Chapter 5 – Stephen Feldman and Frank McKnee

Here I was, talking to two men at the same time. This was interesting. Really, very interesting. This had never happened to me before. Having conversations with two different men. I did not let either man know that I was talking to the other.

Stephen and I had long, interesting conversations. He was a contractor who was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Geez. I just cannot believe I kept talking to this person. Steven had a son who was overseas somewhere with his mother. I can’t remember exactly where but Stephen was trying to get his son into the United States with friends who were in Texas. He said his ex wife was not a fit mother and was willingly giving up the son to Stephen. I just kept listening to the stories and thinking, really, now? But I was getting pulled in. He kept promising that as soon as he was able, he would come to see me.

At the same time, I was having long conversations with Frank. He would call me at different times of the day. He was an artist and he did send pictures of his work. He was very talented and I told him he should keep painting. He did portrait work and he said he would paint a picture of me.

There were so many times I wanted to end it with both men. They both had distinct accents that I could not quite place. Eastern European, I thought. But both men just wanted to talk. Just wanted to get to know me and for me to get to know them. I was bewildered and did not know what to think. They did not talk about love or money or needing anything. Just wanted to talk. They kept making promises to see me as soon as they could. What could be the harm in that?

Lots. Neither one could meet me over coffee soon. It was always business trips, finish the contract, or under pressure to work. Frank’s father had died and left the business to Frank. So he needed to go to England, of all places, to sort through the details. Frank also had a daughter who lived in New York. The daughter had a daughter who visited Frank on occasion. He actually sent pictures of the granddaughter.  As I said previously, he recorded a song that he sang and sent it to me. I could see pictures and what appeared to be normal furnishings in a house in the background.

All of these conversations were happening not just over one or two weeks but two to three months. No talk about having or being in a desperate situation. Both men let me know they were well off. Not exactly how much but in general terms. Good, I thought. I’m not getting suckered in, I thought. Both men seemed to show genuine concern for me.

As time went on, I thought these men might actually be real. Stephen claimed to own a house in Texas. He also mentioned the city which I cannot now remember. Frank claimed to own a house in Miami, Florida. I googled both names and did not come up with anything. I tried to google addresses and houses but still came up with nothing. Also, when I googled their phone numbers, both were VoIP numbers with no name attached. That should have given me the best reason to block their phone numbers and have nothing more to do with them.

But I couldn’t do that. I kept answering their phone calls. I kept talking to both of them, and I was trying to decide between the two of them. Ladies and gentlemen, these things never end up well. But having a hopeful heart, I kept pressing on. More in Chapter 6.

 

Chapter 3 – Online Dating

Daniel was quite the con artist. I blocked his phone number. I was frustrated. Really? I thought to myself. Is this all there is? I also made certain to notify the administrators at Christian Mingle about Daniel Steiner.

Another way to know when you are dealing with a con artist is by the phone number. If they aren’t registered with a recognizable cell phone company, then you can be 99.99% certain that they are somewhere overseas. They will always be with a VoIP (voice internet Provider). Also, do a bing or google search on their name. Chances are extremely high that you will not find them anywhere.  Now that I am out of this online dating scene, I am pretty good at telling everyone the don’ts. Wish I would have listened to myself after Daniel.

But, no, I plugged onwards with Christian Mingle. I was determined to find that man. Or was I just angry over what my ex had told me? Or was I wondering if there was any man for me? Could it be that I believed that I was not good enough? That I did not deserve anything? After living with a man for over thirty years who let me know that I wasn’t good enough, I probably believed that.

I spent quite a few nights looking through the available men. I kept updating my information. I kept changing my introduction. I kept changing who I might be interested in. It seemed that any man that I might be interested in, was already busy chatting, with someone else. If I sent a wave, I might get a wave back but nothing else.

Then a man sent me a wave and wanted to chat. He looked interesting. I cannot remember the name. We chatted for a long time. He designed jewelry. He had a house in Raleigh and one in California. When I asked about meeting for coffee, don’tcha know he suddenly had to fly out to California to take care of business. A huge sigh from me. Sure. So I ended that one.

But he kept wanting to chat. He had all kinds of interesting things to say. I chatted back, knowing this would not go anywhere. This went on for quite some time. He kept talking about his house out in California. He kept saying he had to settle “things” in California before he could get back to Raleigh. Surprisingly, he never talked about how beautiful I was or that he was falling in love with me (typical with con artists). He also never once asked for money. I think I did google him and did find jewelry made by him but there were never any pictures attached. So finding his name was a good thing.

We did keep chatting but then I found Frank and Stephen. Or rather, they found me. To be continued in Chapter 4.

Chapter 2 – Online Dating Scams

There I was. The first person to approach me was a through and through con. For all I know, it could have been a woman on the other end as I discovered later. The thing I was told was never give out your personal email to anyone on these dating sites.

