one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…

…big fish, little fish…motherfucking catfish.

well, my catfish from last year…the one that sent me roses and candy is back. he/she contacted me through my blog going by a whole new name…carla reibold. the following is the exchange between the two of us:

interesting…maybe he/she was just bored…

 

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maybe the thirteenth time…

…is the motherfucking charm. god only knows for sure…this business just gets more and more interesting. i just can’t seem to get away from it…from african scammers…two in particular. 

…for me and elena johnson, who incidentally hails from a different city and state, everytime that we are matched. two weeks ago, she was from sacramento, california. i see now, that she has “moved” to havertown, pennsylvania. when i first made her acquaintance, she “lived” in atlanta, georgia…but, was serving as a nurse for unicef, in ilorin, kwara, nigeria. 

…is when compatible partners/eharmony, no longer gets my money…as i have continually reported ms. johnson, at least as many times and yet, she still keeps popping up in my inbox. quite honestly, this time…i’ve had enough. 

…i’m going to “out” whomever is using this poor woman and her son’s photos…because, i guarantee that the woman in these photos, probably has no idea that her photos and identity have been compromised. if anyone, anywhere knows who this woman is, please let her know that her photos are being used by scammers and i’ll take them down.

…i’ll nip this in the bud, once and for all. the name, elena johnson, is the only thing about this woman (who is NOT the woman in the photos) that’s real. it’s her real name and she has a photo id. i know that, because i sent a moneygram to her using that name and she had to have a photo id, with the same name to claim it. and, this is what’s on that id: elena johnson, 20 tanke road, ilorin, kwara, nigeria, 234031.

***i just want to reiterate that i’m still on relationship restriction. i’m quite happy pursuing my own heart and giving it what it wants, and needs…my full, undivided love and attention. the only reason why i went onto the compatible partners/eharmony site, was because i was outraged that she appeared in my inbox again, and i wanted to block, and report her again. the email from linda weber that came yesterday, was completely unsolicited and unanswered, as it was nearly the same email from nearly three months earlier…and, she was obviously trying to hook me for a scam.***

and this, is what i found in my inbox this morning
her new and improved profile, part 1
her new and improved profile, part 2
her new and improved profile, part 3
mystery woman #1
mystery woman #2
mystery woman #3
mystery woman #4
mystery woman #5
the message that i sent, before i blocked her and reported her, yet again
yet another match termination email

here’s another one…

i have no shortage of these, unfortunately!! 

heeheehee, maybe now, i-myself see why when a “real,” united states citizen…a woman actually living in the midwest…who would and could talk to me on the phone and video chat with me…came into my life, i turned a blind-eye to any and all red-flags. my ­čĽÁ and i talked about this today. all the information was always there. i was in denial.

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

here is the one of the photos that she gave me, that i did a reverse image search and found on a “romance scammer” website.

here is the link to the “romance scammer” website, that i found the same exact photo on.

since several people have asked…

i have been through a lot dating scams and nightmares. i have had several of my readers ask me, exactly what they should be looking for, when it comes to recognizing a “catfish.” if i can share what i know and it keeps even one person from being scammed, heartbroken, or both…i will be happy.

okay, here’s the thing…normally i keep people’s full-names and/or identities private, but these people don’t deserve that courtesy. i’m sorry, but they don’t. believe me, given the chance, they would steal your credit card or social security number, and immediately assume your identity. 

so, here is an example of the same “person” or group of people, using the same name, cut and paste email, and email address. a lot of these letters from scammers, look and sound the same. these are nearly identical emails…one sent to me on 11/16/16 and the other today 02/16/17…exactly three months apart, from the “safest,” online-dating site…compatible partners/eharmony. 

email 1, part 1
email 1, part 2
email 1, part 3
email 1, part 4
email 2, part 1
email 2, part 2
email 2, part 3
email 2, part 4

this is for all the lonely people (conclusion)…

i never did finish my, “this is for all the lonely people,” series of posts, but, since this is valentine’s day eve…i think that it’s very apropos. and, in the companion post to this one, you will understand why.

i’m really not sure exactly where i left off the last time and i’m not going to go back to look. i apologize for being a bit lazy, but i really don’t think that it really matters now.

