(I know; red flag.)“He even called me, calling me ‘Mom’ a few times,” she says.
One day, scrolling through an online forum, she met Wayne Mays (not his real name) from the UK.
Mays is a romance scam-baiter, which means he hangs out on dating sites, posing as a naive love-seeker, with the goal of unmasking — and exhausting — confidence men and women.“You pretend to be a victim and string them along, try to get them to waste as much of their time, money, and resources as you can,” he says.
Within 10 minutes of posting, she had a handful of virtual suitors — and one stood out.
He suggested they ditch the dating site and switch to email.
Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.
(She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear.) It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced.
The site tends to be a last resort for victims who are afraid to go to the police, or to tell anyone in their life what’s happened, because they’re ashamed.“These people are not stupid at all. “With the romance scam, it could be someone who's been married for a number of years.
Their partner has either died or they've divorced and they've just started looking at online dating.
“My friends advised me to go online and try to find someone to share my life with,” she says via Skype.