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    Is my boyfriend for real?
    poohbear5270 posted:
    I am new to the whole internet dating thing and am worried about a current situation, but first I need to give you a short background. I just got burned by scam on a website where a man started writing to me posing as a US soldier serving in Kosovo. He wrote the most beautiful letters and said he loved me and even was scheduled to come see me(he said), but through the help of my neighbors I found out the email address for his leave was nothing but a big internet scam and he was writing to a bunch of women. Fastforward a few weeks. I've now met a man through a paid dating site. We've conversed only by email, although he has offered to talk on webcam, but I don't have one. He said he hasn't called me yet because he wants to surprise me. He just sent me a dozen roses, a teddy bear, a box of chocolate covered cherries and a heart box of chocolates for Valentine's Day. I forgot to mention I'm in Oregon and he's in Brooklyn, NY. Now he writes to me and says he has to go to Africa on business for 2-3 months and he's not sure if he'll have internet access or not, but he did buy a laptop just in case.

    My question is: Is this man for real or am I being scammed again? He said he loves me and to trust him and he wants to be together for the long haul. He is supposed to be calling me today before he leaves. I am scared of getting my heart broken again. What does anyone think?
    cjh1203 responded:
    You said you met this guy through a paid dating site -- are you sure it's a reputable site? Do people just sign up, or do you answer a lot of questions about yourself and what you're looking for?

    It sounds like it's only been a few weeks -- don't you think that it's jumping the gun for either of you to talk about being in love when you've only emailed each other for a short time, and you don't really know anything about him but what he's told you -- which could be a bunch of lies?

    You don't even know what he looks like. Not that his looks should have anything to do with anything, but if you're supposedly in love with each other, don't you think you should at least be able to recognize that person if you saw him?

    I don't know if it's a scam but you seem so desperate to find someone that you're not using your head.

    How soon after you started emailing each other did he tell you he loved you? Has he said or asked for anything that makes you feel uncomfortable?

    I would not count on anything with this man, and I would definitely not talk about a future with him until you know him a whole lot better than you do now. Every single thing he has ever said to you could easily be a complete lie. Don't be so impatient to find someone to be in love with. Take your time, be rational about it, and remember how easy it is for someone to totally mislead you. There's nothing wrong with not being in a relationship and when you're desperate, it almost always means that you'll suffer for it.
    3point14 responded:
    It sounds like complete and total BS, and I hope you didn't wait around for that call.

    I'd be very freaked out by and suspicious of anyone who claimed "love" without ever having looked me in the eye. How can he want to be together for the long haul without ever having spoken to you face-to-face?

    If he's not being intentionally manipulative, he could be very young, very inexperienced, or very desparate. None of those things would make him attractive in my opinion.

    I found my current, longterm boyfriend online. It's not all bad. Maybe start narrowing your search to people with whom you could reasonably expect to meet face-to-face?
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    I've read the others' feedback, and I think it's all well worth reading.

    But, I'm wondering what you think. Are 'warning signs' going up in your head? If so, what are they?

    I think it's important that you learn (certainly with help like what you are getting here) to feel comfortable with your own 'read' on situations -- in part, to learn to be aware and balance what's enticing you with a man with what's concerning you.
    ImMe26 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    I bet while he is "away" he will write to you in desperate need of some sort and checks or money will come into play...

    On the other post above you mentioned you already told him you dont have a checking account and wont be cashing any checks...yeah that just means ..his scam will play out until he has your confidence and then sneak that in .

    Ive heard of this alot lately and the Africa thing on business....ask him what he does that he is going to Africa. I also bet he says either family or he plays soccer .....

    Its happening everywhere right now!
    fcl replied to ImMe26's response:
    What seems to be common is for the person to say that they have a check that they cannot cash and ask you to forward the money and they will send you the check. If this happens BEWARE.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    cjh1203 responded:
    There are so many warning signs here -- he started saying "I love you" very soon after you met online, even though you wouldn't know each other if you were two feet apart. He sent you flowers when you said that people were suspicious. He has a foreign accent that he explains is from being around Pennsylvania-Dutch people -- that's ridiculous. He suddenly has this 2-3 month trip to Africa on business and isn't sure he's going to have internet access. What kind of business doesn't provide internet access to their employees, no matter where they are?

    I think he's setting you up. The flowers and gifts are to get you to trust him. He has answers to all of your questions because you're not the first person he's done this to.

