Oh Great Michael Scott

So, perhaps you’ve been wondering where my blog has been. Well, I decided to take a hiatus for a while. First of all, meeting the amount of scammers I have sort of makes one question the possibility of ever finding a genuine mate in this modern age—and yes, yes, for all of those with the “love conquers all” attitudes and beliefs, I hear ya. I know it is possible and I’m not completely jaded; I question if weeding out the idiots is worth it. The second reason is that Tinder banned me. Yep, that’s right. Tinder bans people apparently. I was starting to question that since I reported some of the regular scammers, but somehow they always popped up again. But I wonder no more. You can get banned from Tinder, and when you ask for the reason, they will simply tell you to review the User Agreement. Sure, like I would ever read that thing. Anyway, no worries…I’ve got some good stories to share still. Plus, Tinder has lifted the ban and I’ve got a return or two of some old favorites. Oh, and Chao has surfaced briefly. (Don’t know Chao? Go back and read some earlier posts…he’s my favorite scammer because the dude does not know when to stop.)

Before Tinder decided to ban me without stating why, I swiped right on a beefcake named Michael Scott; my last swipe before the ban. He contacted me the moment we “matched”. Seemed nice enough, but I noticed he was quite a few miles away…like over a 1,000 miles away, which always makes me suspicious. Our conversation began just like they usually do…”What do you do?” “What brings you to Tinder?” “Tell me about yourself.”

Michael worked for DynCorp; specifically, he said that he monitored the movement of men on deployment. He was based in the UAE; I asked him if he could be a bit more specific and he shared he was at a military base in Dubai. He shared that he had two kids, ages 5 and 7. He missed them very much since they lived with his ex-wife in the US. I asked questions about how he enjoyed living in Dubai. He didn’t like it because “they retreated” he and his fellow teammates from so many things. Now, in full disclosure, I don’t know what being retreated from things really means, but I’m guessing it’s not fun. I told him I liked Dubai and that I had stayed at the Atlantis (which was a total lie—God forgive me). He had no idea what the hotel Atlantis was and he repeated about being retreated. I told him I had many family members that had been in the military and that they were allowed to leave the base on occasion. Poor Michael wasn’t allowed to leave though. His two-year contract was ending soon; he was planning on returning to the US to visit his kids after the contract but then he was going to come to HK to visit me.

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I asked him about his life in California (he had stated earlier his ex-wife living in San Diego). I suspected at this point that English probably wasn’t his first language but didn’t want to just come out and ask. As I’ve said before in other posts, I don’t judge against people whose first language isn’t English, but own it and be honest about it; don’t try to be sneaky and lie about it. Anyway, he shared he grew up in Beverly Hills and that his parents were originally from Columbia. I asked if his family spoke Spanish at home or if he knew Spanish (trying to give his lack of English skills the benefit); he did not. In the next week or so, I asked him about working in Dubai. He told me they had shift rotations that lasted 24 hours usually. In one conversation, he asked me what I was looking for in a man. I gave my usual answer of “honesty”. He replied, “Nice.”

Finally, I asked him why his profile was set to HK if he lived in the UAE and planned on going back to the US after his contract. He called me babe (ugh) and then told me he was already planning on going to HK after his contract. Silly me.

During one conversation I asked Michael if everything was all right. He finally shared what was bothering him. I’ll let his message share for him…

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It’s tough when you’re being retreated.

A couple of days later he started in on serious relationship crap. He wanted to be more than friends and I said that wasn’t possible until we met. He believed differently. He thought if we both worked at it, believed it would work, and trust each other that it would be fine because love was invisible. A few days later, he brought up the conversation again. He wanted me to be his forever and he was hiding those feelings “for long” (yes, need I remind you that the man said he spoke English growing up). Now, I’m assuming he mean that he had those feelings for a long time, but in reality, the long time was maybe a week and a half. My picture made his heart beat and he said “I wish you could my future wife”. I thought, let’s have fun with this…

In the coming days, he always asked where I was and what I was doing…like most scammers eventually, he became high maintenance and annoying. I offered to come to Dubai to visit him, but I was informed that “lol” I wouldn’t be able to see or visit him even if I did come. I tried to just limit the conversation at that point; I don’t like giving the scammers any real info about me—I’m sure you understand why. Anyway, the conversations stayed pretty simple over the next few days. Once in a while, though, he would mention his heart beating for me. He hated that I obviously didn’t share the same love with him.

