Fooled by love or blinded by greed?


72471562 The recent experience of an Australian farmer at the hands of some internet thieves shows how easily the net can be used to exploit our best and worst human traits.

Des Gregor fell in love online and arranged a real-life rendez-vous. After arriving in Mali to meet the woman of his dreams, he was kidnapped and held for 12 days while his captors demanded $85,000 for his release.

It’s not hard for the many people who have found love online to imagine their own first face-to-face encounters going awry. A lot of people have had a lot bad net dates out there. This group knows what it’s like to take an online relationship to the next level and can sympathize with Gregor’s situation. It’s certainly a worst-case scenario for single looking for love.

For those who have never used the internet to meet and date, and perhaps a few who have, that sympathy will be mixed with judgment. And perhaps not undeservedly. As it turns out, Gregor was promised a dowry of $85,000 in gold bars should he marry his online lady – coincidentally the same amount his kidnappers demanded from him.

If Gregor was lured by greed and not love, he wouldn’t be the first. Our inboxes are overflowing with offers to make us rich. Whether it’s a hot stock pick that guarantees we’ll be in on the ground floor of the next Walmart or a representative from a small African country that needs our help to get a massive amount of currency out of his homeland, there’s no shortage of tricks being employed to get those seeking a quick and easy profit to part with their own cash and assets.

Gregor tells us that we need need to be careful when looking for love online, and to be sure, that’s good advice. But perhaps the real lesson here is, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Ever fallen for someone online who turned out to be a far cry from the person you swapped emails with? Have you been a victim of an offer of cash that turned out to be a scam? Was our friend the Australian farmer fooled by love or blinded by greed? Let us know.

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12 comments

  1. lydia

    ive dated men ive met online. some i dated, broke up with, and now still chat with, since we are still friends. Others ive blocked.

    My aunt and Uncle met, via the net. and now are happily married.

    Safetly is a BIG issue. go with people the first time u meet someone. Find FACTS of their answers. dont take what your prospective love interest says for granted.

    I dont neccessarily think all internet dating is bad. ive had some great experiences. mde some great friends, and of course there are the worst case-scenerios (as the line of books shows).

    Juse be overly cautious! ^^

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  2. Kevin

    I have dated people that I have met online. Do not take it for granted what you read in a profile or hear when you talk on the phone. Most people hide their insecuruties and mask their real identities to make themselves sound better than they really are.
    After several months of dating/ being in a relationship with someone, I found out that everything was a complete lie and full of deception.
    I openly admit that I took what she was saying for granted as I had no reason to beleive that she would lie about her work, friends, home, family and the list just goes on.
    But dont give up. Just be carefull.

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  3. Kate

    I met and married my ex via the internet. But because of the internet my ex had a secret life that I had recently found out about and part of the reason for our separating. My advise is – find out all that you can about the person you are meeting. But you can't help what people turn into.

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  4. Randy

    I've dated several people online and it was not uncommon for these wiomen to not be exactly as they presented themselves online to be. But, to some degree, I guess I'm guilty of that as well. We all want to put our best foot forward; highlight to good points & downplay the weaker ones.

    However, my wife & I met online and we are both very happy. I think we both learned from previous experiences to be very honest and how to recognize honesty in others. I recommend online dating, but be careful.

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  5. Emma

    Personally, I dont think there is a big difference between online dating and dating someone in person, once a liar will always be a liar.
    People are capable of being two-faced while looking you in the eye, while someone online doesnt have that ability which doesnt make it any less or more impacting.
    One thing that has always amazed me about online dating/chatting was opening up and sharing your information and thoughts so freely with someone you've never met face to face rather than sometimes to your friends or family members.
    Why do emotions take over so quickly and easily?

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  6. terri

    i think that you should find your love the old fashioned way………there is just too much of a chance that the person you meet online isn't that hot 22 year old man but instead, a 87 year old lesbian stalker-woman.

