If it Looks Too Good to be True…

An International Comedy of Errors

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Too Good to be True, If it Looks Too Good to be True…

Too Good to be True: It all started about 20 years ago. My marriage was going through another of its rough patches.

I felt for many years that I was not appreciated and unloved, so I started using dating sites, just to have female company with whom to chat.

Chatrooms

If I meet a lady online, she knows I expect no more than someone to talk to. Beyond that, it is up to her how we proceed with our friendship. For several months I chatted with many girls, knowing they were running a scam, but they never knew that I knew until it was too late. They used to think that an older man would be flattered by the attention of a young lady. Not this man.
My first thought is, what is a young lady like you doing chasing after me?

I could always tell when I had the girls on the hook. When their handlers felt they were losing their hold, they would invent a friend to back their story up.

Russia

Now I get regular requests from Russian girls who say they wish to chat with me with the idea of marriage, and could I pay them to visit. Why would an educated young lady chase after an older, much older in my case, man with little education, if not to run a scam and take his money? Besides, their mothers would have had a better chance to convince me as I believe older ladies are as attractive as young girls. That is why the ladies in my romances are mature women.

Large Breasts

Other than a couple of writing colleagues, the only lady I chat with abroad is my friend Marge in Alberta, Canada. Marge and I have been friends online for over a decade now. I used to chat with her sister Patty until she had her 50th birthday several years ago, then Patty went cold, and we lost touch.

I had to laugh some years ago when I was approached by a young girl online who wished to be my Facebook friend. She thought that being young, colored and showing her large breasts was going to impress me. It did; it turned me off.

Scams

Most of the girls work from Lagos, Nigeria. Interpol knows where to look; this area is infamous for scammers; one ploy they used to use is called the Lagos Scam for obvious reasons. A girl will ask you to deposit £1,000 into an account, on the promise that you’ll get £7,000 back in a month. Sounds too good to be true, rule 101 comes in to play here; “If something looks too good to be true, it usually is.” There is no bank to send the money back, and you lose your money.

A Rat

It isn’t only young girls who run scams. I exposed one three years ago run by a man called Bill Swallow; he said he would pay me $2,000 for a 2,000-word short story for his anthology. From the start, I smelled a rat. The going rate then was $200 for a story of that length, if you were fortunate to get paid, that is.

I sent him a story, and after weeks of being told the book was in the process of being published, his secretary told me they had never received my piece.

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