It’s a known fact that a lot of online classified sites are teeming with scammers so I put down a test to see how true this really was and whether my online dating advert would be bait.

One of my first messages was from a girl named Mary who instantly gave me her MSN and Yahoo! chat credentials so I could chat to her instead of doing the whole back and forward email malarky. She also attached a pretty black and white picture of herself and she looked like a typical Hollywood character so I was keen to get in touch. This had scam written all over it.

I got online with MSN Messenger and managed to get chatting to Mary. I said ‘hi’ to her and she said ‘hi’ back and mentioned that it was good to see me again and that she thought I didn’t want to chat as I’d told her that the previous day. Ummm… interesting I thought. She said she was living in west Africa (ummm.. this could be telling) so I got asking about her and she said she lived in Nigeria and one parent is from Nigeria and the other from USA… So I asked her if she was mixed race and she said ‘kinda’. That was strange because the photograph she’d sent me was of a white girl. I said to her that I couldn’t trust her anymore and needed to see some photographs of her. To cut a long story short she tried to send me some which I didn’t receive so I said that I can’t talk to her unless I can see her. By now any real girl looking for a date wouldn’t bother speaking to me and would leave but this girl stuck around and kept trying to get information out of me.

I eventually got some lovely pictures from her which were clearly that of a model and then I pretended to be putty in her hands.

Let’s find out what the scam is:

I said it would be great to meet one day and she agreed and we set a date for her to come over but then there was the price of the ticket. She said she had $1450 but needed more as the ticket would cost about $3000 and she’d also need money for her Mum as she cherishes her.

Of course I said I would. She said she’d need some money for a goodbye party she would have to host so I asked her how much she’d need and she said anything I can afford. I suggested $500 and asked her if that would be enough but she said it should really be $750. So of course I said that too and told her that I could afford it.

I played with her online for about 25 minutes and during that time she explained to me how I would transfer the money to her.

I then told her I couldn’t get the money as I’m actually homeless… she was disappointed but didn’t give up. She offered me a deal… she’s going to send me cheques, I’m going to bank them and keep 30% of them and I will Western Union the rest to her. It’s going to be a perfect business deal. Right? Right.

We can do our bit to keep the scammers at bay:

My belief with these scammers is to keep them busy when I have some free time – I see it as me helping save someone else from being targeted.

You can read the humorous transcript below and have a giggle and maybe help me decide what to do next. She’s sent the cheques and will be waiting for me to reply next week. She’s also offered me another ‘job’ and that is to have goods received from Craigslist to my house and then I will post them to her via DHL. Hmmm…