One day I asked about his ex-wife. He informed me that he did not want to talk about “that bitch”. I accepted that and then asked about his kids. He gave me their names and one thing that each of them liked. I questioned if there was anything else he’d share about them but then he disappeared for a day. When I heard from him again, I told him he could tell me about them then. He confessed he didn’t know too much about the kids since he’d been gone for so long. He then tried switching the topic to the relationship and beating heart stuff again. It had only taken him about 3 weeks for him to say “I love you”. I think he was starting to catch on that I was getting bored, so he tried some flowery messages (not new in the scammer world). I questioned him a lot and would not return his words of love, which I’m pretty certain he did not expect.

At this point, I was really hoping he would just ask me for the money soon.

Eventually, he started sharing about the state of work he was in…his boss and the lack of decent food; he was tired of the Arabic food in the mess hall. He wasn’t allowed to have access to his accounts until returning to the US. I’m not in the same business he was claiming to be in, but a lot of it just never added up to me. And his one friend that did send money through agents was deployed, too, so he didn’t have any money while stationed in Dubai. He asked me to help him financially (it would be his honor if I did); when I asked for details he had to get it from his boss. He finally said to send it via Western Union or MoneyGram. I should have asked how he would be able to get the money from either establishment if he was not allowed to leave the base, but hindsight I guess. I was told to send as much as I could afford and that he needed up to $1000.

Once again, I asked about his base. Apparently I was wrong, it was not an US base, but rather a base owned by the UAE. I asked more questions then about the base before he suddenly had to go back to work…

He did send the MoneyGram details to me. It was being sent to a person by the name of “Osarumwense Edionewe” in Dubai. I asked who this person was, but that was ignored at first. I told him I couldn’t do the MG thing from China and Michael told me to go to the bank. So, he said go to Western Union. He was starting to be a jerk about it (which, again, was normal for scammers when their intended victims don’t act as quickly as they’d like). I decided to annoy him, though…I told him my financial advisor couldn’t send the money without additional information (ID, the company’s name and title of Osarumwense), but once I had the info that the transfer would be easier. He did not like this.

For the next day or so, no money was mentioned in our conversations. I finally brought it up by asking why he wasn’t able to send a picture of his ID to me. He started accusing me of not trusting him (he was right); I said that he didn’t answer my question. I told him not to message me again until he was ready to provide evidence of actually being stationed in Dubai and his identity. I was told to calm down. And then he told me he loved me… I love when scammers do this.

I finally told him I didn’t believe a word he had said. He wanted to know why. So I told him I’d met a lot of scammers before him and they were all similar. I guess he thought I was joking because he had the nerve to message me the next morning as if nothing had happened. I told him, again, not to contact me again until he was ready to be honest. I even shared that my hobby was to write about scammers I meet on dating sites. He played dumb and told me he had nothing to worry about. The next day he messaged to see if I’d written anything yet. I told him I was planning to in the next few days, and then he wanted to know what I would do next. I told him I’d publish it to my blog. I guess he thought I wouldn’t do it if he was encouraging. When I didn’t cave, he turned a wee bit snappy and angry. I’ll let Michael share how he felt with these screenshots:

I will say, Michael has certainly been the most upset of the scammers when he learned that he was “caught”. I also admire his use of emojis; he may not be fluent in English, but he is in emojis. He told me he wasn’t going to block me because he wanted me to send him a copy of my blog, but I think we all know that that’s not going to happen. Anyway, be on the lookout for Michael! I would hate for anyone to be retreated on.

 

 

 

All About Steve

During the summer, when Tinder still allowed me to swipe (yep, I’ve since been banned), I came across the profile of Steve. To be honest, the first thing I noticed was his arm muscles. Apparently I’m a sucker for big guns. The second thing I noticed was the misspelling of the word professional. Or, maybe there is another form of professional spelled with two f’s that I just don’t know about. I thought to myself: “Hmmmm, this profile has the markings of a scammer…swipe, right!” So, I listened to myself. And imagine my surprise: we matched!

Steve sent the first message. Very straight forward. I sent him a message on WeChat and he told me he wanted a serious relationship, but with someone who understood that he was a very busy man and he had very busy schedules. Yes, I rolled my eyes when I read that message. Trust me, my eyes rolled plenty of times after that as well.

Our conversations were pretty basic. He wanted to know my marital status and job. Like many scammers, Steve lived in England, worked as an engineer in the petroleum industry, and went to church. He did try to throw in a compliment here and there (hence the eye rolling), but was not a natural at it…I’m guessing he was new to the scamming business (must have been to busy with those schedules). I was also assured he was intelligent in his profession (with one f…maybe that’s why he was such a “proffessional” like his profile said).

I will say that one thing Steve did that not all scammers do was to actually read my messages and replies. Most of the scammers just skip details like that. Not Steve. Oh, and he was lite on the “dears” which was a nice and welcomed break.

