Editor: I was the victim of two online romance scams. I feel like I am an intelligent woman and it would never happen to me. So, I was ready to start dating again and a friend suggested online dating. I chatted with a few nice gentlemen. One appeared to have a nice smile and interests that were very similar. We chatted a couple of times, he was full of compliments and sweet words. When he called me his “beloved wife,” I began to be very concerned and cut off contact. I tried a different dating sites and met a fellow who seemed to be genuine.

We chatted everyday and then he sent a message that he was in trouble and needed money. I was the only person who could help him. The first clue that this was a scam was when they asked me to get off the dating site and converse via email. The second clue was when they tried to move the relationship very quickly. The third clue was when they ask for money. Instead of becoming a victim, I reported both to the dating sites and filed reports with the Federal Trade Commission. I am sharing this because I want to let all know that, if you are scammed, you are not alone. The only way we can stop these people is by watching for red flags and report the suspicious behavior. There are many, many websites with dating tips, which I read, and still fell for the lies. It can happen to anyone. Most of all, tell your family and friends about it. Report it. Be aware. Never meet a stranger alone. These people are sneaky and try to prey on your vulnerabilities and loneliness. Stay safe, Please.

Phyllis Schiffelbein

Lake Havasu City

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