Updated: December 2, 2012 6:28AM
Dear Readers: By the time you read this, I’ll be at my villa in Provence overlooking my vineyard.
The most amazing thing happened! Actually, two amazing things. (Three if you count the Nigerian Prince, but I prefer not to.) The first was — I won the lottery! I know! What are the chances? I never even play!! The second was there are thousands of pounds waiting for me in the United Kingdom. Lucky huh? Boy, that Internet sure is a great thing. Thank you, Al Gore!
Today, we hear from Mara who’s almost as lucky as me! She met her dream man through the worldwide web.
“I had been on Match.com and was contacted by John, a seemingly nice man. We emailed and then began chatting. We talked about the things you usually talk about — our jobs, our families, our lives.”
And then John made a head-spinning pirouette from jobs, families and lives to love. Love with a capital L.
“He loved me, couldn’t live without me. I was his queen. And so on and so on and so on. Wow, he sure knew all the right things to say.”
In response to all this love, love, love talk, Mara asked John a few questions. His answers about things like where he lived were a bit vague. He gave her a town, but no address. But why make a big deal over an address when someone is “continually professing his undying love.”
Mara is one smart cookie and she didn’t tell John anything other than her email address and her cell phone number, which wasn’t in her name.
“I didn’t give him any personal information. I’m a skeptic, and I didn’t believe any of his con, but I decided to play along.”
After the texting and the calling and the emailing, John set up a date. But at the last minute, he couldn’t make it. He had an emergency meeting. He set up a second date. This time he had to cancel because he was called to Russia for “a special job.”
“We were emailing back and forth as I waited for the hook. It came today. It seems that while he was in Russia at his special job, he got jumped at an ATM by a few men.”
Those bad Ruskies beat him up and stole all his money and credit cards. There he was, in a foreign country, badly in need of medical attention and no money to pay for it.
“Could I please help? He loves me soooooo much. Please send $1,500, and he’ll repay me next week when he gets paid.
“Of course I’m not sending anything, but I wanted to know how to go about reporting this type of thing to the authorities. Would it do any good? I really would like to hopefully stop predators like this from preying on women. I have phone numbers from him, an email address and all the banking info where I am supposed to send the cash. Oh, and I’m supposed to send a copy of my bank withdrawal slip to him also. Oh yeah, I’ll do that right away.”
Readers, I’d like to make a comment. Emergency rooms in Russia are way cheaper than the ones here!
And I have a question: What should Mara do with her information?
Have you been the victim of an Internet scam or a relationship con? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org.