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.