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Man Pays $200,000 To Save Fake Online Girlfriend

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the scam-of-the-heart dept.

Crime 464

An anonymous reader writes "A 48-year-old Illinois man has experienced an online scam that was particularly devastating, both financially and emotionally. A woman he believed to be his online girlfriend turned out to be a fake, and his money has disappeared with her. The scam was recently revealed because he went to the police asking for help to rescue the woman, insisting that she had been kidnapped in London. The online 'relationship' between the two began over two years ago, during which he wired about $200,000 to several different bank accounts in Nigeria, Malaysia, England, and the US."

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Dumbass (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340974)

Dumbass

Can't Feel Pity For Him. (4, Insightful)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340976)

Why didn't he check that she was a real person. Would have cost less than 200k.

Darwinism at work folks. Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (5, Insightful)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341014)

There is no enought 4chan memes to explain how alone this guy is right now.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341088)

Tits or GTFO would have saved him from all this, you know...

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341160)

Oh yeah, because there is just NO way someone could find a random picture of tits online...

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341170)

Time stamp.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341258)

gee lucky time stamps can't be easily edited...oh wait.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (2)

Trails (629752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341262)

Sounds painful for the lady.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341380)

Imagine how trippy it would be to lick time stamps!

And can you use them to send postcards back in time?

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341254)

Webcam.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (1)

BattleApple (956701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341434)

maybe the scammer actually was a woman?

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

DerKlempner (249063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341360)

Evidently, there's also not enough spellcheck programs to help you, either.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (5, Insightful)

Upaut (670171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341236)

Some people get to wrapped up in the fantasy. The hope of love, easy riches, these both speak to a deep need in many of us.

A friend of mine once got engaged and moved the Scotland (from Massachusetts in the USA) for her Everquest sweetheart. Never having communicated with him in any way but online.

Now they didn't last more than a couple years, but it shows there are quite a few that never really alive in their own skin, and the prospect of making new friends in person causes stress and panic. But the need to connect is still there.

Personally, I feel for him even greater sympathy than those that lose their savings in a 419 scam; one has a core of inherent dishonesty -playing off ones greed for a quick payoff. This played off his need for companionship, and as he invested years, and thousands, into it, it wasn't for any form of payoff. Just to connect.

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341302)

I don't get the "online girlfriend" part. In other words, "an online acquaintance".

Anyway, "online" has little to do with it. I knew a girl who had a couple relationships which were entirely founded around her bilking somewhat older guys out of money and eventually breaking up and disappearing. The simple answer is not suspect everyone and don't fall for every fucking snatch that crosses your path and you'll have a lot more time, money, and sanity to enjoy your life with. (Not that I don't still feel some sympathy for guys like that, since they're ultimately the victim, regardless).

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341476)

So your friend, she's single now? Is she hawt?

Re:Can't Feel Pity For Him. (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341294)

And he didn't get a lap dance out of it!

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340984)

How sad

Re:Sad (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341402)

How sad

Yeah, as a Slashdotter, I don't get many opportunities to call somebody else's love-life sad.

Thinking saves money!!! (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35340994)

There is no reason to wire that much money to several bank account for an online girl friend, if she's worth $200 000 why didn't she move to him and then he would know she's safe. Move Before she was kidnapped of course.

Re:Thinking saves money!!! (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341028)

why didn't she move to him and then he would know she's safe.

Um, because she doesn't exist....

Re:Thinking saves money!!! (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341112)

Exactly, and he didn't insist she move before continuing this relationship.

Re:Thinking saves money!!! (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341232)

How do people that naive get all that money in the first place? If I had a girlfriend who needed $200,000 to save her own ass she'd be S.O.L. if she came to me for it.

The Internets (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35340998)

Where men are men, women are men, and children are federal agents.

Re:The Internets (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341334)

But who are small fuzzy things from Alpha Centauri?

Re:The Internets (3, Insightful)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341390)

Obviously those are small fuzzy things from Alpha Centauri.

There's an old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341010)

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Re:There's an old saying (4, Insightful)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341130)

No, the one you're looking for is "A fool and his money are soon parted."

Re:There's an old saying (3, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341144)

There, but for having more than 2 brain cells, go I.

Can this be real? (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341016)

How do people this stupid have $200,000 to begin with?

I've worked hard for many years, and while my lifestyle isn't excessive, I still don't have anywhere near that kind of money to throw around even if I was getting laid by a real girlfriend.

This guy gave "her" $200k and never even got a blow?

Wow, where do I find suckers like this? I need the cash.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341050)

Ever heard of credit cards?

Re:Can this be real? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341358)

I'm not sure if you can read.