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  7. Mahlik Mu'hammad Seid

    I have experience as I once purchased adresses from an int'l pen-pal cie. in '84 of someone from Singapore and from Philipines and Malaysia,anyways,I got somewhat hooked on the nice letters of a certain Saresvati Kanasan whom I wrote to 'til '88 and with whom had arranged a marriage in Oct,88 in Sing. at the Shri Miriaman Hindu Temple of Singapore,old Chinatown.I even acquired a more than two thousand dollar phone bill the month before leaving.The day of my arrival with my parents(Oct. 10,88) started nicely and late afternoon she joined me at the lobby of the Orchid Hotel.I saw her smiling face through the window of the lobby and thought what a nice lovely smile,but a little later when her parents joined us at the hotel lobby to meet my parents,she was aloof from our parents talk and general good humor.After 20 minutes of sitting on the sofa the six of us,she asked me to go for a walk with her and as soon as we were outside walking,she turned to look at me and told me that she didn't like my parents.The marriage was already set for a Saturday 10 or 11 days later and during the evening of Friday before the Saturday proceedings,I found out that up until a few days previous my arrival,she had a boyfriend and was cheating me from a distance and havig sex behind my long distance back which happens often in today's world and fornicated with several men until the last moments of my arrival,myself having stayed away from women because I've never been the one to betray another,no matter what.She came with me to Canada,and within 12 months tried her best to kill me twice.Once with our longest and largest kitchen knife and then almost suceeded in choking me to death in my sleep.
    Today,and for more than two years,I am happily and truly in love with the finest and most pure of hearts with an angel from Ethiopia by the royal name of Rabia Seid Oumer who is not 100% perfect,but only 99% perfect.She has never had a serious boyfriend and has never been kissed in her life and is in a condition of purity for her future husband who is very luckily me.I trust her 99% and give my deepest respect to her wonderful and most special father and mother and family,who are the wisest of child educators and learned students of life and teachers of good morals.I love them all and know without meeting this one who she really is…an angel from heaven who will one day be with me until my very last heartbeat!
    World love and unity and harmony for all of God's special creatures forever and may the evil ones pay once and for all!…Mahlik

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    • english

      Hello sir,
      I also have an ethiopian girlfriend.
      How is it? Did you marry in the end? And was she as pure?
      Thanks

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  8. Starry

    Excuse me, Terri? I think that your comment was offensive. Yes I agree that you should be careful about online dating if you decide to try it out, but lesbians are no more prone to deception and stalking than any other group of people. I wonder what made you write that metaphor, because it certainly doesnt seem like a positive way to respond to the topic of internet dating.

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  9. Lady M

    I'm in a relationship right now whom I met online. We've been together for a year and the signs are starting to show. The things we don't say in profiles are sometimes the things we are not aware about ourselves. It's only by being together and interacting with eachother that one can judge whether they can live with their partner's idiosyncrocies or not. If you find you can't, then it's time to move on.

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  10. Arktivilist

    Starry, what is offensive about using an example? I'm sure that Terri wasn't implying anything other than what it was on the surface, an example. But I'm pretty sure if it had been a man she used as an example, you wouldn't have said a thing. Anyways, on topic, Internet dating can be fun, but it should always be treated with caution, especially when it seems too good to be true. No one (and I mean NO ONE) is as good or as nice as they seem when they have time to think about their replies and you don't get to see facial expressions and body language. The Internet, for all its charms, isn't real life, and when we treat it that way, we move into the murky waters where sharks wait to bite us.

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  11. Don

    I have tried internet dating with mixed results. Overall the experience has been very positive and I have met some wonderful women – some who I have dated exclusively and others who have become good friends. I have seen some misrepresentation online, but suspect it is just a case of people having different definitions from what I may have.

    I would never consider a long distance online relationship for some of the reasons cited in this story – I only date local women.

    I think part of the problem we face when dating online is that we tend to know maybe 5% of the person we are talking to, and end up filling in the other 95% with everything that is compatable with us. That can create a natural let down.

    Internet dating is a great way to meet people that we would otherwise never have had a chance to meet. You still need to be open, rely on your instincts, and take the time to REALLY get to know the person…just like in any other venue.

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