Happy Sunday on a Saturday. Headed out on a cruise ship with my favorite man (my Dad) and realize since I will be “off the grid” on Sunday, I need to post today. I am picking a rather sensitive, embarassing topic, but an important goal of my blog is the help others “in my boat” (pardon the pun), I am going to tackle my “dating scam” experience.
I work with elderly folks who are very vulnerable to scams. I have been educating them as to the dangers of phone scams – people calling them pretending to be their injured grandchildren traveling and needing money. This scam is so widely known, it is referred to as the “Grandparent Scam”! So sad. Since I too admittedly once fell victim to a scam, I started to clearly see they work well because predators prey on victims’ vulnerable emotions.
I was 39 and desparately wanted a husband and a baby. A female friend told me about a match making company she joined and how they were great. I investigated and found myself sitting in a fancy office in Stamford, CT looking at books and books of pictures of happily married couples. I was lead to believe by a gentleman named “Mike” wearing a suit, that if I signed on with his “match making service”, I too would be a happy picture in their book. After 2 hours of personality profiles and promises of true love and happily ever after, I signed on. And I paid dearly.
About a week went by and I knew I had made a terrible mistake. A good friend I run with had her lawyer husband read the contract I signed and it was rock solid! They had only given me 3 days to change my mind. A done deal! In addition, I signed on for a small monthly loan that to this day I never got billed for. Today I realize it was their insurance (or threat) to keep me from taking them to small claims court.
They did send me some “dates”. A guy who drank 3 Long Island ice teas and had a 60 mile drive home. A guy with a severe medical issue who I see on Match.com often. A guy who “bartended” for “Mike” (the man who interviewed me in that Stamford office). This guy actually told me “Mike” asked him to please take me out. The best part is that all these guys were promised to be my “perfect matches” based on the hours of personality profiles we did!!!! Um hmmmmmmmmmm.
I am lucky I am ok. Just red in the face. I suspect the woman who told me to do this got taken for more money than me as she is about 20 years older than me. We were strongly advised by “Mike” not to discuss how much we spent so we never did. We both feel badly and humiliated and powerless. We do talk about one day “going public”, so I suppose I have started with this blog.
Morale of my story is simply this: when anything sounds too good to be true, IT USUALLY IS! Love cannot be found in books and profiles and fast talk. Love is found from within. Why I’m trying to give out my love to my fellow “daters” in my blogs. This humiliating experience I send to you with love and my hope that you keep yourself safe!
Happy dating. Thank you for reading.