After a week or so, he started on the “I miss you” crap. Seriously, it only took him about 10 days for this. I got this message every few days. At the 20 day mark, he started with the “my love” malarkey.

When it comes to the scammers, I find myself growing tired of talking to them. Sometimes, I just wish they’d start off with the money business instead of dragging it out. So, I sometimes try to push it along by asking if there’s anything I can do to help. This one was a bit difficult (not the most difficult, I have yet to write about that one) because chatting with me was enough for him (his words, not mine).

A month after we matched, Steve started to set up his scam story. He was busy with paperwork relating to a new contract application. I got excited at this point because I knew what I’d been waiting for was coming soon. I got super excited when he said he would visit me after he received his contract since he would be in Malaysia. He was even going to relocate to be with me! Yay.

When August came, he let me know it was his birthday month, plus his application for the new contract work was approved and he would be going to Malaysia soon. He would be with me within a week. During that week, he said he loved me and couldn’t wait to meet. I said thanks, and then secretly celebrated because I new within the week I’d be asked for money.

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Are you ready? It wasn’t even a week, but rather a few days later, the sub contractors were demanding a down payment from him before allowing him to sign the contract. Sadly, he didn’t have enough money so he needed a little (his word) financial assistance from me. He would totally pay me back, too. At this point, I was feeling a little bitchy, so I told him I couldn’t help because I was on vacation in the French Riviera.

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But then my bitchiness left after having a mini conversation with myself about how this was for ScamTales. So, I let Steve know I might be able to help but he would have to provide some evidence. The amount he needed was just $2,850. Not much, right? He also sent the bank info (Man, if only there was a way to transfer money into my account with all the bank details I’ve gotten over the past year from all the scammers I’ve met). Anyway, I asked about the name on the account…a man named Juanidiah. That was the sub contractor. I requested his contact information, but did not get everything I asked for.

I was told that once I was done with the payment to Juanidiah (who was not the company that needed the money) to let Steve know. I also told Steve I would need to see a copy of the contract for my records. Panic must have set in then. He said he’d send a picture of the contract after he was able to sign it, but they needed the money first. What a joke. I told him that wasn’t happening. Sadly for Steve, I was his “only hope”. I said no again, not until I got proper information or confirmation about the job. But, apparently none of that was available until I sent money. This went on for about a week…I’d ask for evidence of the contract or offered contract, he’d say after I paid the sub contractor, I’d say I wanted evidence or proof, he’d say what kind, I’d reply pictures of contracts or offers, he’d say he didn’t have anything like that, and so on. I think you get the point.

After telling him a job that YOU pay to work at isn’t worth it, I finally cut Steve loose because I became bored with the “my love’s”, “only hope’s” and the back and forth nonsense. Besides, I needed to find my next scammer (which I did without the help of Tinder).

Steve, in my book, was a novice scammer that obviously met a very unsympathetic fighter. Better luck next time, Steve…or not. In the meantime, let’s enjoy a few more of Steve’s photos.

Son of a…

In the spring, I met another scammer on Tinder (surprise surprise). His name was Son and his Tinder profile, plus the first few messages, totally had the scammer traits. First, he started off with the sad tale of being all alone because his mother had just died recently (which, if he had been honest, I would have totally understood). He was lonely because he had caught his ex-girlfriend having sex with his best friend last year (he was planning on marrying her); oh, and he started off with that “dear” shit immediately. His profile picture indicated a nice looking guy. Oh, and the last marker: he was an engineer in the oil business based out of London. Sound familiar? Mix all of these ingredients up (sad story, ex cheated on him, dear, cute, engineer, London) and it usually equates to a scammer (for full disclosure, I’m not saying every man with these qualities are scammers, but I am saying that all the ones I’ve met via Tinder have been so far).

SonTinderAnd now that I’m looking at his profile picture again, I’m not sure the other pictures he sent through WeChat are the same person. Hmmm.

Within the first week of talking or so (talking = messages via WeChat), Son asked me how I would “see us starting up a love affair”. I’m telling you, some of the lines these gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) are just ridiculous. The messages for a few days were pretty basic after that. It was the usual “How are you?” and simple answers. On the weekends, he went to the gym (probably how he got those muscles). He would also mention the loss of his mother when he could work that into the conversation. He asked how I would treat my man, and I kept it simple, but true (I try to always answer in this way so they can’t accuse me of lying or put myself to their level of deceptiveness); it depends on what he needed. And he told me “all I need is love and joy”. Ugh. Then for about the millionth time, he told me he was alone.

