How to Spot a Scammer Online
I never thought it would happen to me. The dating coach, the one who helps women stay safe online, almost fell for a romance scammer on JDate. He was handsome (only it wasn’t his real photo, as I later found out), had a sad sweet story, and what can I say ~ I’m a sucker for a widower. And that’s exactly why scammers use that as a cover. Luckily, I got wise to his devious ways pretty quickly. But there were many others before me who weren’t as lucky.
Here’s how it began.
I saw a cute guy online. I read his profile, and miracle of miracles, he was a Modern Orthodox Jew, just like me. Except that Orthodox Jews keep kosher and attend synagogue most Sabbaths. His profile said he kept kosher sometimes and attended synagogue infrequently, so that was my first clue that something was not right. On our second email exchange on JDate, he asked for my private email address. As a man new to the dating scene after his wife’s tragic death, being online was overwhelming for him. That sounded legit, so I gave him my private email.
Big mistake, ladies. Stay in communication on the dating site until you feel you can trust a man with your private email/phone number. Even better, you should have an email address dedicated to dating, just in case you do get scammed.
He wrote me a lovely email, telling me the sad story of his wife’s death from cancer a few years earlier. He alsoo said he was an orphan (cue violins), and his mom tragically died in a car crash a few years ago. Good job pulling on heart strings and getting me to feel for him. He wrote many paragraphs about the importance of impeccable character traits. Ironic, huh, that the liar/scammer would write so much about respect, loyalty, fidelity, honesty, and great communication.
Another clue to pay attention to your intuition.
He said he wanted to get to know me slowly, as he was overwhelmed about being out in the dating world after his wife’s death. But in the next email, he told me he took his profile down, as he wants to get to know me better. Hmmm, do you spot a red flag??
How to spot a scammer online:
The next time I went on JDate, there was a message in my inbox that someone had recently tried to contact me and because he violated terms, he was suspended. My intuition told me it must have been him, but I was still giving him the benefit of the doubt. I asked him to call me, as the emails seemed to be going nowhere. I thought it was a language issue, as he claimed to be of German descent. Another mistake, ladies.
Don’t give out your number until you’ve built some rapport and trust. I purposely gave out my cell number, so he wouldn’t be able to trace my home address. That’s the preferable number once you’re ready to share numbers.
He called me after midnight last night. Good thing my phone was on silent. Now I knew for sure that there was something really off with him. Who makes a first phone call to a woman after midnight? Not someone with impeccable character, that’s for sure! When he texted me this morning, I told him it wasn’t okay to call me late at night, and he apologized profusely. Said it would never happen again. Well, I decided to google him again. The first time I had tried, I couldn’t find him at all. But, my friend told me you can google images.
I pulled his image off of JDate, placed it on my desktop, and dropped it into the Google image search. And what came up was worse than I had imagined.
There was a page onlinededicated to this guy’s scamming. Seems he’s asked several women for money. This smooth talker goes by the name of David Albert. He had a profile on ChristiansMingle.com, too. Not even a Jew, let alone an Orthodox one!
He was a bad liar!
The thing is, his lies were inconsistent. His stories didn’t line up, from the way he posted about his Jewish observance, to the story about his son living in California, which became Texas in the next email. He wanted to move slowly, and then he ‘pulled his profile to get to know me better’. Turns out his photo is not really him, but a professor in London he must have pulled off the internet. Liars should choose less famous people’s photos! I saw another posing as Larry David last night on JDate! Come on, guys, most women are more savvy than that.
What to do when you’ve found a scammer?
Telling him that he is busted will accomplish absolutely nothing except to teach him how to be better at scamming/victimizing the next woman. So, by all means, do not confront him.
Here’s what I did: I reported the abuse/fraud to the site immediately, giving clear examples and links to the page I found on the internet uncovering the romance scam for money.
I told the perpetrator that I’ve reunited with my old flame, and we’ve decided to date exclusively. I wished him well in his search for his beloved. And he thanked me for my good wishes.
Has this ever happened to you? If so, please share below. If not, I hope I’ve helped prevent someone from falling for a scammer.