I chose to share my story because I read all the stories in this thread and there was not one sweetheart scam. When people enter here, I want them to see what a sweetheart scam could look like. Here is my story:
I had moved-out and broken up with my boyfriend of four years in May of 2006. In August, I became a member of Yahoo Personals and Match.com. I thought they were reputable dating websites.
In August, I found him. His name was Thomas Green. When he and I first started e-mailing, he was working in London in telecommunications. Being a published poet and writer, I was an easy target. I would wake-up every morning at 5am and waiting for me was a poem about the sun (I had mentioned to Thomas that I loved the sun). He even went as far to write me a poem in Spanish (I am Cuban). I was impressed. Then one day, he told me that he had to travel to Lagos, Nigeria. He was going there as a favor for a friend.
He would call me and I would be so excited when I saw that the Caller ID was from Nigeria. He and I would communicate easily five to six hours a day. I couldn't get enough of him. He was witty, charming, intelligent and made me feel like a princess.
Then, the first tragedy occurred. He was not being paid by the company. Arrangements were made with his friend only. He asked to borrow money. I thought to myself, "How could someone travel abroad and not be monetarily prepared." So, I sent him the first $900 via Western Union to help him get back to the United States. I then sent him another $900 to help for hotel and expenses.
So, Thomas got his ticket at the travel agency and was ready to come home to me. The day he was arriving I waited at the airport for two hours in a red spaghetti-strapped dress with golden high-heeled sandals. I was devastated that he had not arrived. When I arrived home, he was waiting for me online. The next tragedy, he had been "played" by the travel agency and they had taken his money. He was also mugged on his way to the airport and had NO money on him. The flight out of Lagos never existed. I was in total confusion because how could such atrocities happen to this man that I was in "love" with.
I wanted him home with me so I made reservations with Virgin Atlantic and was going to put it on my credit card. He told me not to do that because he wanted to be a man and prove to me that he could do it. So, I wired him $1,400 to cover the cost of the plane ticket and then another $750 to help again with expenses. He was set to come home.
He arrived in the US and was traveling around with his job. He would call me from various cities and the area codes corresponded with the cities that he was traveling. He then arrived in Houston (our town) and could not come to meet me. I thought to myself, why can he not see me for just a few hours. He said that he was tired and had to travel to another city the next day. I was very understanding and patient. Good things come to those who wait...Right?
Then, I will NEVER forget Thanksgiving Day. It was the day I woke up. Dr. Phil had this show about love scams and the victim's name was DeeDee (that is my name-not my real name). I listened and could not believe what I was hearing. Here is the link to that show.
I filed an FBI report online.
Thomas sent me roses to my school and pleaded with me that he loved me. I went through a series of emotions that I did not even know existed.
Early in December, I joined a group called Scammed_by_love (the sister group of AgentScammerhunter). These groups no longer exist but I am very grateful that they were there when I realized that I was victimized. That day, I was saved. December 13th is also another day I will NEVER forget. Thomas said from the beginning that he was going to pay me back. He sent to my school (he never had my home address) a Fed-Ex package and inside was $6,500 worth of US Postal Money Orders. Something inside of me told me that something was not right. I listened to that little voice in my head and I went straight to the post office where they told me that the money orders were counterfeit.
I am a person that believes there is a reason for EVERYTHING in life. I am not bitter and am much smarter and wiser because of this experience. Life teaches us the best lessons.
I have a dear friend that is a producer in a television station here in Houston. In late March, I shared my story. I wanted for people to learn from my experience.
http://www.khou.com/sharedcontent/Video ... 4&catId=35
I talk to everyone and anyone. I am not ashamed and I am able to help many people. I also am a big advocate on awareness of 419scams and frauds.
This site is very well organized and am very impressed. As a victim, thank you for your efforts to make the awareness of 419 scams and frauds.