Women beware: A con man is out of prison
By Tom Blake
When older singles date new people, one of the most important precautions they should follow is to trust their instincts. If they sense something isn’t right about the new person, there is a strong chance they’re right.
But when people are lonely and want to be in a relationship and loved, they tend to downplay those instincts by viewing potential partners through rose-colored glasses.
Susie, an educated woman with a successful career, says she did just that. At 55, she met a man, 62, on Yahoo Personals. However, she learned that his listed name was not his true name and that his age was 66.
However, one can’t blame Susie for initially being impressed. She said: “He is well-educated (except he can’t spell), charming and writes e-mails that are like love letters. He says he has a nice home and a yacht in Florida. He states he is a partner in two corporations – one in entertainment and one in construction. He treated me well, spent time getting to know my family and even went to church with me. We made a lot of plans for the future together.”
When Susie saw red flags at the beginning of the relationship, she still elected to proceed, albeit cautiously. But not cautiously enough, as she explained:
“The first time I let my guard down, he made his move. I had something at my house that had been broken for a long time and he knew someone who could fix it. I was going out of town on a business trip and this was the only time he could come fix my problem (should have been a huge red flag). I left him my house keys. This was the first time I had let him have access to my house.
“When I got back from my business trip, I checked my bank account online and saw three checks written that I did not recognize. I called my bank and figured out what was going on.”
The man she had been dating had stolen her checkbook.
She called police. “While the policeman was at my house, I called the man and told him I knew what he had done and if he ever stepped foot on my property, I would have him arrested,” Susie said. “I never told him I filed a police report, because I did not want him to run. That night I had all the locks changed on my house.”
Susie said most everything he told her was untrue. He didn’t have a car or a job. Immediately after Susie ended the relationship, he was back on Yahoo Personals.
Susie didn’t hear anything from the police; she figured nothing would happen because it was a small crime.
She continued: “About 1½ years later, I got a letter from the district attorney. The man had been arrested and was sentenced to three years in prison and four years’ probation. He only served 1½ years and was supposed to start making restitution to me three months after he got out. I haven’t seen any of the money and don’t care. The amount was not great; my bank put the money back in my account because they should not have cashed the checks.”
Susie talked about the psychological effects: “It hurts to realize that I did not mean anything to him. I have been very embarrassed and angry at myself. Although the amount of money was not great, you cannot put a price tag on the hurt and suffering this man caused me.”
Lessons learned from Susie’s story:
• A background check may have saved Susie from this ordeal.
• It’s easy to blame the Internet. But what happened in Susie’s case happened after they were together in person.
• When legally violated, file a police report.
• Check your bank and credit-card statements often.
• Pay attention to red flags; trust your instincts. Don’t allow loneliness to cloud your thinking.
Women beware: This Internet-dating ex-con will strike again.
Source: The Orange County Register