Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Life’s Like That

Life’s Like That – Jan. 25, 2009

By Jerry M. Bullock
Daily Record Columnist
My Great Uncle Nathan, the early Texas circuit-riding preacher, loved to sit by a campfire during roundup time and share the gospel with the hands. He told about Jesus saying that it wasn’t easy for a rich man to get into the kingdom of Heaven. It would be easier, he said, for you to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven. “Well, that may be,” said old Jake, “but, you know, parson, I would give a thousand dollars to be one of them millionaires.“

During this past week I received about 20 offers to become a millionaire. Craigslist will give me a DVD, usually a $99.95 value just for paying the postage on the disk. I had only 15 minutes to make up my mind. If I accepted their offer, I could start making $500 to $1,000 every day and have fun doing it. Someone else is selling the secrets of becoming an instant eBay dealer.

Those offers are not so bad; at least they are legitimate deals. Very few participants will make much money but so far as I know they are legal and won’t cost you a lot to participate. The offer I have a problem with comes in e-mails from people I don’t know and almost invariably begin, “My dear or my precious friend.” They always involve informing me of the death of someone who has left tons of money that they don’t know what to do with, so they have looked me up to help them out.

The prize may vary from 500,000,000 rupees to half a million dollars, All I have to do is send them my life story and pay them some earnest money before they will deposit this fortune in my bank account.

This extract from describes the operation: “Watch out for people who say you’ve won contests or lotteries that you never entered, have funds for you from a transaction that you never arranged, that you have won a prize but you need to pay for the shipping, or who say they need your credit card or other financial information in order to complete the transaction.

“There are hundreds of other variations on those themes and, according to the U.S. Secret Service, thousands of people who have lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Secret Service receives an average of 100 phone calls and 300 to 500 pieces of correspondence per day about the advance fee scams and says that in 2001, there were reports from 2,600 Americans who said they’d been scammed. Sixteen of them lost more than $300,000. Many people who’ve lost money don’t report it.

“In August, 2006, Fox news reported that a Nigerian Advance Fee scam may have been a part of the money troubles between Tennessee minister Matthew Winkler and his wife Mary, who is accused of killing Matthew, allegedly after a heated argument about finances.”

Just remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is false and you should run as fast as possible away from it.

A lot of people have learned this the hard way and lost a lot of money. They were willing, like old Jake, to pay a thousand dollars to be one of them millionaires. They never saw their money again. Life does not have to be like that.

Jerry Bullock has written his weekly column for the Daily Record for more than 20 years. Jerry is a retired Air Force colonel, an ordained Baptist minister, professional counselor, military historian, speaker, and writer. He is a native Texan tracing his Texas roots to the days of the Republic.


January 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,



    Comment by rose smith | November 15, 2009 | Reply


    Comment by rose smith | November 15, 2009 | Reply

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