I was going to write this post several months ago, but I got lazy. But this issue happens too often, so I believe that it’s important for me to write a post about it to warn you all.
Nowadays, the younger generation spends most of their time online and on the phone. It isn’t uncommon for people to have various apps to stay in touch with friends, family, and even to meet strangers/potential love interests.
However, because you may be exposing yourself to the “world”, you really need to be careful. Sometimes, you’re not even actively searching, but they will find you.
For example, I received a random text from this dude who messaged me on Whatsapp a few months ago.
Guy: Hi, Gwen. Nice to meet you. Auntie Wang gave me your phone number.
Me: Hi. My name is Grace. Who is Auntie Wang?
Guy: Auntie Wang said she already told you about me. Aren’t you Gwen? I have already messed up once. *angry face*
Me: You found the wrong person. I don’t know any Auntie Wang.
Guy: Forget it. I won’t keep searching. I’ll tell Auntie Wang I’ve found you. Nice to meet you, Grace. My name is Louis. Oh wait, you know Chinese?
This guy is clearly a scammer. First of all, I don’t know any Auntie Wang. And let’s say this “Auntie Wang” did exist, why the heck would she introduce me to someone that doesn’t even LIVE in Toronto? The phone number was from the U.S. And this person sounded surprised I know Chinese. Does he think I’m stupid? He is getting “introduced” to someone without knowing that person actually knows Chinese, but he messages me in Chinese?
Omg. I got so mad that I blocked him after a few more back and forth. I wanted to know how he would try to scam me, but it’s not worth my time.
And it’s also quite obvious he stole the picture of a random handsome “western” looking guy and is pretending to be him. I don’t know how he got my phone number, but I know of a few people who’ve also received messages from random strangers on Wechat and Whatsapp. My guy friend got a message from someone who claims she’s from Hong Kong. He told her she got the wrong person, but she kept talking and started talking about investing and etc. BEWARE.
If they are messaging you in Chinese on an English dating app, I would already think it’s a red flag (no offense). It’s different if you guys start off in English, and then perhaps after getting more comfortable, you find out that the person also knows Chinese and slowly switches. But if you’re in a western country and the person immediately messages you in Chinese, I really think it’s super weird unless your bio is in Chinese.
Anyhow, fortunately, I’ve never met any “scammers” from dating apps. The people whom I’ve met up with were all real life people that looked like their photos. I don’t think any of them were using another person’s identity. However, I’ve had friends who’ve encountered men/women that weren’t who they actually portrayed themselves to be.
They stole photos of other people and pretended to be that person. And to avoid meeting up, they would tell you that they joined the app while they were on a business trip in your city. However, they’re no longer there and are unable to meet up in the near future. Then, they’ll keep talking to you and hope you’ll get comfortable enough and eventually scam you. Ex. The guy from my screenshot said he was from Miami.
Anyway, here are some reminders for everyone:
If it feels too good to be true, it’s probably fake. The person usually tries to paint a picture in your mind, and make you think about having a future with them. They are patient, always available, and seem like they’ll do anything for you even though you’ve just met. Some of them know exactly what to say to make you fall harder. They know what you want to hear.
If the person refuses to video call you after talking you to for at least 2 weeks on a consistent basis, it is suspicious. If they’re really “interested” in you, then they should want to see you on camera since they can’t meet up with you in real life (if they claim to be in another country).
A friend of mine had a few situations where the scammers actually fell in love with her and admitted they were scammers (she’s too pro). She knew they were scammers when they messaged her, but she wanted entertainment, so she played along and flirted a lot.
Eventually, the guys couldn’t handle her charm and felt too guilty and admitted that they had bad intentions. She said they told her that they were from the rural parts of China, and that they were scammed into these South Asian countries to work high paying jobs earning USD.
When they arrived, their passports were taken from them, and they were forced to work there to scam X amount before they could leave and get their passports back.
I asked my friend why couldn’t they just call the police or call home and ask for help? She said that they do not speak the local language, and a lot of the higher authorities could be bribed over there. They also have no money to begin with, and their families would not be able to help them either; so they had no choice. It’s either you or them. Some women are scammed to become sex workers, while the men usually use the phone to scam. But some women do the phone scams too, and vice versa.
So these scammers have to follow rules like: You’re not allowed to fall in love with your prey. Vanish once you’ve scammed enough. And etc.
This is not to get you to feel sorry for them, but to understand why there are people who would do this sort of stuff. It had never occurred to me that those scammers could be scammed themselves.
Anyhow, recently, I know of someone who had been scammed of money due to a crypto scheme. The person messaged her in a very “innocent and friendly” manner. After she was comfortable talking to him, he offered to teach her how to invest in crypto. But instead of asking her to send him money, he gave her a site and taught her how to use it.
In the beginning, she was able to withdraw the money and saw a huge gain, so she was very excited about it and invested more. Eventually, her sister found it a bit suspicious and asked her to try to withdraw the money. She then found out that it was not possible. The account only allowed money to go in, but not out.
The scammer probably felt bad because he would tell her to save some money for her own spending and not invest everything. And at one point, he had even told her that humans were scarier than anything else. He had also mentioned that he misses his family in China, but that he couldn’t return due to some financial issues. Most likely, the scammer was one of those who got scammed into scamming.
Currently, the scammer is unaware that they’ve found out he’s a scammer. However, the money is probably lost forever. This is a painful lesson and is something that happens all the time, so we really need to be careful. Do not trust any strangers who ask you to send them money or invest in whatever coin they’re doing. A random person is not going to be so kind to help and teach you to grow your money for no reason. They’re probably making a commission off you and scamming you.
I’ve shared these stories with you all because I want you guys to take precautions. Please share it with others if you learned something from this post and found it valuable!
Have you guys experienced something similar? Do share in the comments below!
Stay safe, everyone!
This content was originally published here.