    I could be wrong, but I really think you're being too trusting. You already have some misgivings or you wouldn't have posted here -- listen to your gut. It's almost always right. I would suggest that you let this guy go, and try to find someone who doesn't make you ask if he's for real. And always be suspicious of someone who starts talking about love right away. Real love takes time to develop, and getting to know each other in real life.
    cjh1203 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Here's an article about online dating scams. One of the things it talks about is how patient the scammers can be -- they take their time building up a relationship with their victims before starting to ask for money.

    One thing I don't understand is why, if you've been scammed before, you would even think about continuing an online relationship with someone you're even the tiniest bit suspicious of. Why take the chance?
    deadmanwalking57 replied to cjh1203's response:
    With the internet, anyone can pose as anything, anywhere.

    A cartoon from the 90's showed two dogs sitting at a computer, and one saying to the other, "On the internet, no one knows you're a dog". Now substitute the two uses of "dog" above with any other term for a criminal or otherwise reprehensible person. "Identity thief", "con artist", "serial rapist".

    What difficult to come across is a dating profile that sounds different, possibly a real person, an honest person. How can you know who you are talking to, even with someone at work. It takes time, interaction. Mutual friends add a level of trust, or being part of the same organization, be it the Sierra Club, or a regular respondent on WebMD.

    That's why as fun as it seems, you don't know who it could be, and how much they are just preying on lonely people. Meeting someone within your own community is just safer, or who is within easy driving time, to meet at some neutral place.

    3point14 got lucky. I wonder if she'll tell more of how she met her current (once and future ?) beau.
    cjh1203 replied to deadmanwalking57's response:
    Internet dating sites can be a great thing. My niece is engaged to someone she met online last year, and one of my good friends has been married for ten years to a man she met online. I have a friend with two employees who met their spouses on eHarmony.

    That said, the less expensive a site is, and the fewer questions asked of people signing up, the greater the chance that there will be scammers. And, no matter what site you're using, you have to pay attention when things don't seem quite right. In this case, a lot of things don't seem quite right.
    An_216047 responded:
    I agree with the other posters, lots of red flags. I worked for a bank for a long time and saw many people lose money to people like this. You say he would webchat but you dont have a camera- you can get a cheap one for like 10 dollars...if you continue to talk to him that might be something to consider?
    3point14 responded:
    Something I did with a few guys who seemed "too good to be true" when I was briefly online dating was to have them send me a new picture. If their profile has pictures on it, ask for just a random picture.

    There was one guy especially who approached me online and was telling me within a few conversations that he adored me, and he was gorgeous. We talked on the phone once, and I asked him to e-mail or text me a picture with LD written on his hand. He said he couldn't, the pictures he posted online were with a friends' camera. I asked him if he had a camera phone, and he said the display was broken. I asked if there was anyone else that he could borrow a camera off of and just text me a picture, and he accused me of being shallow, and cut off contact.

    In retrospect, he was really defensive. It could've just been that I was demanding, or it could've been that he had a zit on his nose and didn't want to take a picture. But if he had been able to produce one with his pretty face on demand, I would've believed who he said he was, if that makes sense. I had my suspicions that he was actually just much heavier than the person in the pictures, and wouldn't have really cared about that. But on the off chance that he was totally misrepresenting himself, I didn't want to waste my time. I know it probably seems crazy, but maybe have this guy fax you a copy of his ID? See how the name/pictures match up.

    One can never be too careful.
    GuardSquealer replied to fcl's response:
    Where have you been? I have been worried about you since New Years. ?
    fcl replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    Hi Guard.

    That's sweet of you to worry about me

    I've just been very busy for the last couple of months. Between work, supervising things being done to my house, taking care of my children's best interests, trying to simplify life for my parents at a great distance ... Time has just rushed past (with the word "whoosh!" written after it).

    Hope all is well with you. Thank you for thinking of me. I appreciate it.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Odiestar responded:
    You are being scamed. I just went thru this with a man in Nigeria.
    He sent me a copy of his flight plan which was a stop to see me.

    Three minutes later he was attacked by robbers and was in hospital and need $1500 USD to pay bills so he woudn't lose his flight. He was coming to propose to me.

    Since then he has beg me for the money. I want to help,but feel this is a scam. He promised to give me the money when we meet on Monday. I didn't give him the money so it over and he has made me feel worthless.

    I cry each night, because I did love him. We had so much in common, but it over and I can't trust or love again.

    My advice to you is PLEASE becarful.

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