Take it From Sarah: Swept Up by Romance

February 25, 2011
Scam:  A Charming Suitor Wines and Dines an Unsuspecting Victim
Location:  Worldwide

Claim: “I am a multimillionaire and I believe we can be very happy together.”

The best things in life are free, true love included. Nowadays you can bump into a potential true love at a supermarket, at the park while walking your dog, or even online while perusing singles ads on Craigslist. While it’s assumed that love is in fact free, for some a passionate romance can end up being extremely costly.

Sarah was not looking for love when Chris walked into her life. She was working in her office when he appeared for a meeting with a coworker. He told her she looked familiar, and they chatted while he waited for his appointment. Before he left the building, he handed her a business card with his number scribbled on the back. Sarah called Chris 3 days later and the two met for dinner. One fancy dinner led to many more over the course of a year until Chris proposed. Sarah was elated that a seemingly well-to-do, handsome, articulate man wanted to spend his life with her and she accepted the offer.

The pair was happy for another month and planned to buy a home together in the near future. One day without notice, Chris didn’t appear for a dinner date. He didn’t call or email, so Sarah was concerned. After a week not hearing from him, Chris called from an unknown number, stating he was ill in another state and needed a substantial amount of money to pay for his hospital bills. The request left Sarah feeling uneasy so she went online to do some sleuthing. She found that two other woman had reported having similar experiences with a man named Chris, and the photos they provided left Sarah with no doubt that she had almost been scammed.

Sarah now knows to exercise caution when her gut is warning her that something is too good to be true. She gladly shares the following tips: Acknowledge that anyone can be a target, maintain a small degree of cynicism when a new relationship takes off at warp speed, and thoroughly get to know someone before you hand over your hard earned money, or your heart