About a week into our messaging, he wanted to know how I was going to love him back if he opened himself to love me. I told him I needed to get to know someone first. The next question was another usual scammer question: “What will a man do to win your heart?” Now, I would like to digress a smidge here. The grammar these men use is just horrible. I know I slip up here once in a while, but I like to think you can tell English is my first language. It isn’t that I mind talking to people who’s first language isn’t English, but I do mind if you tell me your first language is English and it is clearly not. Okay, but to Son. I answered that in order to win my heart, I must have trust, humor…and honesty. I always like to toss the truth and honesty into the mix because these scammers are from possessing those traits. He finally told me “hope u dont disappoint me at the end”. Sure, Son. Sure.

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Son told me he was going to Turkey for a few days to take care of a contract. Then he would come to China to visit me. I asked what the contract was for and it was something to do with a new pipe along the Ankara border. But he was coming to China afterwards. He was going to go to Beijing. I asked him if the Beijing trip was for pleasure or business. This is funny…he was coming to visit me…in Beijing. It was then the dummy thought to ask me where in China I lived (even though it clearly stated in my profile). He wanted to know what I like because he was going to get me some gifts. He was also going to send me money to rent a car for his two-week visit. I assured Son that I didn’t need any gifts or that I wouldn’t be able to drive a car even if I rented one since I didn’t have a license for it. And in return he assured me that the gifts were all from his heart.

The next day he was telling me about some contract he won in Malaysia. He also tried to impress me with a picture of the check for the contract…it was for 38 million ringgit. Remember the grammar digression earlier, well here is what he told me after he sent a picture of the contract: “sees I started my own company”. Sees?

When he took longer than a few days in Turkey, he tried to distract me with videos of him working out and pictures of him hanging out on a boat…I will admit, I fully enjoyed the photos and videos because his muscles were certainly well defined (Have I mentioned the muscles yet?). He also told me he was sending my gifts through DHL (which his shipping slip does say they used DHL) from Turkey. I would receive a tracking code and when it is in China, I will go and get it. After that, he was quiet for a few days. When I asked him why, he told me because he was busy in Turkey working and shopping for me. His trip to Turkey was taking longer than he was anticipating but was going to finish soon; however, he was able to sending me the packing slip for this package. So, do you remember a scammer named Erick from one of my earlier posts? His scam was similar to Son’s…sending a package of high-end gifts ahead of his visit. So, I’ve included Son’s packing list and Erick’s. They look quite similar, don’t they?

Well, though he was having issues in Turkey finishing the work, he was able to go out on boats and swim. I told him I’d love to see a picture of his work site, but I was told it’s a petrol chemical area and then he switched the topic to losing a gold chain while swimming. I’m not sure why he focused on the chain because I never saw one in any of his photos, but what do I know?

In the meantime, I received an email from a delivery company for his package, but it wasn’t DHL. When I mentioned it to him, Son told me DHL was way too expensive so he went with the DPD group. A few days later, he asked if I had talked to the shipping company and I told him I had spoken with them. I even told Son that the package was going to be delivered the next morning. He questioned that statement, but I went with it. He told me he talked to an agent based in Asia. It was at that point that I told him HE needed to transfer some money to the company because of some VAT tax. He paid the sender charge so “dear pay the vat tax” because he thought it was “Asia policy”. Of course he would pay me back once he was in Asia. He became a bit irritated and said that the payment needed to happen in two days or they would start charging “demurrage”. He corrected himself when I asked him if he knew what demurrage meant and said “demage care”. Insert a LoL here.

I would like to take a break from Son to discuss the shipping company. I received an email from a gmail account to let me know that I would get a call once my parcel arrived. It was from Sam and the Delivery Team. I replied that I was concerned since I was told the delivering company should be DHL.Sam told me to contact the sender, Mr. Wilson. Please take a moment to look back at the recipient of the check above…Wilson. I asked for the tracking number, but was then told about the $500USD import VAT I need to pay at the airport. I asked for clarification on which international airport to go to and was directed to the Chek Lap Kok Hong Kong International; I was also sent information for payment details for a bank in Hong Kong. The account owner was Lau Yet Ting. I asked if I could make the payment at the airport in cash instead (I had to send at three emails for to ask this), to which I was informed that they did not accept cash.

I asked him if he could send a copy of the email the shipping company sent him. Talk about getting his boxers in a wad. He demanded to know what I meant by that. He told me “this relationship is getting to highest level” (I didn’t know it was a video game we were in, but yay for the highest level) and asked why I wanted to have a copy of the email. What would the email prove? He tried to assure me that if there was a trust issue he would not have sent those gifts. I told him I simply wanted to read the fine print. He told me I didn’t need to. He kept bringing it back to our relationship.

