Chemainus woman ‘Rose’ knows she’s fortunate she got her $1,500 returned from a man she met on a dating site. She balked at requests to give him any additional money. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus woman ‘Rose’ knows she’s fortunate she got her $1,500 returned from a man she met on a dating site. She balked at requests to give him any additional money. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island woman warns of scams on dating sites from personal experience

Rose gets her $1,500 back, but most aren’t as fortunate

A Chemainus woman who fell for a scam from a man on a dating site is cautioning others about responding too willingly to requests for money no matter what the circumstances.

‘Rose’ (not her real name) considers herself among the fortunate few who actually got $1,500 back that she sent to a person she’d never met. She knows women have lost far more than that to men who professed their love for them and then asked for cash to compensate for a predicament they encountered, a supposed worthwhile investment, a fundraising venture or some other reason that may have initially sounded believable.

It can work both ways, but men are more likely to be the predators.

Rose is a widow and “after five years of being on my own, I was getting pretty lonely,” she conceded.

Rose suffered from depression following the death of her husband and a friend had been on a dating site that planted the idea in her mind.

“I got to thinking, I can’t go through this life, this journey on my own,” she said. “I’m a people person.

“Maybe I should go on an on-line dating site. To that point, I hadn’t thought about it.”

She went on a couple of sites and received quite a few responses on one of them. One man who corresponded with her starting in late September mentioned he had a contract to maintain a shelter/orphanage in Iraq where kids had gone through hell with festering wounds and a terrible way of life. When the shelter was built, some of them had to undergo rehabilitation.

Having adopted daughters of her own, six grandchildren and a seventh on the way, the story of the kids’ struggles there tore at her heartstrings.

“At that point, he asked me for a donation,” Rose said.

“Of course, I’ll make a donation,” she remembers responding. “It hits you like an arrow. I want to help those kids.”

The man later said he wanted Rose to meet him at the Vancouver airport, telling her he’s an orphan, had no family and was already falling in love with her.

He said he was going to make millions on another project in Germany and wanted to buy her a car, a house and go travelling with her.

“I’m flattered because somebody’s paying attention to me,” Rose reasoned. “I fell for this guy.”

He was emailing her almost every day but frequent phone calls that came from a California area code didn’t sit well with Rose.

“I started questioning everything,” she noted.

He explained the California number stemmed from a good deal he received on a phone plan, but Rose discovered he was actually in Ontario.

Alarm bells really went off for her when he made another request for money, this time for $9,000.

“I said, ‘no, I’ve got children, I’ve got grandchildren.’

“He bugged me about that money. I said, ‘no, we’re not in a relationship. I haven’t even met you yet.’”

The man said he was going to Germany, carrying on about some oil drilling project and continued to pester her about the $9,000.

“I decided I had enough,” said Rose.

Interestingly, she went to have her Tarot cards read by Andrea Dolgos Shurvell at the Chemainus Public Market. She turned over Finance, Life and Health cards.

All the cards, she felt, turned up significant details on what was happening.

“The one thing that really clinched it all, she said your husband is here, he’s got his hand on your shoulder,” said Rose.

She broke free from the man’s spells and got inspired by the Tarot card reader to stay for a few days in Victoria on a bit of a sabbatical, the first time she’d driven the Malahat by herself.

Rose purchased a Tree of Life pendant in Victoria that she considers symbolic in her second chance at life following her previous bouts with depression.

The man kept writing Rose poetry on emails and leaving phone messages.

She started to investigate where her $1,500 had gone through the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and reported the incident to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, but didn’t expect to get anywhere with it.

Remarkably, a man in the fraud department at CIBC’s head office in Toronto did track down the transaction to a bank account of a woman in North York, Ont. He said there was a good chance she’d get her money back and pointed out that last year in Canada people had been scammed out of more than $37 million.

“My little $1,500 looks like a drop in the bucket,” Rose conceded.

The woman denied being part of any scheme and said her brother – who claimed to be an orphan to Rose – got her into it. Faced with possible arrest if she didn’t return the money to Rose’s account, the woman complied.

Rose had her money back and became all the wiser for the experience.

“Be wary,” she advised. “I gave the money in good faith believing it was going to a children’s charity in Iraq.”

Rose quickly paid her good fortune forward and donated the money to a local cause.

CommunityScams

 

A Tree of Life pendant ‘Rose’ purchased in Victoria is a gift to herself for eluding further requests to send money to a man she met on a dating site. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A Tree of Life pendant ‘Rose’ purchased in Victoria is a gift to herself for eluding further requests to send money to a man she met on a dating site. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Port Alberni Fire Dept. deputy chief Wes Patterson, right, and another firefighter monitor the front of a garage at Second Avenue and Argyle Street that burned on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Fire starts in empty garage on Argyle Street in Port Alberni

Garage was attached to empty multi-storey commercial building

Rob Mah was just 20 when he hosted Strictly Jazz, a radio show on CJAV radio in Port Alberni, B.C. A fan of the Big Band era of music, he spun a lot of Dixieland jazz on his show. (PHOTO COURTESY MAH FAMILY)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Radio station’s 75th brings memories to Mah family

Celebrating the late Rob Mah’s victories timely for national Asian heritage month

Ken Rutherford, left, and Rick Lord of Port Alberni receive honours from the National Model Railroad Association—Pacific Northwest Region for 40 years of dedication to the preservation and presentation of railroad history. (PHOTO COURTESY PHYLLIS RUTHERFORD)
Model railroaders from Port Alberni honoured for rail preservation

Ken Rutherford and Rick Lord put on annual model railroad meet in Nanaimo for 35 years

Former Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ associate coach Brandon Shaw has been named head coach of the Coquitlam Express, also of the B.C. Hockey League. The announcement was made May 12, 2021. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
BCHL’s Coquitlam Express hire new head coach

Brandon Shaw leaves Alberni Valley Bulldogs for bench boss job

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Men’s club tees up for Mother’s Day

Next Sunday, May 16 will be the Stableford competition

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Most Read