Thursday, February 11, 2010


I do believe that I mentioned before that some blogs come easily and others don't.  Well, this one is banging around in my brain.  I don't want to tell it.  Actually, telling it would be easier.  Writing it down for all and sundry to read is worse in its permanence.  It is one thing to say, "I've made mistakes, big mistakes, huge ~ whoppers, " but it is a totally different thing to say, "Well, let me draw you the map."  The truth is I am ashamed and my instinct tells me to bury it.  That is the safe course.  I am not doing that which makes me brave or stupid or both.  Probably both.

I believe I referred to dream stealers and thieves and manipulators a few posts back.  My first introduction to this "animal" was over the internet.  I was so naive.  I didn't know that people lied on the internet. It was still pretty new to me and I was totally honest and forthcoming about who I was and expected the same.  It never occurred to me that people on the other end of this miraculous superhighway might not be what they seemed.  You know that this story is going to start with, "Well I met this guy in a chat room..."  because that is how all disaster stories begin.  It may not be a chat room, but it is always starting with a guy.

I will tell this story, but promise not to leave me comments making me feel like a victim.  I was a victim then, but I stopped being a victim a long time ago.  To begin, he was a liar.  At that time, I was seriously lacking career direction and he said he knew people who could help me get where I thought I wanted to go.  Turns out he didn't know anyone and I didn't want to go there.  But he was smooth.  I have to give him that.  We had been talking on the phone for a while when he landed in jail in Atlanta on totally bogus charges (says he) and then it all went downhill (for me).  He ran my phonebill through the roof.  You know he had to call collect.  Well, maybe you didn't know that.  People in jail have to call collect.  And he was bored a lot, so he called a lot.  And he convinced me to buy him books and other goodies and mail it to him because he was bored.  And he got me to send him pictures of me.  I had several copy copies of my old drivers license because I really liked the picture.  I think the Bible says something about pride goeth before the fall.  I can't remember if he talked me into sending that one or if my own vanity led me into a place I didn't even know I didn't want to go. Those were the days that your social security number were on your driver's license.  Oh, and he convinced me to withdraw all of my money out of savings so that he could make bond.  One of his rich relatives would pay me back asap. 

After the care packages, pictures, and money had been sent and it was too late to get any of it back, the phone calls got less frequest, which was its own blessing because my phone bill was outrageous and I had no money.  It was only then that I called the Atlanta jail to find out what he was being charged with and it didn't match the story I had been told.  After some investigation, his story matched that of a charatcter on a soap opera.  The Atlanta police were telling the truth.  I tracked down his mother to find out that there were no rich relatives and she hadn't heard from him in years.  I sat back, called it a lesson learned, and was glad that my savings was so small, which gave me a little bit of joy because he was probably really disappointed when that check came in.

About a year later I realized he was either a free man or doing business from jail.  My ID was in circulation and I was doing business everywhere.  Mobile phones and gas cards were my credit lines of choice and I was racking up huge bills.  When the first cell company called me claiming that I owed them $4,000 I almost passed out.  How could anyone talk that much before they were cut off for non-payment?  I can't remember what state the account was opened in, but after that it was a floodgate.  I remember the one that pissed me off the most was Cellular One.  I tried to open an account with Cellular One and they denied me but they allowed someone posing as me to open an account with them.  I remember throwing things a lot back then. 

It turns out that all of these accounts were opened in states where I didn't live and with differing addresses and easily proven as fruadulent.  It just required that I spend a lot of time filling out paperwork and spending time with a notary.  It also meant putting a fraud flag on my accounts with all the reporting agencies, which meant I couldn't open up a credit card in a store anymore because they had to call me at home to confirm it was me.  I do remember them calling me at home once and me screaming, "Grab that scumbag.  Don't let them get away."  But I don't think it did any good.  Well, it did some good.  It stopped happening.

After that I learned to not blindly trust anyone on the internet again.  I never go into chat rooms.  I know several people who have met and married through E-harmony, so I know that it can/does work.  Until I know that I am better at spotting the liars, manipulators, cheaters, and thieves when I am looking them eye to eye, I really don't feel confident about recognizing them by the way they write.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I know exactly where you're coming from. Except that the one who ran up the bills was my cheating ex, making my credit card payments at the moment astronomical. And I've met people through dating sites who say one thing while meaning something else ... except that in many cases, I think they're not so much dishonest as they are lacking in self-awareness. And the "A" you mention in the other post, in addition to this guy who committed fraud? If they were Brazilian, they could be my best friend's 2nd ex-husband. People think ya make this stuff up, but the old adage is true: truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction. But it's only a mistake if you repeat it; otherwise, it's an educational experience ... and I've got thousands of 'em, myself ....


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