Later that day, I was told that after receiving the package for him, I was to go to Beijing to “check” a house for him. I asked why. He said he found a few houses he like in Beijing and that he was thinking of buying it. I asked why he was looking in Beijing. He asked what I would prefer. Again, not only was it clearly stated in my profile, but I also had mentioned where I lived before. Obviously this idiot could not look at a map and see Beijing was north and Shenzhen south. I told him I preferred Hong Kong and Singapore. He told me to talk to a real estate agent in Hong Kong then. I am pretty sure the house topic was an attempt at a diversion tactic because he told me we needed a house in Asia where he could call home. The next message from him was telling me to go make the payment to the shipping company since their bank was in Hong Kong.

He was relentless about this shipping company. At least Erick gave up at this point in his scam. But not Son. So, I told him I would go to the airport to make the payment since I only had cash. That wasn’t necessary. I was told to go to the bank and put the payment in since it was a Hong Kong account. He got a little mean at this point and said, “U said you are teacher? But it seems u hardly understand things.” Just like a true scammer: getting defensive. I told him I was going to leave him alone for the evening and he should think about how mean he was being. He told me that the gifts were worth 7,000USD and plus the extra 900 (not sure the currency) for sending the package, so I just needed to send the VAT tax and collect the package. I was about tired of his crap at this point so I told him that he was about the seventh person that asked me for money through a scam and that he was the second one to use this same scam. Three days later he wanted to do a video call and I told him no.

So, if I had to offer some advice to scammers, I would tell them that if they are anything like Son—claiming to have grown up in England and having English as his first language—to take some English lessons (not meant mean-spirited) and definitely geography classes.

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Small update…So, it is obvious that Son isn’t this guy’s true name. I am happy to announce, that I have found “Mr. Wilson” on Instagram. I won’t post his information here, but he is out there and his name is Wilson. According to Insta, he still says he works in oil and lives in London. I’ve sent him a message and plan on asking about why he calls himself Son and/or Gu (his new name on WeChat). I’ll let you know what I find out when I write my next post.

Update on a Favorite Scammer: Chao

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So, I think I’ve said this before, but my favorite scammer so far has definitely been Chao Harrison. Remember him? I’ve mentioned him a few times. In May, Chao needed me to find someone to help him out with a payment in Dubai. I told him no. He asked about what my fears were with helping him. I shared with him it was because he just didn’t seem like someone who could handle money; he became silent for a few weeks after that.

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He checked in with me a few times in June…on the 10th, he was playing pool/snooker (not sure why he felt like he needed to share that tidbit of info, but he did). He messaged again on June 16th and told me he was busy and would have to tell me why later. On the 29th, though, he was singing a different tune. Well, poor Chao is still in need of help (imagine that). He has now found himself in a pickle in Dubai. Chao is locked up under house arrest in a “private housing estate owned by the government” somewhere in Dubai; this estate was, of course, “really secretive”. He didn’t care where he went, as long as he got out of the country.

I asked why he was locked up, but he kept saying it was a long story.

He said that there was a top officer at the facility that was willing to help him escape, but I had to transfer bitcoin to him. Chao told me not to tell my “ex” (Remember my hero from a few previous blogs? I had told Chao the first time he asked for money that Mr. Hero was my ex—which let me set the record straight now, he is not my ex.) because he always pushed me away from Chao. Poor Chao. I was told to just transfer the bitcoin and keep my  mouth shut (of course there were lots of “loves” and “baby’s” associated with the commentary he offered).

 

At one point, after much convincing on my part, Chao finally said he would talk to Mr. Hero since he believed that Mr. Hero was in charge of my finances. Mr. Hero said he would only call Chao on an actual number. And so here was the problem with that…Chao didn’t have a working phone number (of course). So, alas, much to my disappointment, the two never conversed.

Throughout the summer, Chao entertained me with a story of being in this secret facility. Sure, I guess some people might say that I’m mean spirited by getting a kick out of his stories of woe, but I truly do not believe Chao is in a secret facility.

After it didn’t work out with Mr. Hero calling Chao, I convinced him that I was actually scheduled to visit Dubai the following week and I would try to find out more information regarding his release. He told me not to tell anyone again, and at this point I still did not know what he was being held for. I told him I had a friend at the Chinese consulate that I was planning on meeting for lunch one day while I was in town. He did seem to panic a smidge then. He tried his best to discourage me from the meeting. He reminded me he was a British citizen so why would I ever think about going to the Chinese consulate. And then I kindly reminded him that I was just meeting a friend for lunch and would discuss his dilemma, not that I was seeking out help from the Chinese consulate.

After returning from my “lunch”, I messaged Chao that I was way too upset to talk to him. He told me I wouldn’t believe him no matter what he said. So I countered that I never revealed to him what I found out so why would he say that?

He informed me that I’ve never believed him so why would I start now. He went on with telling me he has always had feelings for me and loved me (the usual attempt to get me to send the money). When I kept telling him I wouldn’t give him money, he corrected me by saying it wasn’t him I was giving money to, but to the top officer. At this point, I was more like “whatever”. Finally, he shared that he was being held on two charges against the UAE. The first was endangering the lives of citizens by using leftover materials from a previous construction job. The second charge was regarding taxes (he didn’t pay the total amount of tax he was required to pay).

I ignored him for a few days afterwards because what could I say at this point? I told him as much when he questioned my silence. He apologized for offending me, which I set the story straight by telling him I was not offended but was tired of playing games with him and requested the truth.  Chao told me he wouldn’t lie to me (HA!). I went through the list of times he asked for money…not getting paid by a firm in HK, the building collapsing in HK, and now issues in Dubai? According to him, he finally sorted out the HK and Paris issues. I finally called him out and told him he was either the most determined scammer ever or just someone with the worst luck ever. He went on with the “I have no hope” and “please, love, don’t leave me” lines. I was also informed it was not a time for blame. I shared that other scammers have used similar stories to some of his and I was then told that some other people lie, but not Chao. I’ll let you read some of his messages and you can decide…

 

His messages then became just old news afterwards. He told me he loved me, and that did it. I asked him if he truly thought telling me he loved me would just make everything okay and instantly inspire me to give him money. Chao responded by telling me he really just wanted to let me know how he truly felt.

This went on for a couple of more weeks. My return messages were lackluster. While on vacation he tried to voice call me via WeChat. I was on holiday in Nice so why would I want to actually bother myself with talking to him? So, I ignored them and shared with him I was in France. I was informed that I could at least still reply to his messages. Yes, he was serious.

 

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I eventually just told Chao to stop messaging me. I haven’t heard from him since. Do I really think this is the end for Chao and I? No.

 

OscarChao? Oscar? Elton? You decide.

While scrolling through Tinder looking for my next scammer, I noticed a profile picture that kept popping up, under a couple of different names. I finally decided to scroll right on one. His name for this profile was OscarChao. We messaged once or twice on Tinder and then he unmatched us after a few exchanges.

Next time I saw the profile again, I swiped right, but this time it was just Oscar. Now, I’ll be honest: I’m not sure I would consider this an actual scam for money, but when multiple profiles have the same person in the picture, it raises alarm bells for me.

He was one of the bothersome scammers once we moved on to WeChat. He would always want to check in and if I didn’t respond within minutes, he asked what was wrong or why I was so quiet. It didn’t matter if I was sleeping or if there was a time difference or if I was traveling. Oscar was annoying.

He was from Manchester (this will be a smidge important in a little bit) and was an architect of some kind. Have you noticed that a lot of these losers and scammers are some sort of architect or engineer? What is up with that? A little about Oscar in his own words:

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He actually sent the exact message twice–two different times.

He started off with the “dear” fairly quickly, which just irks the hell out of me. Seriously, my name is Heather. Call me Heather.

Once he learned I was going to America for holiday, he requested—no, told—that I get him an iTunes gift card. Of course he would pay me back. All I had to do was take a picture of the back of the card and send it to him so he could use it to purchase games for his phone. Now, I did tell him I would look into it. But when he asked me everyday for a recap of my day, he also demanded that I go back out and get the stupid iTunes card. I was able to hold him off for a few days. Finally, I asked why he couldn’t just go out and get his own iTunes card. I was informed that some countries don’t have the cards available. To which, I responded: “Why not just link your credit card with your iTunes account?” Silly me because this set him off. Apparently I was trying to change him. Who knew valid questions were actually an attempt to change a person. So, I thought why shouldn’t I just poke the bear at this point. I asked him how I was trying to change him—I just couldn’t see how he got from the iTunes gift card to me asking him to change. I did tell him finally that one of my hobbies was to write about scammers and asked if he had anything to say. He just got defensive. In the meantime, I looked up possible scams involving iTunes card. And wouldn’t you know that in Manchester a couple of years ago, there was a scam! People pretending to be billing companies would contact people, telling them to go purchase the cards in certain increments and send a picture (or the code information) of the back. People did this. Here are quite a few screenshots of our conversations. As you can tell, I was starting to get a bit annoyed near the end.

Did you notice how many times he says, “I need it.” It could have been a drinking game.

Now, whether or not Oscar was an actual scammer, I will leave that decision up to you. But before you decide, let me share Elton’s story.

Below are two pictures: One of Elton and one of Oscar. Can you tell a difference?