i think that what i was so very, long windedly trying to say was that i used to see women and men on shows like, “oprah” and “dr. phil,” insisting that their online, telephone, or snail-mail romance…with a person from another country, that they had never met, was real.

both oprah and dr. phil, would spend three quarters of the hour trying to debunk every single, false belief that the person had about their “beloved.” i’d be sitting there yelling at the person through the television screen. i could clearly see that the person was being played and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind.

i watched these people, many of whom had trusted complete strangers with their entire life savings, absolutely refuse to believe anything other than “their absolute truth.” the point at which the con artist’s illusion, became that poor soul’s delusion.

i would sit there and wonder how anyone could be so (and, oh god…so many words come to mind) stupid, naive, trusting, reckless, foolhardy, delusional, etc. i told myself that, that could never happen to me, because i was just too smart. funny how these things work out, isn’t it…

i think that i told you that when┬ái arrived in nevada, i had absolutely no idea what a “catfish” was, other than an ugly fish with whiskers. well, after the first two weeks with wendy and jenny, that all changed. the girls introduced me to the mtv show, “catfish,” and everything kind of went to hell in a hand-basket.

i’m really going to try to shorten this saga up some. i decided after a month or so, that i was going to try online dating again. i put my profile on a few sites and immediately received several responses. and in the beginning, i looked at everything like i was a detective, just looking to yell, “catfish” and throw the person back.

what i found was “catfish” after “catfish.” they just kept crawling out of the woodwork; jamaica, bermuda, haiti, nigeria, and ghana. i just kept throwing them all back. until one day, i had another extremely obvious one…bad use of english, poor spelling, lots of slang, weird words that were out of place, etc.

and then, i made a really bad decision. i was pissed off, because i wasn’t really finding anyone who was “real” and i just wanted to talk to someone. i was lonely. i knew that the person that i was talking to was an obvious scammer, but i figured that i was smarter than they were, and i already knew what they were trying to do.

i figured that i would beat them at their own game. that i would waste their time and in exchange, i would give them absolutely nothing. i assumed very incorrectly, that when they got mad and moved on…it would be fine, because i already knew the score. i thought that i would be the one calling the shots and in control.

oh…and, i was for awhile…until i figured out the true identity of one of them. this one person in particular, actually still sends me things…flowers, candy, perfume, iphones, and cards. this person made the mistake of sending me one certain photo that i did a reverse image search of and found easily, an adult film actress.

yeah, i know…i’m not going to try to convince anyone of anything. just keep reading and everyone can come to their own conclusion. when i ascertained the supposed identity of this person, i confronted her. instead of trying to deny it, she copped to it. i told her that i would stop talking to her, unless she video chatted.

she agreed to do so. ahead of time, i read up on all of the tricks that cons use to make people think that they’re actually talking to the person that they think that they’re talking to. the most common thing, is two people working together. one person places an ad with their photo, the other one texts, until it’s time for the video chat and then, they flip flop.

sometimes the sound doesn’t work. sometimes the photo is blurry. they use everything to keep the illusion going, to make it look like they’re doing everything possible to try to communicate with you. quite honestly, the first time that i was supposed to video chat with this person, i really expected to see someone other than who i saw.

i remember that i was quite ready to see one of the tricks that i had read about, but that’s not what i saw. the first time, there was a problem with the sound going in and out, but what i saw was the person from the photos. the person was not as young as the photos from the 90’s, but there was no mistaking that it was the same person.

why do i believe that, after watching oprah and dr. phil? because i took screen shots each time we video chatted and i always compared the identification markers to one another. meaning that this person had obvious tattoos, piercings, and a brand…each time they matched up with each other and with the younger photos. also, the person’s voice was always the same, on video and the phone.

i will say, that after the first time of seeing the person that i believe was truly the person that i was talking to, i was dumbfounded, and taken aback. we continued talking, i still knew that she just wanted my money, but i always said, “no.” i was really good at putting my foot down and she would pretend to pout for a day or two, and then not ask for awhile.

months went by, and i started to develop feelings for this person. she quit asking me for money, but at one point i sent her some for some quinine, because she supposedly had malaria (i know…i feel the laughter. i knew that she didn’t have malaria and, no, i didn’t really have the money to send to accra, ghana, but i made a bad decision based on my feelings.). and, that was all fine and dandy, until my paypal account was compromised and ended up with a negative seven-hundred-and-sixty-seven-dollar balance.

