Imagine your whole world and romantic relationship crashing down in one day. Finding out that someone you love and trust is a scammer can cause emotional damage that takes a long time to overcome. That is precisely what was covered in a recent Tamron Hall show. If one story of heartbreak isn’t bad enough, our next tale has two.
How Were Cindy White and Abby Ellin Duped?
Meet Cindy White, a middle-aged woman who was excited to online date. She was thrilled to meet a charming man who said all the right things. He presented himself as a good, Christian gentleman, and she was soon in love. He came on strong and would eventually become her husband. However, all was not meant to be! While he told her that he traded stocks for a living, he was running a Ponzi scheme and raising capital by scamming others.
Scammers try and catch people when they’re feeling down. Cindy’s children were grown, and she had just lost her mother when she met and fell for her scammer. Although he was attentive and affectionate, one day, four years into their marriage, he left for an errand (saying that he had to wire someone money) and never came back. That’s when she found out the truth of his financial cons.
Meanwhile, Abby Ellin was a journalist. She was used to uncovering the truth and never expected to meet a con man. She needed a quote for a story and met up with a man who was a navy doctor. A year later, she had to fact check what he told her, and they met up. He was handsome, and there were sparks. Although he was a doctor, he wasn’t a navy seal or in the CIA like he claimed to be.
He visited New York with her, saying that he had to give a talk at the United Nations (also a lie). She began to realize how good he was at lying about small, insignificant things (like enjoying restaurant Brussels sprouts), and this terrified her. She would soon discover he lied to her about much more, especially his career.
The process their scammers use is something called “love bombing”. It is the act of showering someone with love, affirmations, affection, gifts, and other demonstrations, but the motivation behind it is to influence a victim and gain control over them.
Signs of Love Bombing
- Too much, too fast! If anyone pushes you for an instant relationship, take that as a warning sign. Excessive compliments can make you feel good, but trust takes time, and healthy people wait to get to know you.
- If you meet someone great online, fact checks what they tell you. Abby Ellin truly believed her boyfriend worked for the CIA, but he did not!
- Protect yourself! Keep your personal and financial data, safe and private.
- Watch for “tall tales” or elaborate stories and developments (especially about finances or careers) that sound more like a soap opera than real life.
- Do not lend anyone you meet online dating money. Money requests are a huge red flag, regardless of the excuses someone gives for needing your cash, protect your wallet!
While love bombing can happen to anyone, the two women above were intelligent, mature ladies, and never expected it to happen to them. Don’t be caught off guard and deceived. Set the bar high by letting yourself get to know people s-l-o-w-l-y and blocking anyone who wants to online date but asks for money!
Fact check your current or future love interests by running a reverse lookup and search the name, username, phone number, email address, and phone number: