I've been scammed by the same person/people for more than a year. The name I was given was Capt. Paul Randy Rodriguez. He was currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, giving all for his country, but ready to retire from the Marines after 25 years of service and was ready to settle down, get married and have a life.
I met him on Match.com. - I believe the profile name was lobz123 at the time. And he had the same story line but with a small degree of variation on the details of who he was.
His location on Match.com was listed as Sugarland TX (on the outskirts of Houston). He said he wanted to know me better and to interact with him on Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo mail - which I did because I was quite intrigued by his profile, especially his religious beliefs. The first email address he gave me was firstname.lastname@example.org. (prodz, randyrodz, Capt Randy Rodz...) I say the first email address because as I was chatting with him online from my desktop one day, I was receiving different messages on my Yahoo IM app on my iPhone from someone else with the same ID. 'Are we still talking?' Makes sense to me now and would explain that there are multiple individuals working the same scam and using the same stolen identity. He told me that for security issues we should make new email addresses and IM accounts. The second email address was: (my name)email@example.com. This initiated his confessional of how someone had stolen his identity (imagine that) and was using his photographs. He had, again for security reasons, taken up the issue with the General and they were handling the problem.
He also stated that his daughter Happy, who was left motherless after her mother gave birth to her five years earlier, was living with a nanny by the name of Sally in Atlanta, GA. Later on in the 'relationship' she communicated with me via text from the number +14049468691. When I wouldn't respond to his IM or email communications (I am a business professional with a very busy life) he would have her contact me with a message to please correspond back with him because he was very worried about me all the time. There was always some kind of emotional hook to engage a response.
'Are you getting my IMs? i am just receiving your messages in my email. Gosh...Please buzz me on Messenger!'
Why list Sugarland, TX as home? He said that was where his mother was from and he listed that as his location on Match.com because he couldn't stand the type of women in ATL and wanted someone like his sweet but feisty mother from Texas. His father was of Hispanic decent and his mother white. They moved to Atlanta, GA and all resided there until his parents tragic death when he was 8 years-old. He'd lived in some type of foster care until he became of age and joined the Marine Corps. Semper Fi until I die babe... yes, he'd always call me 'babe'. Saves the headache of trying to remember so many people's names that you're trying to con, right?
Anyway, I obviously can't recap over a year's worth of communications and interactions on one post. These con artists are sophisticatedly stupid. Sophisticated in the sense that they have mastered the art of knowing how to gauge someone's vulnerability and weak points and create a life scenario around that. Stupid because the frequent misspellings in communications and conversations didn't always match the sophistication of the person portrayed. However, the passionate outlook on life, dedication to country, and the 'survivor' type personality represented, allowed for some wiggle room on the stupid part.
'Babe i read your email and it is not what you feel or think. I just got back to KB. I tried to talk on Yahoo Messenger but you were not there coz mail wasnt opening in KNDHR. I missed you so much babe...When will you be on Messenger please? I missed you and we gotta chat. Happy Easter to you my love'
'I am here..HELLO!, see your not here again. Will check later. Happy Anniversary to us. I Love You. MUAH'
'i am online now. i wasnt online before...went to check boys on duty GOSH'
'Babe, i just need you to know that all will be fine. I love you and (my child's name). Muah'
I think we got along well because I could identify with being relentless, defending and honoring beliefs, being dedicated to a cause, having and recognizing personal imperfections, and the romanticism of
He always made promises he couldn't keep. It was always a result of his uncontrollable circumstances. His rank in the military. An injury. Important missions. Being under attack. The General wouldn't allow this, that, or the other... Planes being grounded. The inability to leave Afghanistan. Always some dire straits situation. Doesn't matter that I'm relentless and resilient. I'm human and I'd get tired. I'd confront him. Argue with him. Break up with him.
