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.
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.
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.