Looking for love in all the wrong places…

A little over 2 1/2 months ago I signed up with an online dating service to see what it was like. I wasn’t necessarily looking for someone, but was putting feelers out.

About a week or so into my subscription, I received this email from “emcl” who happen to go by “Cole”. When I opened up my email, I see this absolutely beautiful man who had also written a beautiful email about how he liked my profile and would like to know more about me. I have to say that I was stunned because of how “beautiful” this man was. Too good to be true and I even said that. That should have been an indication, but no I went for it. I went ahead and replied back to Cole where we continued to correspond for a week or more, before he asked me for my phone number. I gave him my cell #, not my home and he called me that afternoon from London (UK), which is where he was at the time. Keep in mind; I think he’s from New Mexico the whole time because that is what his profile had him down for. Anyways, we talked for several days before he had to leave for Jordon, then onto Lagos, Nigeria. This man called me numerous times from Jordan before going on to Nigeria. He professed his love for me and how he wanted to spend his life with me. I asked lots of questions, how old are you (35 yrs. old), where are your parents (dad passed away, but mom, sister & brother live in Brazil) went to art school in Kenya.

Anyways, where everything takes a turn and I fell for it, was when he got to Lagos Nigeria. He asked if he could send me some checks as well as $8550 in postal Checks and if I’d deposit them and sent him back $3500 in 2 different shipments through a wire transfer. When he sent me the $8550 in Postal Checks, he also asked me to mail off 41 other checks UPS for him. I wished I would have opened them up to see what was in there. He also included a card (professing his love for me) along with a love letter, very beautifully written as well. In the mean time he went on to tell me how broke he was and that the hotel was asking for monies to be put against his bill and if I’d help him out. Of course I feel for it and sent to him, 2 different times $500 each. At the time I believed he needed it and of course he said all the right things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty smart woman, but I was definitely taken by him. I’m a 42 yr. old single mother of a 16 yr. old and I was pretty devastated when I found out that it was all a scam. I finally put my foot down when I received a call from my bank telling me that those postal checks were bad and that I’d be held responsible for them. Thank goodness that I hadn’t used more than $1000 of it. I’m still paying the darn bank back. I informed Cole of the situation and he just couldn’t believe it. He at first accused me of holding the monies until I gave him the number and name of the bank person who was in Security who was working with Security Service and FBI. Needless to say, he didn’t call but I did forward everything and anything I had on him. Emails, etc. I have them all and still do.

To go on, we continued to correspond everyday – emails, text messages and he’d call me. He stopped asking me for money since I basically told him I was in financial ruin because of the bogus postal checks. He went on to promise that he’d pay me back as soon as he got home to New Mexico, which still up to this time I believed he lived. After doing some checking and phone calls etc., I called his bluff and gave him a piece of my mind and said enough was enough. That night I received a call asking me to come online that he wanted to talk to me. This was a little over 10 days ago that Cole told me that he has never been to the US, but does business here (said he was Interior Design – buys and sells sculptures). He informed me that he has lived in Lagos Nigeria for 5 yrs., that his family does live in Brazil, dad passed away a little over a 1 1/2 yrs ago (which he has stood by) and that the pictures listed out on the site were not him. That was another thing that I asked him about and he came clean. As to the monies, he still hasn’t paid me back and/or told me why he did what he did to me. I do believe that he was trying to do the right thing by being honest with me, but on another note he used me and I’ve made it very clear that I don’t like people who use people like that. Cole has continued to stay in touch here and there and still continues to love me and this and that, but I don’t know what he actually looks like. I asked him the other day in passing if he was going to tell me and/or send me a picture and he said yes, but I still haven’t seen anything. Now at night I turn my cell phone off and during the day at work I’ve not been answering his text messages. He still continues to send me emails which I’ve not been answering either. The last one I did reply to, I told him that when he can step up to the plate and tell me why he took the monies from me, tell me what he really looks like and pay me back my monies, then we can talk. If not, then he needs to leave me alone.

I can say that this whole experience has been a good learning experience. Something I don’t ever want to go through again. I was devastated when I found out that I had been played. It not only hurt me financially (all my checks bounced and at this time my acct is frozen until the monies have been paid). I’ve had to borrow money from my mom to make ends meet right now (rent, insurance and food for my son and I). The feel I have for what has happened is indescribable. I went through the feeling of not being a good person, a bad mom to my son because I thought I was doing something good for someone and they ended up using me. I’ve now with the help of my friends and family am turning things around. I know that everything happens for a reason and I know that Cole will get his turn. May not be now but it will happen. I’ve not given up hope that there is a good man out there for me. All in due time.

My advice to everyone is to go with your gut. If it’s telling you this is too good to be true, listen to it, because more than likely it’s a scam. I remember when I received that first email with his picture (that was taken from modeling website) didn’t know that at the time, but I remember saying that this is too good to be true. I continued to ask a lot of questions, but over time things just didn’t sit well with me so I started doing some investigating of my own and low and behold I started finding out that it wasn’t all true. After gathering a lot of info on him and the postal checks being bad, that was it. Be sure and question everything. Don’t take no for an answer and if you get any push back whatsoever, that’s it. Don’t ever every send monies, because 9 times out of 10, you won’t see it again. They will promise you, but you wont’ see it. Just use common sense and if you still are unsure, get your friends involved…

Listen.

Lydia

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