$200 000.

Not $200.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341056)

"Wow, where do I find suckers like this? I need the cash."

Apparently on the Internet.

Re:Can this be real? (4, Insightful)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341092)

Probably the majority of it was in the last few months, and may have been for what he thought was a ransom. I don't have $200,000 laying about but if I truly believed that my girlfriend was being kidnapped I could get it within a couple of weeks by loans and remortgaging.

Re:Can this be real? (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341326)

A new girlfriend would be way cheaper.

Re:Can this be real? (4, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341102)

Well you see, an obsessive devotion to a single pursuit tends to lead to two things:

  1. Expertise in that area.
  2. A corresponding lack in other areas.

When you take that devotion to extremes, you can make a lot of money and not have the time or desire to spend it on anything. And unless you work hard to avoid it, the "lack in other areas" is likely to include your love life.

How do you not know this?

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Nialin (570647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341196)

Someone please mod parent up. I already knew the aforementioned details, but dammit, that was a clear and concise explanation.

Re:Can this be real? (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341198)

When you take that devotion to extremes, you can make a lot of money and not have the time or desire to spend it on anything. And unless you work hard to avoid it, the "lack in other areas" is likely to include your love life.

How do you not know this?

Uhhhhhhhh........

2. A corresponding lack in other areas.

Re:Can this be real? (1, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341348)

Yeah that would roughly be the joke. Man, subtlety is dead.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341458)

Man, subtlety is dead.

LOL. I was thinking the same thing.

Re:Can this be real? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341288)

You're an idiot. Here is a perfect counter example to your statement: Richard Feynman. You're genes are pure garbage compared to his... and your comment only applies to the lower men like yourself, an important fact you should have noted in your statement.

Re:Can this be real? (-1, Flamebait)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341340)

Well, you're a massive faggot too scared to troll from his own account, but you're right, not all people are created equal. For instance, some people understand that you can speak in general terms without making a claim to absolute certainty or completeness of explanation, and some are weird sperglords.

Re:Can this be real? (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341454)

I am confounded on a regular basis by how desperate people are, in general. Guys who cling on to the first thing that fucks them, even in highschool (and of course, realize twenty years later that they wasted their youth). Girls who can't stand belong alone for five seconds and go from one stupid/bad/pathetic/abusive relationship to another. Nobody seems to be able to just hold the fuck up and be with themselves for awhile. It's like the idea of not having someone to cling to or fight with or have drama with is foreign to them all. All this pathetic desperation across the board results in a lot of stupid people doing stupid shit. Period.

Re:Can this be real? (3, Informative)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341108)

How do people this stupid have $200,000 to begin with?

I guess you've never been to northern Canada.

Any smart person would refuse to work: outdoors in -30C weather, in the middle of nowhere, where you can lose an arm because someone forgot to properly chain a pipe down, and the only thing to do during your time off is drink and do drugs in an all male labor camp.

If you're willing to endure all that, then you can make $120k+ per year all while still being just smart enough not to wet yourself.

(All the guys dumb enough to wet themselves in -30C weather died of hypothermia)

Re:Can this be real? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341238)

Most of those guys end up blowing 99% of that on women, drugs, and vehicles. I knew a few guys who worked the rigs - 3 years after getting there, they all had brand new pickup trucks and a coke habit, and were just as broke as when they got there.

Re:Can this be real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341414)

Sounds like the plot of Fubar 2.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341304)

When I was a small child I did wet myself at -30C in Northern Canada. It is surviveable if someone else can carry you home (pants immediately became too stiff to walk).

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341224)

"This guy gave "her" $200k and never even got a blow?"

Love is a many-splendored thing...

Re:Can this be real? (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341270)

Wait, do you think we live in some kind of meritocracy where intelligence and hard work are rewarded, while stupidity is punished? No, we live in a kleptocracy where connections and favors are rewarded and being born poor is punished. If you have money and/or connections, you can make more money with very little risk or effort by stealing the labors of honest working people, who are so desperate that they will do nearly anything for you. So, you shouldn't have to look to hard to find suckers like this, if you aren't already rich, try looking in a mirror. If you are halfway intelligent and working at a salaried job, you've more than likely given away at least that much value.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341388)

halfway intelligent and working a salaried job is an oxymoron. How is it intelligent to work 60hours a week and make the same as if you are working 40 hours but to get reprimanded and possibly lose your job if you by chance work 39hours? This is why I stay as an incredibly skilled contractor. I'm a big fish in a medium pond where I'm at and average 250k/year working hourly. Everyone needs there project done _now_.