So, there I am, looking through the matches I was given. I was wondering why so many people were busy chatting with others. I could not get a chat started with anyone. What was wrong with me? Was my bio not good enough or interesting? Was my picture not good? Was I too old?

Finally a man named Daniel started chatting with me. He was a contractor who lived in Florida. Florida? Don’t ever start anything with someone who doesn’t live in the same state. My mistake. I was intrigued. He was a very handsome man.

We started talking on the phone. A wonderful, deep voice with an accent. East European. Why was I being sucked in? I should have stopped. I should have said, thanks but no thanks. But I was sucked in by his promise of love and romance. Too much. Too fast. This went on for approximately one week. Just as I thought we would be meeting somewhere for coffee, he had to suddenly fly to Dubai on business. Warning lights! Flashing! Loud beeps! My brain heard them but not my heart.

We kept talking for another week or two. He was very romantic. He would call every morning, promising all kinds of wonderful, tempting things. I was being sucked in deeper and deeper. I knew better but after so many years of not being wanted or complimented, this was wonderful.

This is the typical format for these con artists. They first talk about love and promises and what they want to do once we finally meet. You are romanced right off your feet. Then comes the con.

One afternoon, I get a phone call from Daniel who is frantic. He had been driving back to the hotel late at night and a child ran out onto the street and he hit the child. The child was taken to the hospital and Daniel was taken to jail. Daniel needed bail money and didn’t know what to do as they had taken his wallet and passport.

I should have said good luck to you and hung up. But no. I was stupid and thought I was in love with Daniel. Many phone calls happened and Daniel finally asked for the bail money. I can’t remember how much he said he needed but I told him I didn’t have the money. Many more phone calls happened until I just said, I don’t have it and I wouldn’t send it. Suddenly, all phone calls stopped. Thank goodness because if I had been pushed one more time, I just might have sent that money. That is how desperate I was for love. Stupid me.

This is the typical scenario of all con artists. Let me tell you, older women who are divorced or widowed are quickly targeted. They know that older women who are on online dating sites, are a little desperate for love. For some reason, whatever smarts we have, go out the window when we are given the picture of a handsome man and then sweet talked. I was smart with the first bum and became suddenly dumb with the second one.

This is not the end of my story. There are more which I will share. I am writing these blogs in the hopes of saving you from being scammed. I did post Daniel’s picture on several places with the headline, “Do you know this man?” One woman messaged me and I told her my story. She was so grateful because he had approached her and she thought his story was fishy. She ended it with him right away. I hope I am able to save more.

 

The Fifth Commandment

The fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise. The entire commandment is: Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God has given you.

The word honor in Hebrew is kaved which means heavy or weighty. To honor is to respect, esteem, value and prize. God has given fathers and mothers as gifts. Giving honor to parents then continues through life where we learn to give honor and respect to anyone in authority.

Remember David and Jonathan? Jonathan was the son of King Saul and David was Jonathan’s best friend. King Saul was jealous of David and the fact that he was a mighty warrior. Do you remember how many times King Saul tried to kill David? Yet, David still gave honor to King Saul. King Saul had been made king with God’s authority. David knew that and would not turn on King Saul. He kept running from him whenever he knew King Saul was trying to kill him. But he never once sought revenge on him. King Saul was put in place by God and David honored that.

People complain that today’s children have no respect for authority. I see that myself. A lot of people blame the Sixties as the generation that destroyed the American family. The Sixties generation tried to tear down the state but couldn’t so they tore down the family. The Sixties generation saw the state and family as closely connected. The best way children can destroy the family is by disobeying their parents.

If children do not show honor and respect to their parents then how will they show respect for any kind of authority? Children may not agree with their parents but they still need to honor and respect them. True, there are some parents who do despicable things to their children. Personally, I can’t see how God expects children to honor those parents. We are surrounded by horrible acts from people. Evil has surrounded us from the beginning of time. I pray for children who are abused by their parents.

Parents have a God-given responsibility to teach their children how to know and serve God. Solomon said, “Hear, my son, your father’s instructions, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Prov. 1:8). What happens when children don’t have a good family background? God is gracious. We are all children of God. He adopts us into the most important family and that is the family of God.

However, we all need to give respect and honor to our laws, to anyone who has authority over us. That means politicians who are trying to govern our land. You may not agree with what they are doing but we still need to respect their authority. We do not have the right to abuse those in power.  You may agree to disagree but there will be a time when those currently in power will change.

The second part of the commandment, live long in the land, is a Hebrew phrase for the fulless of God’s blessing. It means to have an abundant life. This also does not mean that we will live to be one hundred years old. It just means that children who honor their parents receive the gift of life.

The fifth commandment is all about showing respect for authority. This commandment has been hit hard by people today.