Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Sad Dating Story

I am a 33 year old divorced father of one. I wish to share with everybody a financially and emotionally painful experience I had with an attractive 25 year old hairdresser from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia. On 7 April 2006 I received an email from a lady named Sofiya through an internet dating site. It was very short and straight to the point.

We then started exchanging emails and photos and I was fooled by her emotional and warm words. She talked about how important it is to have trust and that she prefers to view the world as having more good people than bad and that she could not wait until she lives with me in Australia to be "happy forever". She was very convincing and I believed everything she said. The slight difference in Sofiya's technique compared to other scammers was that she answers questions in detail. She even talked about some local issues and cultural matters too. When I asked her why such a beautiful young lady is interested in me, she said that Russian men are alcoholics and that they do not respect women. We exchanged emails every day up until 22 May 2006.

I challenged Sofiya before she asked me for any money and said that her communication style fits perfectly into the "scam pattern". Sofiya then sent me a photo of herself with her mother, a photo of her as a little child etc to try and prove that she was genuine and she even telephoned me in the middle of the night! I felt sorry for her and unfortunately we re-commenced our communication.

On 24 April 2006 Sofiya asked me for money to purchase an air ticket, visa, passport, insurance etc with a total amount of $1,845 USD which I paid via Western Union on 8 May 2006. Sofiya then gave me details of her itinerary on 11 May 2006. Then on 22 May 2006 whilst she was supposedly in Moscow collecting her visa from the Australian Embassy, I received an urgent email request (from an internet cafe apparently) for $2,300 AUD to prove to the Embassy, her financial capacity to stay in Australia during the one month period.

She even telephoned me two times and we talked on the second call and she sounded very distressed begging me to pay that amount via Western Union. I checked the immigration policy in Australia and we actually do have a requirement to pay security bond when application for visa is lodged in certain countries including Russia. I therefore totally believed her and paid $2,350 AUD through Western Union on 23 May 2006.

I have not heard from Sofiya since I sent a confirmation to her that money has been transferred on 23 May 2006. I was so naive and silly that I waited for Sofiya for 3 hours at the airport with a bunch of flowers. Singapore Airlines later confirmed that Sofiya's original booking was cancelled by a Russian agent and that she did not re-book her flights.

The damage for all this was $3,625 USD and a broken heart. Oh and not to mention the one month annual leave that I forcefully obtained from my work and beachfront accommodation and restaurants that I had to cancel.

4 comments:

Russian girls said...

So sorry to hear the news about what you experienced. That is the saddest thing when it comes to online dating, some people will take advantage of your kindness.

Have you met the girl through a webcam before sending money? This should be the basic and most important rule when it comes to online dating so that you can prove that she is real. And never send money to anyone yet before you meet the person in real life.

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Anonymous said...

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kapish chandra said...

That's an eye opener story really ... I would suggest that the author can also start some sort of an email chain ... to spread awareness against such issues ... it's extremely important and internet is kept clean and good to use ... readers can try free dating sites but as always make sure that they communicate properly and do not make any monetary transactions for any person on the website ...