Re:Can this be real? (2)

Chuckles08 (1277062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341312)

No. It is "reel". As in fishing.

Re:Can this be real? (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341316)

Home equity loans. Those are usually used for cars, bling, and cosmetic surgery, and on very rare occasion are used for home improvement. I got a roof and air conditioner with one in the early 00s.

Usually these "moralizing human interest stories" have a much more complicated and detailed real story behind them.

When it comes to he said / "she" said like this, if he was dumb enough to be out $20K, but smart enough to report it as $200K and theres no paperwork to prove it either way, he may as well go for the gold and strike back at "her". Worst case he's busted for filing a false report, although how they'd pin it on him is a mystery. Best case is he makes a nice profit. He's probably pissed off and looking for revenge....

Another possible situation is someone turned 200K into coke, snorted it, doesn't want to admit it, and weirdly enough this utterly pitiful story sounds "better", or at least doesn't violate someones parole terms, divorce settlement, custody requirement, etc.

Then there's the money laundering mule whom got burned. His handler got him used to sloppy handling procedures (yeah I know I told you to keep the last $20K for yourself, but I'm in a hurry and you can just keep $40K of the next shipment). Next thing you know "his" share of the money is gone and he's left holding the bag for laundering, errrr, I mean now he's a unfortunate victim going to the police, how sad.

Sometimes these stories are people whom did NOT get burned, if you know what I mean. Sure, they withdrew $200K of their money and wired it to Mr Kingpin in another country whom now has $200K with a valid receipt proving it is his. The untold story is Mr Kingpin handed him a bag of $300K cash as the first step. Sometimes the IRS catches these guys if they're dumb enough at cash handling (buys a Ferrari, in cash, the week after reporting his "loss", etc). Generally the less the guy helps the cops the more likely this is the situation. He's probably not making that much on a risk free carefully choreographed transaction like that. Probably more like 10% or maybe he's having a favor taken care of for him or being forgiven of a certain mistake toward a powerful person.

The IRS situation is very complicated. If you withdraw the cash, stash it, or wire it to your brother in another state, suddenly you have quite a capital loss there to report. Of course you can only do this about once per lifetime, but, maybe he had a windfall inheritance and this is how he, uh, "lost" it...

Sometimes you see this "behavior" when a genuine, although illegal, deal goes bad and at least you'd like to deduct it from your taxes. So, your "co worker" promised you a 25% rate of return, and he just needs a little cash to get him thru a tight time, but he skipped town instead... Well, at least you can write it off, and/or explain where the money disappeared to, even if thats not exactly where it went. Look thru the local papers for a grow up that got busted a couple weeks ago that had about $200K of expenses, etc.

Shockingly enough, it might be true as reported. Historically unlikely, sure, but possibly true. Maybe. Its a heck of a story anyway.

Re:Can this be real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341344)

This person was from an excessively affluent suburb of Chicago (I happen to work in that suburb). Almost everyone that lives here is relatively wealthy compared to the surrounding suburbs.

Re:Can this be real? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341456)

Well, he is 48. By that time if you don't have a $200K nest egg you are in big trouble, esp here in the US where you are basically on your own once you get old.

Judging by how he was scammed, I would hazard a guess that he was not the type to go out and spend money on stuff (or even go out at all).

Strange... (3, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341022)

People with common sense don't get so far into such a scam without smelling a rat... But people who don't have at least some common sense don't have $200K just sitting around. This poor guy must have been terribly lonely, and the perps played him like a harp. Very sad.

Re:Strange... (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341038)

I really hope her name wasn't "Francesa A. Sample"...

Re:Strange... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341284)

You're assuming he had $200k. He probably borrowed the money against his house or something. Not only did it probably crush him, it's likely to ruin his life as he'll think everything is a scam.

Re:Strange... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341338)

I'm on to your scam to convince me that not everything is a scam. Scammer!

Re:Strange... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341366)

What's baffling is how you have $200k to spend, but no girlfriend -- if you really *want* one. Even moderate wealth will score you your choice of 8/10 to 10/10 girls eager to find a man with more money than looks or fame. This guy didn't need to be some desperate internet patsy to do that.

Re:Strange... (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341370)

People without common sense don't have $200k? I beg to differ.

Running a Ponzi scheme doesn't seem like something you'd do if you had common sense, does it? Sooner or later it'll catch up with you, right? Well...

OK, a less extreme example? Buying a McMansion with a NINJA loan. Total nonsense. Yet, there were probably some people who actually, through total dumb luck, got out at the right time. Same deal with dot-coms or any other bubble.

The lottery. Suckers game, and yet people win $200k all the time.

