I shut the app and moved on, only to hear a ting within few minutes. I opened Tinder to see a message from the Spaniard. He introduced himself, said he was 44, widower with a teenage daughter and worked in the oil rigs while his girl was back home offshore. We chatted, got to know each other. The only hiccup was my 11pm was his 9am and vice versa. But then, we made the most of the time and he was the utterly butterfly are you for real kind of gentleman. He asked about my work, explained what he did and how he dint really do much outside of work. Within a day or so he shared a picture with his daughter, she was pretty and he looked good in a suit next to her. Spoke about how he and his late wife had made life plans but alas she fell ill and passed on.
As the days progressed, there were butterflies flying about rapidly within me- both in anxiety and excitement. He spoke about coming down for a visit and how I could then plan a visit, travelling all over Europe and so on. It was too good to be true, but I told myself not to panic and just go with the flow… Before I knew it, he said the three golden words that any girl would swoon to hear – I love you. I held back, telling him I wasn’t in that space yet. He seemed to be hurt but said he understood. In a week’s time, he started asking me for my address, saying he wanted to send me some stuff.
I again declined the offer saying we can do all this post meeting. He kept saying physical appearances dint matter and he felt we were soul mates, meant for each other. Well, the alarm bells continued to ring in my head…. The one thing he kept telling me on and off was not to mention him or our relationship to any of my friends. He was sure they would be jealous and break us up! I did confide in two friends [like ya, am gonna keep it to myself]
It had been 3 weeks, we had moved from Tinder to whatsapp. He called me a few times, brief chats happened. Around the 4th week he was back to asking my address persisted. I gave a vague address of my area and locality. It was Thursday when he said he was gonna send me a box of stuff along with some money and documents through the embassy and said that someone from embassy will call me and give directions on how to claim it. Friday when I woke up and we were chatting I again told him to withdraw the package [wasn’t sure if he was talking for real or just fibbing], but he said it had been sent already. When I asked him about how embassies don’t really do courier, he said theirs did and I left it [knowing this was all probably just faff]
I asked him what he had sent, for which he replied – an iPhone, iPad, a diamond ring, some documents that will help for our visa [he was talking about whisking me away back to spain], and cash [close to 20K Euros, saying he wanted me to hold on to it and he wanted to invest in real estate in Asia]… I was stumped, I was still unsure if any of this was real.
The weekend went by, and Monday morning we were chatting when he said someone will be calling me with directions. I was again adamant about not wanting any of the stuff and not claiming it. He did get upset or atleast made it sound like I had hurt him and said “its ok, leave it, its my money and stuff I bought for you only, my loss, no worries, lets talk about something else”
Promptly at about 9am I got a call, sounded like an African voice [ the deep husky kind, I know cos I have met quite a few of them]. This guy asked for my name and said there was a parcel from Carlos Mendez in Spain. He then went on to say I had to deposit 35K INR, and within 3 hrs he would fly down and deliver the package. I hung up. I then got an sms with bank account details belonging to a person [again name was suspicious]. Meanwhile on the side am chatting with him saying the guy called, asking for money, I don’t want it, etc.. He was hopping mad.. and then I asked him why cant they just deduct the 35K INR I had to pay from the money he has sent for which he blatantly refused saying that was separate this is different..
This apart, I was also chatting with friends telling em about this. They too said it was fishy, esp since nobody sends stuff through the embassy,… and customs will send a letter and that was it, they don’t follow up. I kept getting calls from different numbers asking about the money and I finally told one of them that I am not gonna pay and they can send the package back. At that the guy actually hung up, till an hour later a lady called who got the same response from me.
Meanwhile, our man is stomping mad, said ok fine, leave it, my loss and went on a trip about how I went against him and spoke to friends, they were jealous and were breaking us up, cant see me happy etc. I lost it there and told him he can think whatever he wants, but if he cant respect a girl or her wishes, too bad and blocked him on whatsapp .. That was it… Well, shows there are all kinds of people online, looking for an easy bait…. Am sure they do get lucky, 1/10 will fall for it and they make some money out of it. It has been a few months, and there are moments when I think about this and wonder what the hell was I thinking or not to have let this happen. Am sharing it here so others can be on guard and save themselves from falling for these scams…
PS: I did spot him again on Tinder and reported the profile..
Note: be open, but always be on guard…. especially if
If a guy is too forthcoming
If he wants to move away from the app and take it to text/whatsapp/calls
If he seems too good to be true [ i know its not fair to generalise, but be alert]
If he seems to be in a rush to take the relationship forward
If he says things like “am gonna delete my profile”, “i hope you aren’t seeing/talking to anyone else”, “tell me you love me” .. etc…