It feels like a life time away now but in reality it was only 3 years ago (just before I met Owl). I was single and chatting here and there on a few dating websites. This particular Saturday afternoon in early March I was chatting when I received an invitation to chat to Brian. He asked me what I was looking for, I told him that I was just browsing to see who was out there. I wasn’t seriously looking as I was quite happy being single. ( I was only on there that afternoon for something to do).
We quickly moved from the site chat to msn where we chatted for hours. Again later in the evening we chatted again. We seemed to be hitting it off.
He told me that he lived in Birmingham, he had his own ‘Real Estate’ business and often worked in Europe and Scandinavia. I asked him questions about where in he lives in Birmingham, mentioning a few areas that I have heard of. He was very vague. He told me that he was divorced and has one son who he sees whenever he can. Within days he was telling me that he loved me and asked if I loved him. I told him that no matter how well we got on online, I couldn’t say that I loved him before we had even met.
Brian told me that he wanted to move to be with me, he wanted me to look for a house for us. He was also going to buy me a new car a Nissan Duke. I am sorry but if someone loves me and wants to buy me a car surely they would ask which car I would like not tell me what they would buy. A Nissan Duke is not a car that I would ever choose, I think they are ugly. (my apologies to anyone who does have one).
I didn’t do anything about looking for a house as I didn’t take that seriously. Why would someone I had never met make that kind of commitment?
Sometimes when we were chatting he would ask if we could chat on webcam. Yes I was in favour of this as I wanted to see who I was talking to. The picture was never clear but I could see that I was chatting to the man in the photo he had sent me. Sometimes we chatted online during my lunch break. These lunchtime chats were very odd as they appeared to be the kind of chat you get when someone has translated what they wish to say from another language. Stilted and grammatically incorrect. Yet the evening conversations were more flowing. I realised that I was not chatting to just one person.
He began to push me about looking for a house. Now I know I can be naive at times but by now I was convinced that this was a scam. I decided to play along and see where this would go. I printed out about 80 pages of chat, just in case I wneeded to go to the police at any time. I lost count of the times he asked me about how much I earn. How many bank accounts I have etc. I had made it clear from the outset that I was living on very little money. Eventually I looked at some houses around the £200,000 to £300,000 mark. I sent him the links for these houses saying that I would not want to make the choice alone, if he was planning to live there he should have a say. He told me to aim higher, I asked him what price bracket he wanted to look at. He told me £900,000+. I found a few, and sent him the links, he chose one that was about 1/2 mile from where I was living.
He then told me that he was going to go away to Africa on business he wanted to buy a diamond mine. (or maybe it was a gold mine). He would then buy a jewellers shop in London and name it after me. Over the next week or so he told me he was busy with looking for the right mine to buy. I did some research on the mines, before asking him a few questions. He was as vague as ever.
The next step was soon apparent, he needed to pay for the house he was buying for us but would be away in Africa, so he was putting his accountant in contact with me to make the arrangements.He had found the mine he wanted to buy and was going over there to finalise the purchase. (Hmm that happened very fast). He gave me his accountant’s name Joe Cole (no not the footballer), who happened to be in Norway at the time.
I then received an email from Joe, I didn’t respond, I just waited. After a day I had a message from Brian, had I heard from Joe? I pretended that I hadn’t. After a while I told him that I had found it in my junk mail. What I didn’t say was that I had already drafted my reply but was delaying sending it.
Hello i am Joe Coleman financier to Mr Brian Boucher. He asked me to contact you so i can know how he will settle the payment of a house he is purchasing Please contact me back when you get this mail so i can know how to proceed with it okay
thank you for your email, I had been looking out for it as Brian had told me to expect to hear from you.
Please excuse my ignorance but I do not know what it is that you require from me. As far as I am aware the transaction to purchase a house is to be arranged by yourself on behalf of Brian. Since I have no involvement in this transaction I fail to see what you need from me.
However I am happy to assist you in any way I can.
Apparently he needed my bank details so that he could send me the money so that I could buy the house for Brian. He need to know how I would prefer to receive the money, cheque or bank transfer?
I declined to answer.
A few days later I had a message from Brian.
I told him that I was very hurt.
Why was I hurt?
Because he thought I would be stupid enough to fall for his scam.
Surprisingly he cut me off.
A couple of weeks later I saw him online so pestered him to talk to me.
Eventually he did.
I can’t remember what I said to him but it ended with him telling me to ‘go away.’
And there was me thinking that he loved me!
I reported him to the dating site giving his username, his email address and that the email address for Joe Cole.
I never heard any more.
I just hope that he has not been able to con any other women, although I expect he has. When I look back at how that whole situation panned out over about 6 weeks, I wonder how any woman can be taken in by men like this, but perhaps if you are very lonely and looking for love you might be less aware. Maybe if I had been desperate to find love I might have been more susceptible.
I will post his photo on here once I find it, as it is on another computer.
Have any of you or your friends had experience of a scam like this?