Greetings From the South of France
Dear Readers: By the time you read this, I'll be at my villa in Provence overlooking my vineyard.
The most amazing thing happened! Actually, it was two amazing things (three if you count the Nigerian Prince, but I prefer not to). First, I won the lottery! I know! What are the chances? I never even play! Second, there are thousands of pounds waiting for me in the U.K. Lucky, huh? Boy, that internet sure is a great thing. Thank you, Al Gore!
Today, we hear from Minna, who's almost as lucky as I am! She met her dream man through her computer.
"I had been on a dating website and was contacted by Bill, a seemingly nice man. We emailed and then began chatting. We talked about the things you usually talk about -- our jobs, our families, our lives."
And then Bill made a head-spinning pirouette from jobs, families and lives to love. Love with a capital L.
"He loved me, couldn't live without me. I was his Queen. And so on and so on and so on. Wow, he sure knew all the right things to say."
In response to all this love, love, love talk, Minna asked Bill a few questions. His answers, about things like where he lived, were a bit vague. He gave her a town but no address. But why make a big deal over an address when someone is "continually professing his undying love"?
Minna is one smart cookie, and she didn't tell Bill anything other than her email address and her cellphone number, which wasn't in her name.
"I didn't give him any personal information. I'm a skeptic, and I didn't believe any of his con, but I decided to play along."
After the texting and the calling and the emailing, Bill set up a date. But at the last minute, he couldn't make it. He had an emergency meeting. He set up a second date. This time he had to cancel because he was called to Russia for "a special job."
"We were emailing back and forth as I waited for the hook. It came today. It seems that while he was in Russia at his special job, he got jumped at an ATM by a few men."
Those bad Russkis beat him up and stole all his money and credit cards. There he was, in a foreign country, badly in need of medical attention and no money to pay for it.
"Could I please help? He loves me soooooo much. Please send $1,500, and he'll repay me next week when he gets paid.
"Oh, yeah, I'll do that right away."
Readers, I'd like to make a comment. Emergency rooms in Russia are way cheaper than the ones here!
Have you been the victim of an internet scam or a relationship con? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."