Chapter 4 – Stephen and Frank

Yes, there is a chapter 4. Chapter 5 too. Probably Chapter 6. Unfortunately. You would think I would catch on and just leave it all alone. But after the ex’s comments and everything that I had heard through the years, I did hope that there was someone for me.

I did go out on a couple of dates. Dating is difficult after so many years of being married. Although, dating as a teenager and young woman was hard. Back in the 70s, everyone knew that going on a date with a guy meant that at the end of the night, you treated the guy back. You know. I just wasn’t willing to do that because I was a really shy teenager. Then when I started dating again, I still had those same thoughts. I just wasn’t willing to be a part of that.

I stayed with Christian Mingle. Bad idea but I was determined. Kept sending hellos to various men. I also tried out a couple other online dating sites. On one of them, I met several local men which was encouraging and actually met them over dinner. But, then one man who was in a city close to me suggested to meet for coffee. Great, I thought. Until he said that after the coffee if I was willing to go to his place. You see, he had strong sexual cravings and needed sex at least twice per day and if I was good with that.

You can imagine how quickly I ended that. It was as if my phone had thrown up on me. All I said was no and goodbye. I did not meet with him for coffee. I was debating about reporting him to customer service. But this was not Christian Mingle and, obviously, too many people would regard this as normal American male lustiness. I, obviously, was not a normal lusty female.

Then one day, I had emails from two men. Frank and Stephen. Interesting. Frank McKnee was dark haired and quite an attractive man. He was an entrepreneur and an artist who did paintings. He lived in Florida. Great. Stephen Feldman was blonde and drop dead gorgeous. Robert Redford is just so-so beside Stephen. But, get this, Stephen was a contractor for oil rigs and was currently working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He was out there until the project ended.

You know the expression, do as I say, not as I do? I just cannot believe I let myself continue with these two men. What was the possibility of meeting up for coffee with either Frank or Stephen? Zip when they apparently were con men. Why, oh why, was I so gullible and why did I keep talking to them? But I did. I thought, I know better. I will just chat with them and know this for what it was.

Except for a couple of things. I chatted with both men for a good month and during that time, neither one asked for money. In fact, Frank recorded himself singing a song for me. Frank also sent me pictures of his paintings. He was a really good artist. Stephen was so freaking handsome that I just wanted to keep chatting with him.

I am warning everyone, it was just the beginning. As is with all con artists, some just want to get the hook into you as deeply as possible so that you won’t be able to say no. If anyone thinks you can fall in love over emails and a phone line, please rethink that. Do not let yourself fall in love until you are actually face to face. I am so hoping to save you from the heartache of having your heart broken, and losing money in the process. I can safely say, more in Chapter 5.

 

 

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.