The Perils out There

Updated on June 19, 2020
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The author is a Psychology graduate. Her hobbies are creative writing and piano playing.

Taking the Plunge

Her heart lurched as she saw his name on her mailbox. They had their first altercation on Friday. He accused her of not really loving him enough to trust him. She accused him of sending her fake messages from the Army. When she hung up, he mailed her telling her he's sorry and that he did not want to lose her. She did not answer him back. He called her again several times but she ignored his calls.

She spent the whole weekend on a rented beach house with her two young kids. Now she's confronted with another mail from him. He tried to explain the whole mess. He said he had a problem - a financial dilemma and that he needed around 7000 US dollars. He said if she really loved him she would trust him and help him with his problem. He promised to pay her back as soon as he got his leave approval. He said he wanted them to get married right away.

She felt this is the last straw. How dare he asking her for money? Instead of solving the whole mishap, he aggravated it instead.

Family and friends had been unanimous in their judgement. " Get rid of him. He's not what he pretends to be." So, a month long full of passion and hope turned into a disaster. She met him on an online dating site. He captured her attention with his profile photo of a dignified army man. The mail matched the photo - poetic and romantic. He told her about his job as US Army Captain assigned in the UK. He said his wife died in an accident two years ago leaving him with their 7 year old daughter who is now taken cared of by his mother in his home in Georgia. That was the start of a series of mails and Messenger chats. They exchanged private email accounts (she made an account specifically for this). He sent her cute pictures of him and his daughter and also photos of himself in the army. He would shower her with compliments each time she sent him photos of herself. He made her feel like she was the most important and most beautiful person on earth. She was consumed with mixed feelings - flattered, excited but at the same time unsettled. It's already 10 years since her husband died and she wasn't really into another relationship. However, when she saw the happy and contented smile of her best friend who recently married her online date, she thought she might just as well try it herself.

After a series of romantic messages, he sent her an email with a long list of personal questions and which he also answered himself. He said he would like them to get to know each other more through the questions. She answered the questions except those that she deemed too private. She didn't want to expose everything about herself to someone she has not even met in person.

Romance Turned Sour

It was a whirlwind romance. He told her of his plan to retire early next year and to her surprise, he proposed to her. Without second thoughts, she typed yes to his proposal. He said he will visit her once he gets a leave from work. Her kids and family didn't know about him yet so he said he will just stay in a hotel when he comes to visit her. He then told her that he's attending an urgent meeting about a mission in Nigeria. A number of them will be selected for the mission. He assured her that he would not be selected since he had already planned to retire soon.

However, on Friday, he phoned her that much to his frustration, he was selected for the mission and that they were scheduled to leave after the weekend. The weekend would be used to visit the family so he's flying to Georgia that night. The next day, he phoned her from Georgia. He said he would spend the day with his daughter. On Sunday, he had to report to the Army for necessary papers and official parade of the Army mission. It was very hectic. They did not talk on the phone after that. He mailed her that he had given her name to the army as his fiancée so that she would be able to communicate with him. He said she would soon receive a message informing her on how to be able to contact him. He said it was urgent that she followed the instructions because he didn't want to lose her.

She immediately received an email from usa.com about how to secure phone cards to Nigeria. She could choose three options that cost at least 100 dollars per call. Not only that, it required her bank account info. She immediately mailed Captain X and told him, "I cannot take those options". He immediately phoned her himself. He sounded hurt because he said she didn't really care about him by refusing to buy phone cards. She told him the Army should make it easier for the immediate family to communicate with their loved ones in the Army. Sensing that she couldn't be persuaded to buy those phone cards, Capt. X said he just bought one himself. He then told her that he wanted to get out of Nigeria as soon as possible and as his fiancée, she had to help him get his early leave. He said she would soon receive a leave form from the army for her to fill up.

The next day she received a letter from the Army with the attached form for leave. The form asked for her complete name, birth, address and other private information. It made her very wary. Why should it be her who had to apply for leave? Wasn't it Captain X himself who should be applying for leave? And then she noticed that the mail account was usa.com and not the official army account address. Moreover, she noticed the poor English grammar and spelling. It couldn't be coming from a US Army.

She mailed Captain X about her misgivings. That was the dreaded Friday altercation. Now she's determined to end it once and for all. She blocked him on her email account and reported him to the datingsite.

Back from the Past

As she began deleting the photos and messages from Capt. X, a Messenger notification popped up. It was the Scottish businessman whom she also had met on the dating site. He had the same enigma as the US Capt. but she stopped communicating with him when she became serious with Capt. X.

" Tanja, hi, I'm so glad I caught you online at last. I hope you still remember me. I'm staying here in Amsterdam on a business trip and I'm wondering if we could meet sometime soon before I leave?"

Online Dating Scam/Catfishing

Have you ever come across an online dating scam/catfish?

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© 2020 Rose T

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