Beware of love scams

READER’S VIEWS - Renester P. Suralta - The Freeman

A friend of mine approached me one day with a piece of good news. I could see in her happy face the excitement of breaking the story. "I found him finally." She said in a cheerful voice. My friend is in her golden years, but she acted differently on that day, like a lovestruck sweet sixteen.

What's the good news?" I asked with a demanding sound. "My online friend is coming." She responded. "So what if he's coming? What's the big deal?" I asked her inquisitively. She didn't respond to my question but smiled and walked away.

Weeks later, I heard the terrible news. She was absent from work because she was confined in the hospital. She got depressed about what happened. The foreigner didn't arrive at the agreed schedule, and the worst thing was he took a considerable amount of money from her savings. The guy promised and borrowed her cash to pay upon arrival, but the man failed to show up. My poor friend was a victim of a love scam, also known as a romance scam on cyberspace.

The most common victims of this cybercrime are older women looking for a significant partner online. Some had no love life; others had a bad experience but still, believe in a second chance. Some women who are so desperate to find a lover are like prey, so vulnerable to attack by the heartless predator.

But men can also fall victims, particularly those after beautiful and sexy women online. Some of these foreign women dressed in US military uniforms befriend men at the start then want more. These women will show so much interest in you that they won't mind your marital status. They will make the first move if their beauty does not appeal to men.

Online romance scams are not very difficult to notice. The following are signs of love scams:

They profess love quickly. It is possible that after you accept them on Facebook or Whatsapp on your second or third meetings, the person will confess his feelings to you. Don't fall into the trap. True love takes time.

They claim to be from the United States or overseas for business or military service. There is something attractive about men or women in uniform that can capture one's emotions. Maybe it is a sense of trust or a feeling of security.

After luring you off the dating site, the person will ask for money for personal or business reasons. They claim to need cash for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel badly.

You feel very excited because you can finally see the guy in person but suddenly break off because of an emergency. It is something unexpected and beyond your control.

Today finding a partner through social media or any dating site is the most convenient but dangerous way. You cannot tell the natural character of a person behind the camera or computer desk.

It took more than words or even a physical appearance to know a person of his emotions and genuine interests. In Phaedrus written by Plato, “Some things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many.”

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