OscarWechatprofileeltonpics

Me neither.

Anyway, during the time I was speaking with Oscar, a random person messaged me on WhatsApp. Said his name was Elton and that we had met on Tinder a while ago. I didn’t remember him and shared as much. His profile picture was blurry so that didn’t help too much.

eltonwhatsappElton owned his company, which was supposedly something to do with oil. He was from California, but was on assignment in Kuwait. He, of course, would come visit me the moment his contract was done in just a few months. After a week or so, Elton updated his blurry photo with a clear one. Imagine my surprise when the picture showed Oscar!!! The best part? In Elton’s new profile picture, he was sitting on a couch with a cat in his lap. Now, you may ask why I would care about this cat. When I was still talking to Oscar—before I tried to change him—he sent me a picture of his cat, Milk, when we were talking about pets; I even shared I had a cat in America named Oliver. It was the exact same cat as in Elton’s picture. I asked him about the cat. He told me it was his friend’s cat. I told him it looked just like my friend’s cat. He said that was funny. I asked for the cat’s name? Oliver. I didn’t comment on that. But I did send a picture of “Milk” to him. He said that was crazy and the cats could be twins. Ridiculous.

 

Anyway, I told Elton that I wanted to come visit him in Kuwait. He said he was on a oil rig and they didn’t get visitors. He could not leave the rig either. I told him I could find a way. I looked up flights to Kuwait and told him the flight times. Now, I honestly was not planning on coming to Kuwait, but he didn’t know that. As far as he was concerned, I was a love-sick, lonely white girl looking for a man and would do anything for her man. Little did he know.

He told me he would get permission for me to come, but as a co-owner of his company. Elton also said he would arrange the transportation from the airport to the rig via helicopter. He gave me a name of a company, but when I asked who I should contact when I arrived at the airport, he said just go to the airport and someone from the company would find me. But since he had not been paid yet, he had to use his personal funds for the deposit. Then he told me that I would receive an email from the company’s agent from America. Which of course I questioned. Why would the agent, who is helping me with things in Kuwait, be based in the US? He ignored that question.

Well, I never got an email. When I pretended I was on my layover while on the way to Kuwait, I messaged him again. I told him I didn’t want to fly all the way to Kuwait without any information. Never heard from him. And since then, for the past few weeks, I’ve tried reaching out to him, but nada. I’ve saved our conversation from WhatsApp just in case Elton comes up with a financial emergency at some point. And of course, if he does, you will be the first to know.

And again, neither one of these gentlemen—Elton or Oscar—have asked me directly for money. But I do find it interesting and suspicious that both men have the same picture, same cat, and different stories.

Next time…Update on Chao!!

Mike…Record Time

This scammer was short lived (the kind I prefer); actually, he took less than two weeks to ask for the money. This was a record for me so far. He was an architect working in Milan, Italy. He was decently charming and didn’t use those ridiculous terms of endearment (you know the ones…baby, dear, honey) like the others did profusely. Within the first few days, he was quite insistent on making sure I was single. He also wanted to find out about “anything searchable”…any past relationships, family, work. I kept it simple.

Miketinderprofile

He then wanted to share that his past wife cheated on him. Those scammers, always with stories that make you feel sorry for them. He attempted to ask more questions for a chance to get to know me more. He also shared a few details about himself…he owned his architecture company (a registered firm according to him) and supply company. He contracted his work out.

Miketinderprofile3Of course, then he tossed in another heartstring pulling story…he lost his parents when he was 4 years old. His father’s best friend took him in and raised him. He assured me his life had not been easy.

He liked me. He said he thought I was pretty and asked about my profile picture. It was almost like he was trying to sell himself to me…or at least, he tried to. He wasn’t as off-putting as some of the other scammers. His messages were usually asking me about what I was doing or what I was eating or how work was.

Mikepic

It took less than two weeks for Mike to tell me he wasn’t doing well. The Italian government seized some of his goods he needed to finish a build. He even sent a picture of the document (please notice the dates). He only needed £500 to claim the materials. He said he didn’t want to ask me for it because he didn’t have enough courage to.

I will admit, I totally lied and told him I was saving that amount to pay for my brother’s eye surgery so he could see again. For those that know my brother, please know, he’s totally okay; I just wanted to see what Mike said. He was sorry about the illness, but then proceeded to give me the Western Union details. The money was being sent to a Mimi Henry. I questioned who Henry or Mimi was, and Mike told me that she was on his staff. He was new to Italy and did not have any Western Union details.

 

I asked Mike, then, about the dates on the form he sent me the picture of from the government. He made up some ridiculous story (please see screenshot below). He told me I could call the custom authority if I wanted to. I asked him for the number but then he told me he didn’t have one.

