Scam Artist

Just Venting!!

Have you or someone you know ever been scammed. From simple you won a $25 Walmart gift card to even worse a… love of your life or so you thought it was. Thousands of valunerable people are effected by this everyday.

This topic is so big and intense, I don’t even know where to start. I will do a little flashback so everyone gets the whole picture. In 2003 my father in law passed away, and for the first 3 years after his passing my mother in law (let’s call her Sue to protect her identity) was in mourning. Everyone knows that grieving that long after someones passing is not healthy. Her grieving was to the extent that she would not go anywhere, she would not do anything and rarely participated in family events such as holidays and birthday parties. The family tried all kinds of things to get her out of her slump and depression. Her doctor put on medications to see if that would help. Nothing was working!

In 2005 she received a computer for Christmas and this was her changing point. She lived in some apartments and had made friends with some of the ladies that also lived there. We started to see a change in her, she was acting like her old self again and the family was relieved. Until one day when I went to pick up my daughter, who had stayed overnight with her. Sue began to ask me questions about Visa’s and how to get one. Noticing that she was sitting at her computer with the yahoo messenger opened. I was not sure at the time and just told her you have to apply. Brushed it off and left that day not thinking about again until the next time. She came to me and began to tell me about this man that she had met online. Either it was Plenty of Fish or Yahoo Messenger. Whichever.. she met a man who claims he is from England, divorced and has one daughter. He works for Chevron off the coast and is responsible for his employees and Containers. She was super excited to have met this man and was already completely in love with him, within two weeks she had been completely brain washed by him.

The family was not concerned until she approached me with questions of “how do you apply for a Visa?” and “how do you get someone from England to the states?” This raised a red flag with me and I started asking questions. At first she did not want to confide in me, but I convinced her that if she wants help then I have to know whats going on. She then proceeded to tell me everything. She explained to me that they are in love and he wants to come to Texas to be with her. There is one problem… she continued to explain to me. She said that he needs a Visa, passport and needs her to send money so he can go to the embassy and apply for his needs. He said he can not pay for it himself because all his money goes to his employees. RED FLAG!!! RED FLAG!!!. I told her that I would have to research this process and get back with her. I immediately went to my husband (her son) and told him everything. He called her with his concerns and she ensured him that she would not send money. With relief, we thought this was done and over.

A couple of months went by and we didn’t hear anything. Then the day came when she was a little flustered and when I asked what was going on. She hesitated at first to tell me since I already ratted on her before. With the promise that I would not say anything, she confided in me again. She proceeded to tell me that the man she loves needs her help again. Come to find out she has been sending him money along. My stomach felt empty and my heart felt heavy. She told me that in order for him to get to the states that he had to move to Nigeria. I pleaded with her that this is all a scam. She was not believing me. This man has her convinced that he is rich, and when he comes to live with her he will buy her a new home, and a car. She would have everything she deserves.

I went and ratted on her again but this time she did not hide her love of him from the family. Instead she was very proud of him and every encounter or conversation with her was about her new love. She did start participating in family events but she usually was not in the same room. She would be around the corner on the phone with him. She would spend approximately $200.00 a month on $5.00 international calling cards to call him. He very seldom ever called her. In fact she lost the apartment she was living in and came to stay with us. During this time I noticed that he called her mostly when It was closer to pay day. The sad thing is, she lives on a fixed income. She only gets around $1200.00 a month and is sending him $800.00. Then purchasing calling cards, she was broke. She was losing everything.

There is so much that has happened in the last 7 years. And unfortunately this is still going on. The family has done everything they can think of. I have done some stuff too and made some calls. But to protect my family I will not go into detail. I had spoken to a man in my home town that is familiar with the way things work in Nigeria. He warned me that unfortunately I needed to back off and stay out of it. He explained to me that these people of all ages work in groups in Nigeria. It is their job, they sit around with binders for each person with all their personal information, favorite things, nicknames and so on. And if you try to step in between them and their money, they have people here in the states that will injure or kill your family. That scared me. Don’t get me wrong I want to help, but I am not going to risk my family’s lives for her.

