Monday 20 February 2023

LUCA LANDRO in the words of the victim....


LUCA LANDRO in the words of the victim....
I was scammed. I am an intelligent, well educated woman and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

I went online to find a soulmate. I described the ideal man I was looking for on a dating website and I also described myself.
In other words, I gave the basic formula of exactly how to bypass my common sense and get straight to my emotions, upfront.
Once I was targeted and I agreed to move to WhatsApp I kept giving away information about myself in the course of conversations.
He made me laugh, he was intelligent, well off and totally charming. I was so flattered and happy that this handsome man was so smitten by me; I would have done anything for him. And I did.
I had phone sex with him which created an illusion of intimacy. I sent him money to help him out because he was stuck on a fictitious oil rig and had problems accessing his bank account online (which he gave me the log in details to so I could see that he was good for it).
All fictitious. I booked a flight, using my own money to meet him in Abu Dhabi where, he said, he was working offshore.
Of course the day I was supposed to travel there was a terrible accident on the rig and I had to cancel my flight.
I never video chatted with him live, in real time, because, he said, the internet connection on the rig would not support the video software.
He sent me lots of pictures of himself which I subsequently realised were photoshopped….but only after I had depleted my life savings to help him out of one crises after another.
We’ve all gone online looking for love. It has become normal to shop online for groceries, do our banking online, shop for clothes online……… but the problem is that many of us go online when we are vulnerable and we try to heal hurt with validation from a handsome stranger.
Many of us are in some sort of emotional crisis, children have left home, their partners treat us badly, we are deprived of seeing our grandchildren, we spend Christmas alone, our marriages break up, we are losing or have lost our youthful looks, we’ve lost our job, winter nights are long…………you name it, something hurts us so deeply and it feels like a sharp stabbing in the heart that just won’t go away………. and we just can’t bear it.
The loneliness bites our soul, the panic sets in with the realisation that we are going to live the rest of our lives alone and that time is running out to find a soulmate.
Believe me, going online for love is just going to make things worse because on top of not finding what you imagine you have found, you are actually getting the exact opposite and you will lose your savings to boot. You will end up being shocked, hurt, broke and the police can do nothing about tracking down the scammer or your money.
The image in your head of the handsome man you think you are talking to is more likely to be a person sitting behind a computer screen in a distant country where the police are not interested in your love life.
‘He’ could be a ‘she’. ‘She’ could be a ‘he’. Their body type, in reality, could be as different from the pictures they send you as you don’t want to imagine. Voice apps can make a person sound like the opposite gender or give a deep, sexy timbre to a squeaky voice.
The fact is that in a world where the internet facilitates terrorism, human trafficking, drugs smuggling and all sorts of horrible crimes, Interpol and local police just do not have the time or resources to help you.
The best way is to help yourself by staying away from this modern addiction of finding love online.
Go back to basics. You need to love yourself first. You need to imagine that you are giving advice to a beloved daughter and then apply that advice to yourself. Would you tell a beloved daughter to fall for a stranger online, send money, put herself in danger by meeting a stranger in a foreign country?
I wonder what I would have been walking into had I made the trip to Abu Dhabi.
Could I have disappeared? Could I have been beaten up? Raped? Maybe I got off lightly by losing my life savings. I’m nearly 70 years old and I have had to go back to work to support myself and pay my bills. I cannot get back into the profession I trained for because I’m too old so the work I do and the income I earn are very modest. I have no choice. The original hurt that drove me to seek validation online is still there.
If my experiences can help you to face reality and save you from losing your mind or your money, I’m glad to have shared this experience with you. Just remember, act in haste and regret at leisure.
Once your money dries up, your ideal lover, the one you helped a total stranger concoct to scam you with, will disappear without a trace. In my case the scammer even asked for feedback to improve his trap for his next sting. He asked me ‘’What gave me away? How did you realise?’’
Don’t go there. Take what happened to me as an eye opener and spread the word. The only way you can protect yourself from getting badly burnt is to stay away from the fire.

No comments:

Post a Comment