The thing that most romance scams have in common is that the victims of these scams are often in a dark space in their lives. Many of the victims are suffering through financial hardship, a divorce, or the death of a loved one, usually a spouse. This emotional pain and insecurity give the scammer the opportunity to enter the lives of these victims’ become their source of relief. Terry’s story is no different.
The manipulations that these scammers use can be so psychologically devastating that the victims don’t know what to do. “I know you’re scamming me, but you’ve ruined every other man for me” these are the words Terry recalls relaying to James.
But how does it get to this point?
Terry met James 11 months after the death of her husband. Her marriage was perfect from her perspective. She looks back on the times she had with her late husband with a. deep appreciation for the man he was, and a deep sense of pain over his passing. Terry was widowed, and although she was surrounded by people who loved her. She was lacking the romantic excitement that the relationship with her late husband provided her. That changed when one day, out of the blue, she met James, an oil rig worker on the coast of California.
James was like no man she had ever met. He was an enigma, mysterious and charming. Terry recalls that James had the ability to melt her with his words. James used his captivating power of romantic speech to win Terry’s heart. He confessed his love for her only a week after they began talking. Terry was caught off guard. She protested that he didn’t even know her. But in her surprise was a hint of flattery. She reluctantly expressed her love for him in return.
When James started asking for money, Terry was again reluctant. She didn’t have money to give out to just anyone on the internet just because they were bold enough to ask. But this was different, this was James, the man who loved her and who she, in turn, fell in love with. And of course, James had a perfectly good story for why he needed the money, so Terry sent it. And then she sent it again, and again, and again until sending money became a regular part of Terry’s routine. Terry became familiar with all of the methods of sending money to James. Apple cards, Steam cards, Walmart gift cards, wire transfers, she used them all. but one day, she went to Walmart to send another batch of money, when something she never expected happened.
When Terry went to send the money to James, the woman working the cash register refused her. This refusal wasn’t on the grounds of company policy, but because sending the money would be against the woman’s moral code. She told Terry that she had seen this happen before. The Walmart cashier looked Terry in her eyes and told her that she would not send the money because it was a scam. Terry was astonished. She couldn’t believe the cashier refused her. But she was not going to quit. She was going to send the money one way or another. She went to the Walmart the next town over and sent James the gift cards,
Eventually, the signs became too obvious to ignore. She couldn’t push the suspicion out of her head any longer. Terry know James was a scammer. Probably from Nigeria or someplace in west Africa. With the evidence being so undeniable, Terry confronted James.
“I know you’re a scammer, but you’ve ruined every other man for me. No man can ever be as romantic as you are. But I can’t keep sending you money. Can you ask one of your other ‘wives’ “?
We have confirmed to Terry that James is in fact a scammer. Now Terry begins the process of moving on and letting go.
How to Protect Yourself On The Internet
Protecting yourself against romance scams starts before you even reply to their first message. Run a reverse image search in their photos to make sure they don’t have bad intentions for you, Run your first search today!