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).
And 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.
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.
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.