inordinate delay for 24hours..
Meanwhile our delivery officer in Malaysia will give you a call and discourse this matter with you on the possibly way to pay this money through western union money transfer immediately to the accountant office of the custom so that your parcel will be release immediately and be deliver to your address given, try your possible best to comply with the delivery office for effective delivery and discharge of their duty over there. Through the information’s we got from there show that the custom demanded that the sum of (550 USD) Seven Hundred dollars be paid immediately to affect the clearance and release of your parcel, the delivery officer will call you as fellow, and we demand that you cooperate with the officer and send the money through western union money transfer immediately you receive this email, so that your parcel package will be deliver to you. All you need to do now is to go to any western union office in your country to send the money with the information’s below. After sending the money, you will send to us the payment slip of the payments to enable us receive the money fast here to pay for clearance and custom duty so that your parcel will be delivered to your address in your country today.
You are to send the money through western union with the name and address below…..for more information’s please call our Asian regional officer in Malaysia with this number +60162869954
Amount: 700 USD
Receiver Name: LARRY MARTINS
Address: 10/2ND FLOOR JALAN SENTUL KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Your cooperation is highly welcomed, as we serve you best.
International Link Courier Service &Dispatch Departments.”
The situation made me understand this must be a scam. The phone number of INTERNATIONAL LINK COURIER is +44 7031874598 , email address: firstname.lastname@example.org , and here is the website : http://internationallink.page.tl/
The phone number of the man who pretended to flirt with me is +44 7031867790.
Please update the story to prevent the scam.
Anyway, I didn’t transfer any penny to this scammer. Thnks to my shipping agent and DHL company who kindly gave the consultation.