His friends didn’t have any questions about it so why should I? Unfortunately after a few more questions, Mike became very defensive. He kept telling me I could call the government and that I was making jest of him. I asked him for an address and the moron sent me one in Naples, Florida. I asked about the address; I said he kept talking about Italy so why was he sending an address in Florida. The idiot kept acting like I didn’t know what I was talking about until I sent him a screen shot of the address. He replied, “Shit, that my home address.” Priceless.

I told him then that I like to write about the scammers I meet on Tinder. He did say sorry at that point.

mike10

And that was the end of Mike.

I can’t make this stuff up…I’m not that creative.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Chao (had his own) and Wang (near the end of Bojing’s). Well, I’m happy to report that they’ve appeared again. I was so excited, too, because come on: they’re just morons.

Wang Chan Lee

Remember him? Well, I was scrolling through my WeChat conversations a few weeks ago and notice dear Wang changed his profile picture. Like a bitch (these guys deserve it), I messaged him to compliment the picture. Not long after, he messaged back asking who I was. I laughed. I responded that we met on Tinder. Then, he asked how I had been. I did not mention that I knew he was full of shit—I wanted to see how far he went with this; plus, this blog rests on the shoulders of scammers like him.

wang1

The next day, he told me that he had thought of me often and had feelings for me, but I obviously didn’t feel the same for him. Ridiculous. I asked him about his house arrest and if he had gotten it sorted out. He had and was now in Istanbul.

It took a few days, but Wang works relatively fast compared to the other scammers. He said he had told me of his issue; I told him I knew about the house arrest but that was it. Apparently there was more. He told me he was there to settle some issues regarding…(wait for it…)…

A COLLAPSED BUILIDNG!

Does it get any better? He asked if I could let him borrow some funds, and until he paid compensation, he could not leave the country. A coworker suggested I perhaps tell him I could hold a fundraiser for the victims and that would probably take care of the compensation. But no, he said it was being privately handled.

He just needed 4,000USD. Just? I was assured I would be given a refund the moment he was back in the UK. I told him I’d see what I could do since that was less than what I get paid a month. His reply? “I understand love”. I nearly threw up when he used that word. How sad is it that these men use the word “love” in an attempt to snare a girl that so desperately wants it? It is even sadder that it has probably worked before and that’s why they continue to do it.

wang7

He sent the account information. The account was in the name of a Karen Paula. I asked about who she was; Wang told me she was the head of operation for safety. He, of course, couldn’t transfer the money from his account because he left his “token” (he told me it was a bank transfer device for internet banking).

I was able to hold off anymore questioning from Wang and the fund transfer for a couple of days. In the meantime, he sent me a few messages to see how I was. I’m sure he was waiting to hear about the transfer. I just never brought it up. Finally, he told me that he was going to be placed on house arrest again if he didn’t get the amount he owed. He asked me again to help him with the fee so he could leave.

The next day, I told him I couldn’t find the money and I hope he found a miracle. He informed me he knew I would say this, that it was his birthday, and a lady helped him out. And that’s it, haven’t heard from him since.

wanglast

Oh, Chao

So, the last we saw of Chao, he asked me to find out about a house in Shenzhen. He gave me a price point. I “found” one and asked him his thoughts, only to not hear back from him.

Well, I have heard back.

Unfortunately, poor Chao was busy trying to settle something out of Hong Kong—he had not received payment from the company he was currently working with. Not shocking, really. I asked again about how he wanted me to proceed with the house. I was told he’d get back to me soon. A few days later, he was still trying to settle something and that was why he had not gotten back to me. He used a few niceties (How are you? How have you been?). I asked what he was still trying to settle: a payment. Then he asked me if I knew anyone in the US who could receive a payment for him. Now, I was pretty sure that was a misuse of words. I asked for clarification.

He was really asking for someone to send a payment to his partners in Dubai so the work there could continue. It was difficult since he was going to Australia (Sydney) in a few weeks and won’t be available for a while. Convenient, eh?

I asked about why he wasn’t able to take care of this payment—he wasn’t in the UK and therefore unable to access his account. I told him I didn’t think I could help. And the moron had the balls to ask me what my fears were…I let him have it then. He must have ignored my perfectly constructed answer because I didn’t hear back until I messaged him about Mr. Hero coming to Dubai. Chao then answered me. He actually said he would love to hang out with him when he gets there. Chao even sent me his WhatsApp number for Mr. Hero, who has tried to call him but doesn’t get any answer.

And actually, during the time I have been sitting here writing this, good ole Chao has messaged me. I can’t wait to see what his problem is now!

It all entertains me so.