Shoot Me, I’m Online Dating (9)

One evening as I was minding my own email, an online dating site informed me that I had a message. I clicked a link from successfulman56 and read, “Hello beautiful.” Anyone who calls me beautiful gets my immediate attention. He went on, “You are the perfect definition of beauty and I would like to know the secret behind your smile.” Melt. Don’t think for a moment that I am not immune to flattery. I responded with a demure little note, which was filled with blushes and thank yous.

David, for that was how he identified himself, came back with this next message:

I signed up on here a month ago and I only came on this site twice. I barely respond to anyone. I would like to get to know you better, be friends and see where one click of the mouse would lead to. I have gotten a lot of superficial email and I am quite disappointed with the standards. Feel free to write me at my personal email address or maybe we could talk now, as I am on my way to the gym.

Nothing seemed suspicious. He was new to the site and rarely responded to flirts. My profile and picture had somehow stood out, more subtle flattery. He was interested in further conversation and had invited me to call before he went to gym to work on what I’d imagined to be his six-pack of abs. But something held me back from dashing to my telephone or sending email to his personal address. Let’s say that several online experiences had made me cautious. Instead, I wrote a chatty note, pushed Send, and waited for his reply. I received one the next morning.

He told me that he had got up to pee during the night and found my message. I’m thinking, do I really want to hear about my Lothario’s visit to the bathroom? Not really. For some reason, he told me how he went to an orphanage to assure the kids that despite all appearances, they have a bright future ahead. Once again he urged me to contact his personal email or call his mobile number.

My true love was beginning to dissolve before my eyes. I considered: successfulman tag, peeing, visiting orphanages, and wanting to move our conversation away from the site to a private area. Hmm. It all seemed very calculated. I plugged his name into Mother Google, davidmcmanaman, and found out he was Romance Scammer, preying upon an ocean of lonely hearts like my own. I could not fathom why he would use the same name, but that’s his problem. Maybe he has the ambition of a graffiti artist, leaving his tag around town and disappearing before dawn.

It turned out that “David” had stolen his photo from an Australian businessman. But what in my own profile had identified me to “David” as a juicy scamming prospect? I went back to read my profile and decided that I had used the word love too many times. Perhaps that had set me up to be groomed as a new victim  Now ain’t that a bitch. But what motivates a person to pose as a Romance Scammer, to create the fantasy of a great lover and then obtain  the keys to the house? Access to bank accounts, credit cards? Unscrupulous, right?

Oh gullibility, thou name art love.

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About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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