it was ghana…not necessarily that particular person, but certainly one from the same pack (up to thirty work together at the same time, in order to be able to chat to the same people in different time zones for up to twenty-four hours a day.). i confronted that person and was assured that i would get the money back. and here’s the kicker, i could’ve had it almost ten fold, but i didn’t go and pick the money up.

yes, that’s right…i had sixty-five-hundred dollars waiting at western union for me to pick-up for thirty days. but, i didn’t do it. why? because i didn’t know where it came from, or whose it really was, and i couldn’t live with myself knowing that i could’ve taken someone’s life savings. if i would’ve known for sure that it was from that person, i may have picked it up. i don’t know for sure.

what did i do to try to make it right, or get someone their money back? i spent several days on the phone with both the local police and sheriff’s departments, as well as, the fbi and atf, trying to make a report on money that wasn’t stolen from me. after explaining my story repeatedly, i was basically told that if the money had my name on it, it was a gift, and i should claim it. the whole business just made me a basket-case. i figured that after thirty days, the money would go back to where it came from. i assume that it did. i never heard one way, or the other.

after the money showed up, the gifts began appearing…one after another, continuously at one point. i really didn’t know what to do anymore, so, i began answering less and less. and then, it was just like a miracle, a “real” person replied to me. we talked for quite awhile and she was just one-hundred-fifty-dollars short of the plane fare to come, to visit me…so, i sent it to her and poof (until a couple of weeks ago…see my next post.).

so, what kind of a person ends up giving their “beloved,” a stranger, whom they have never before met, that lives in a foreign country, money and their heart? the answer isn’t a stupid person, because i’m clearly not a stupid person. the answer is a lonely person. and, that was what i was clearly failing to see all those years before, when watching oprah and dr. phil.

i was lonely and it happened to me. i realize┬ánow, what i was too judgmental before to understand…that loneliness can overshadow intellect, if allowed to rage out of control. i know┬ánow, that i was just settling to be lonely and let those illusions┬áfill my time, my mind, and my heart.

the good news is, that i’m not lonely anymore! i’ve got myself, plenty of good friends, buggs, work, driving, art, writing, exploring, photography, therapy, and dreaming of the future to fill me and my time. i’m quite busy in the pursuit of my own heart right now.

and, one day in the future, when i’m ready to try dating again, it won’t be online. i’m going to do it slowly and cautiously…and, i’m going to do it, in as my therapist would say, “hetero-time,” as she often time jokes that lesbian-time is so minute, that it can’t even be measured. when that day does come, i’ll be ready and i’ll be more whole.

 

 

 

 

i find that life indeed, is very funny and more cyclical than anyone can really comprehend.

tonight/tomorrow…

physically drained, from walking so much…

mentally exhausted, thoughts churning wildly…

emotionally spent, from catfisher’s gamer’s, schemer’s, player’s and liar’s…

strong and healthy, capable of so much…

self-aware and intuitive, confident in all abilities…

grounded and balanced, living in gratitude…

hiking tomorrow, have a very full day…

talking and visiting, an exciting adventure, with my friend…

happy and joyful, a much needed boost…

well versed…

i consider myself to be a lifelong learner. i hunger and thirst for knowledge, on a continual basis. my mind is like a sponge, soaking up this and that, with ease. i take pride in being well versed, in a plethora of topics. take your pick.

ask me about things that i know about and i will talk, until i’m blue in the face (i can see the nodding of agreement now ­čśé). tell me about something that i don’t know about and i am all ears. teach me, i am yours. i want to learn!

over the last several months, i’ve been having learning experiences, right and left. i am so well versed, in so many new and unusual things, that i never thought, that i would be. these are things that i was aware existed, but never really thought about.

i am well versed in spotting,”catfisher’s.” i can tell the difference between the “romance scammer’s” of nigeria and ghana. i recognize the language, the manipulations, and the tactics used.

i am well versed in vetting friends and acquaintances. i know that people, that want to teach you how to make gunpowder out of spices and cold packs, and incendiary devices using sparklers for fuses, aren’t friends, they’re crazy.