And, if that isn't enough to convince you; I actually saw a report on 419 scams where one of the victims was a doctor. A doctor!!!

And yes, my first thought was "I don't want him operating on me".

In short, a fool and his money are soon parted, and you'd be surprised how many rich fools there are, waiting to be parted from their money.

Re:Strange... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341462)

A doctor!!!

Doctors are legendary for not being able to handle money. Right up there with dentists, pro sports athletes, and lottery winners.

And yes, my first thought was "I don't want him operating on me".

An accountant or a cop, yeah be scared. Docs get a free pass on money handling. It doesn't really have much to do with their job.

Re:Strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341422)

Wrong - people who don't have at least some common sense don't have $200K just sitting around...for long!

Hard to believe Blogoviovich fell for this. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341030)

This is not the end of the road Blogoviovich, you will rebound from there. Don't give up. Continue the fight.

howly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341040)

This is a freaking horrible scam. I mean imagine. The poor man falled in love wth someone that only wanted his money. That is an everyda issue, but that the guy really believed that scam was true: that is modern day dynamics.
We should have to create something to avoid that people like this guy get rob by playing with his feelings... Is a risky business, and maybe too good to be true. What do you think?

Re:howly (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341378)

To be fair, if you weeded out everyone that wants you for your money, you'd have to turn gay.

It happens more often than not (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341042)

My previous landlord was sucked into this. He has sent over 20k to online scammers who are from the U.S. We even google mapped where they were in Florida yet he still sent money. He was sent various cheques, would cash them and western union the money, then charged with fraud from the cheques. He sent his rent money to "save her" to the point where he was 10k in debt on the house on back payments.

Wow (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341044)

This sounds like a good way to pay off my student loans faster!

Don't Assume (4, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341052)

People don't think these classic scams could ever suck them in but if they are done in an artful way they actually can sucker people in. Most of these con artists lack the ability but there are a few out there with serious skills that really can sink a strong man's boat.

Re: Don't Assume (2)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341122)

Agree. Also, there is no fool so foolish as a fool in love.

Falling for Nigerian fraud scams isn't normal. But on Love it is.
Love. Not even once.

Re: Don't Assume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341230)

Yeah, sure buddy. I'm sure your average "strong man" would be stupid enough to "[wire] about $200,000 to several different bank accounts in Nigeria, Malaysia, England, and the US" to someone they've *never seen in person*.

That isn't just naive. That isn't just being tricked. That's fucking stupid.

Re: Don't Assume (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341394)

No, you have to be a HUGE sucker to fall for this.

I mean, I don't know about you, but if I spend my whole nice listening to someone's life story and buying them dinner and yadda yadda yadda, I'd be pissed if there wasn't at least a little action at the end of the night. If I spent $199,960.00 more on top of that and found out that all I got was scammed . . . holy shit...

Re: Don't Assume (1)

jmak (409787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341448)

Actually, If the cons really worked the guy for two years, that's a pretty impressive feat. Probably on par with three-letter agencies.

EPIC FAIL (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341064)

In reality, the man in TFA has been participating in a covert intelligence test using a new innovative testing method. The cost for this testing is $200,000. I don't think I need to go into what the results of the testing.

Stupid person. News at 11 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341094)

Is this a relevant story because the fraud happened online, or because of some other reason that is not in TFA?

Re:Stupid person. News at 11 (1)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341362)

Is this a relevant story because the fraud happened online, or because of some other reason that is not in TFA?

Teh lulz are always relevant.

What amazes me... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341096)

...is how people so profoundly stupid can nevertheless be intelligent enough to make enough money to have $200,000 in discretionary income. That must require a remarkably narrow set of capabilities.

200K? (1)

boxxa (925862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341110)

I wish I had 200k to wire period.

A fool and his money... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341120)

This reminds me of the story [broadbandi...tricks.com] that came out not too long ago about the composer who lost millions, believing an even more elaborate hoax than this guy.

How come this fool had 200K? (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341124)

Cant believe someone this naive would have amassed 200K by his own work. Either it is a lottery or it is inheritance. Wish the Koch brothers also would be this stupid and blow some 20 billion in saving fake Republicans and fake libertarians.

Re:How come this fool had 200K? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341314)

Maybe he borrowed the money, so now he might owe $200k plus interest.

My online profile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341128)

My online profile presents me as a multi-millionaire, ex-athlete, slim, caring and educated individual that would make a perfect employee. In reality I'm a nine to fiver, athletically inept, overweight, gadget-loving and video game playing dork. I've seen other profiles... Some buddies are umm.. gravityphilic.. (you know, symmetrical height and width.. i.e., round), and their profiles invariably show them much slimmer than they are. My friend, who hasn't worked in twenty years, pretends to be a pilot.

