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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Victoria Police continue to investigate a stabbing in downtown Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Passerby calls police after finding man stabbed, sobbing on Victoria street

One man was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read