'Calm down and stop saying these. I know you are angry and stressed..just make sure you are fine. Once we can pay this i am out of here by this new week..things are cooling off already. I have your back babe trust me. I Love You'
'Babe, i am sorry if i acted wrong but i want you to know that i really love you and want us to be together, i understand everything you are going through, all these shall pass. I love you and will always do'
'STOP SAYING I DONT LOVE YOU! HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT? IF ITS COZ OF THE MONEY I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT WHEN I GET THERE'
'Thank you babe for the response and so sorry for all you went through. Well, thats how they are and dont stress over them at all. I like that you send that reply to your mom. Let it loose and i am sure she must cried over that. So sorry for everything. What matters now is that our (my child's name) is recovering good. Is she okay psychologically? Everything will be okay alright? I am fine babe just that its crazy here..meetings upon meetings..we discovered something and working on how to counter it. So its been crazy. Sleep okay? please dont reply even if this message wake you now..I want you to sleep deep and reply in the morning after breakfast. I Love you. MUAH'
'All will be well In Jesus Name. I Love u babe'
'Thank you babe, Will let you know as it goes. Sorry couldnt come online this morning..didnt even go to chapel coz i slept too much...woke up so late here. Going to the field now. Happy Birthday my Love. Muah'
'Love you too my babies....This brought tears to my eyes'
'Oh I LOVE THIS...I DAMN LOVE THIS....GONNA BUY ONE I PROMISE..CHECKED YOU BABE AND YOU ARE NOT ONLINE, I HAVE BEEN SO BUSY BABE...I JUST NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM NOT AVOIDING YOU AND I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE..HOW HAVE YOU BEEN MY LOVE? LOVE YOU SO MUCH BABE. YOUR HUSBAND, PAUL'
'(My name) my Wife, Hello babe and how are you doing? i hope you are fine. First, i would love to let you know that i missed you so much. Babe, i need you to know that my wishes, prayers and hope for us to be together and i know we have been trying for this to come to reality and we are almost there. Babe, i am not a bad guy, i love you even more than i love myself, you mean the word to me, i cant focus without you...i saw your offline messages, its not what you think at all babe, i know you are really trying and i'm also trying for this to work out, devil has been trying to set us apart but i so much believe that this will work out...nothing good comes easy. You are the best woman in my life so far, i respect and apreciate you babe and i will always do my love...i can never let you down..i need you to know that babe. You are my sunshine babe, in you i find joy and happiness so why would i wanna let you down or break your heart? i can not do that babe. You mean so much to me. Your kids are my kids...i respect everything about you babe. I swear i love you with all my heart babe. I wanna marry you. My heart aches babe..i am sorry for everything you are going through right now coz your trying to help me home, i just want you to know that i will never let you down and i really appreciate. Babe, please dont leave me..please babe. I promise i will make you proud, i will respect you more and appreciate you more. Its also hard here babe, very hard. But i cant complain. Its what i chose to do..nobody forced me to join the military..No regrets though coz i am happy saving the planet but i chose to be with you more coz you mean the world to me babe. I Love you very much my wife...Please i want you to know that...I LOVE YOU, I RESPECT YOU, I ADORE YOU, i cant wait to be there and for us to be together babe. I promise i will be there as soon as possible babe...i trust you babe. Please dont leave me babe...i miss talking to you my love. I LOVE YOU (my name).....Will be waiting to read from you soon babe. My Wife, I Love You. Your Husband, Paul'
He/they knew how to get in my head. I allowed him in for so long. I became used to it despite the perpetual feeling of suspicion. I lost sense of who I was and did not recognize the person I became. I was functioning with my daily living despite finding myself isolated and feeling alone. I stopped sending money at a certain point and we continued the communications for a few months. Then not too long ago, something within me just clicked. The life I had created for myself based on an online romance no longer resonated with me. I felt stupid, resentful, exhausted, and just plain done with it all. I let my brain take over and removed my emotion from the situation. Got online. Took one of the dozens of pictures he had sent me. Did a reverse image search on Google. Found this scam on various sites. Told him to F*CK OFF. Sent him the undeniable evidence (won't disclose) that contradicted everything and could not be disputed. Never heard from the con again. Found and contacted the real victim. I heard his voice. The reality set in. The victim was a complete stranger and did not love me as I loved him.
And here I am telling you about it.
The irony. I always told him I couldn't stand it when he started a sentence with the word AND.
It must always sting a little to always remember the valuable lesson so that it is never repeated.