I'm just surprised that *anyone* thinks that any online profile is real..

Sigh... (5, Funny)

koan (80826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341134)

See the difference between "screwed" and "laid".

Big head... (4, Funny)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341150)

...meet little head.

From my soon-to-be-published book "Dick: An Owner's Manual"

Rule #1: Your dick will lie to you.

Re:Big head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341332)

Rule #1: Your dick will lie to you.

Rule #2: Always refer to rule #1, even if you believe what your dick is telling you.

Re:Big head... (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341404)

Rule #3: Now, to really find out the secret of getting laid, send me $100.

Rule #4: What did I tell you???

Re:Big head... (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341430)

From my soon-to-be-published book "Dick: An Owner's Manual"

About time there was a Dick manual, we've had Jane's guides for years (and before anyone says they've got nothing to do with women, my last girlfriend was ocean-going and had a gross displacement of around 10,000 tons).

For $200k he could have (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341152)

bought himself a pretty high-classed hooker. Not sure for how long though......

Re:For $200k he could have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341384)

bought himself a pretty high-classed hooker. Not sure for how long though......

Going by the only information I have on such things (the amount Richard Gere's character paid Julia Roberts' character for a week of 'service' in the 1990 film Pretty Woman, and the government's inflation calculator at http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm [bls.gov] ), I'd say, 39.6 weeks.

He saved money (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341204)

If it was a real woman, she would have cost him more than that in marriage

Re:He saved money (0, Offtopic)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341408)

Marriage is different. You're renting pussy. Of course, after the divorce, you're stuck paying for that pussy for the rest of your life even though you don't get to enjoy it anymore. But yeah, for $200k, he should have been able to attract a choice of decent chicks that he could have settled down with. Why you'd waste your time on some fantasy half a world away is bizarre.

what a tard (1)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341212)

On the positive side he probably hasn't bred.

Anyone here divorced? (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341220)

Admit it--You're all jealous over how easy this guy got off.

what's the penalty for bigamy? (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341290)

hey, he's only out $200,000 and doesn't have an ex-wife!

The power of desire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35341248)

I can't speak on behalf of this guy's intelligence, but I am reluctant to conclude he's an idiot. My guess is that this guy is not so gullible in general, but that he let down his guard here because he really wanted to believe it was true. Our minds can play amazing tricks on us when we want to believe in something. Think of all the otherwise brilliant people you know who believe in things like transubstantiation (or, if you believe in transubstantiation, think of all the otherwise brilliant people you know who don't). It's too bad this guy's mistake burned him so badly, financially and presumably emotionally.

Re:The power of desire (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341468)

I can't speak on behalf of this guy's intelligence, but I am reluctant to conclude he's an idiot. My guess is that this guy is not so gullible in general, but that he let down his guard here because he really wanted to believe it was true.

Well said. I think if the commenters here would get past their 'smarter-than-everyone' mentality, they'd have a bit more sympathy for the dude. We all act dumb for love, that's why it's such a common topic on sitcoms.

The really sad part, ... (1)

WidgetGuy (1233314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341368)

athough it should come as no surprise, is that this guy's Slashdot member number is 101.

Ironically... (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341376)

Prostitutes would have been cheaper, and he might have ACTUALLY gotten laid.

Well well well (1)

scarface71795 (1920250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341386)

Internet connection $30. Computer $600. Wiring your internet girlfriend money $200,000. Finding out she's fake Priceless. For everything else there are hookers.

I don't know if I should laugh or cry. (1)

ctwx (1830364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341406)

I don't know if I should laugh or cry. On the one hand, it's really funny to that that really someone fell in such a trap. On the other hand I have to say it's really sad that there are really many people who don't know how to deal with it. I mean, it starts with the spam in the mailbox. I know many people who probably fall into a trap like this too. But this case is really extreme... I mean, $200,000 is a lot of money.

The economy's getting worse... (1)

ChristianMc (1627201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341428)

It's hard to believe stupid tax is getting as high as $200,000 these days.

Lack of empathy (4, Insightful)

hahn (101816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35341452)

I'm a little saddened to see all the negative comments aimed at the *victim*. What did he do wrong? He trusted someone. Apparently, that's so idiotic and inconceivable that it makes him the one who's at fault. What's next? Blaming rape victims for not bringing pepper spray on a blind date? What happened to blaming the perpetrator? The lesson here appears to be, if you're capable of scamming people online, then you deserve the money and your victims are morons. I guess the study that was written about in NY Times [nytimes.com] last year wasn't far off the mark.
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