i am well versed in hallmark and that by far, is the most aggravating to me. to be familiar with hallmark, means that i have lost months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds, to babysitting the “crazy old man.”

the “crazy old man,” who couldn’t stand spending time, with his dying wife, now sits all day, on his flabby, white ass…shedding crocodile tears, complaining that nobody told him, that she was going to die, while watching his “love stories,” on the hallmark channel.

he says,”i just don’t understand, why my baby is dead, and that awful, lying c**t (meaning mrs. clinton) is still alive. it wasn’t supposed to work this way (shakes fist in the air), i was supposed to go first! my baby knew that, she did this to me!”

i respond the same exact way each time,”well, believe me, r*****d, we would’ve all preferred that you would’ve gone first, too.” with that, i get the general, all-around look of self-righteous indignation.

he shakes his finger at me and screams,”it’s just not fair! it’s so unfucking fair!” to which i respond,”don’t talk to me about fair. i watched my mom suffer from als. do you think that was fair? do you think that she deserved that?”     

i continue,”how do you think that your step-daughter feels? she knew her a lot longer than you did, twenty years longer.” he replies,”well, i went in and out of her for twenty-five years…i knew her intimately!”

to which i wrap it up, into a nice, pretty package, with a bow on it, and respond,”well, your step-daughter spent nine months, in her mother’s womb, that’s intimacy and that’s unconditional love, both of which you will never have.”

my god, we have this conversation everyday, sometimes more than once, sometimes repeatedly. and, all of this transpires while he has his “love stories,” blaring. i find it all to be so ironic and so surreal.   

this petty, selfish, repugnant, vile, vulgar, arrogant, psychotic, narcissistic man deludes himself, on a daily basis, believing that what he took repeatedly advantage of, over the course of twenty-five years, was “true love.” 

and now, he has to relive that fantastical love, over and over again, each and every day. he doesn’t just watch, he commentates through the whole fucking thing, making it what he wants it to be, in his perverse mind.

he rattles off insulting insinuations, about the women in the shows, to the women of our household. “i’d do her. she’s got no tits. she’s got a nice rack. that one has a “but-her” face, but i could bury my rod, in her ass.”

if the squeaky clean, sugary sweet, and bubble gum chewing producer’s at the hallmark channel, ever knew what was said in the middle of our living room about their movies, they’d probably run for the hills. each day, he sinks to a new depth of depravity.

i guess the point of the matter is, that i am now well versed in…”aurora teagarden mysteries,” which star that little “spark plug,” from the past, candace cameron bure and oldie, marilu henner. 

the movies are always the same. aurora is the one who always finds the dead body. she and her mother, are very nosey, snoop’s. they butt into people’s business, are wrongly accused, there is a love interest, and then they stubble upon the killer. aurora saves the day!

for that matter, i am also well versed, in the,”murder she baked mysteries.” these movies star, alison sweeney, from “days of our lives,” and “the biggest loser.” she plays hannah (swensen), the baker.

these movies are also, always the same. hannah, the baker, finds the dead body. she is wrongly accused of the murder, by a “love interest” detective. they work together to find the killer and all is right with the world.

but, i don’t want to leave out that i am well versed, in “the flower shop mysteries.” these movies star, brooke shields, as abby knight, owner of “bloomer’s flower shop,” and beau bridges.

these movies are also, always the same. abby, the florist, usually finds the body. she is then wrongly accused, by her cop, “love interest.” beau bridges, offers guidance and advice. abby and the cop, generally solve the mystery and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

and lastly, i am well versed, in “the garage sale mysteries.” these movies star, the irrepressible, lori loughlin, as jennifer shannon. she is the owner of the,”rags to riches consignment shop.” jennifer enjoys going to garage sales, thus the title.

these movies are also, always the same. jennifer, the consignment shop owner, usually finds the body. she is then wrongly accused, or takes it upon herself to solve the mystery, usually with a little help, from her best friend, and co-worker. then, voila…mystery solved!

one day, i asked r*****d, if he ever noticed that these movies were all the same…just different stars, cities, occupations, and love interests. he looked over at me and said,”no, i never noticed that before. i just watch them, because you like them??!!??” WTF.