I wanted to share my story about this because it really does happen everyday. There is still so much to tell, I could write a book on this. This man to this day still promises that he is coming to Texas to be with her. He has told her so many lies such as: he was ambushed and they stole the money she sent him for his plane ticket. His friend was attacked by pirates. He even planned out a fake plane route and got his hands on a cell phone with the California area code. Told her that he is at the air port in California and they have him detained. I am the one who called the airport and they told me they had no one in holding. I looked his name up to see if he was on the flight and his name no where to be found. After he supposedly got departed back to Nigeria, my husband asked Sue to ask him “what was the weather like in California?” He told Sue with confidence who was on the phone with him at the time “it was very cold and raining”. Nope! sorry it was sunny and 82. We even pulled the information up on the internet to prove to her. You would think that would be enough evidence for my mother in law to understand he is not real. However, whatever lie he came up with this time she believed him.

She is so in love with this man that no matter what he comes up with, she believes him. She has very plainly stated that he is more important to her than her own family. She believes that we are out to get her and that we are just trying to control her. Her favorite saying is “I don’t tell you what to do with your money, so don’t tell me what to do with mine”. I told her that I had spoken with the state and they told me that the money she gets is not her money, but is money provided by the state for her well-being and if she is not taking care of herself then they would award to someone or an attorney to make sure she pays her bills and takes care of herself. She argues about that too. Even thou the state told me this and with a report being filed, nothing has been done. It has been three years since the report.

The entire family wants to fly to Nigeria to confront this scumbag but the reality is..we can’t. I have watched similar stories on Dr. Phil and others. We have made her watch the same shows. But to her he is nothing like those men. She has sent her own money, she has sent my sister in laws tax returns and child support checks to him. She has opened numerous bank accounts for him in her name and in my sister in laws name. There has been a case of money laundering and she convinced the bank she had nothing to do with it. She has lost everything and has lived in my home many times. She doesn’t buy a card or a gift for the grand kids when it’s their birthday or Christmas. Shes maladaptive and feeds off drama and creates lots of drama so the family will have their minds on something besides her. She has had a stroke and a heart attack. While she was in the hospital with the stroke, I talked to the scumbag myself. (by the way he does not have an English accent, he is very hard to understand) It was close to her payday. He was frantic, trying to figure out how the money was going to get to him. He was begging me to get her card and take care of it. When I refused to do it, he began calling my cell phone at all hours of the night yelling at me because I was not at her bed side. My husband had then taken the phone and told him not to call my number again and if he is so concerned about his mother then why was he not at her bed side. The calls stopped and Sue found someone else to take her card and send him the money. She has lost relationships with certain family members and the scumbag tells her that it will be okay, he will be with her soon and will prove his love to the family. He calls her wifey and refers to the grandchildren as his grandchildren too. And remember when I mentioned before that they have all the victims information. He has my cell phone number, my address. He knows my whole name and my children’s names, and birthdays. He knows everything thanks to her. She has given him all her passwords for face-book so he can see the pictures of “his grandchildren”. He has all her bank information and passwords. Email logins and passwords,he even has her social security number. Very scary, there is no telling how much information he has. Not just on her but the entire family. She is still to this day convinced that he has to have all this information so that when he comes to Texas they will be prepared. The latest story from her is that he is coming to Texas. He has been in Georgia for the last three months for his daughters wedding and of course she was still sending money at his request to his driver in Nigeria to pay for his containers. (What EVER) At this time she was staying with us again in August and was filling me in on everything. She said she wasn’t going to tell anyone but he’s in Georgia at his daughters house. Him and his daughter had a huge fight after the wedding because he wanted to come to Texas to be with me. His daughter is not talking to him so she moved out of the house and is living in her new husbands house. She’s been trying to find someone to drive her to Georgia to pick him up but, everyone has backed out. She starts to cry and tells me because no one will take her that she needs to send money to him because he found someone to drive him to Texas. I asked for his address giving her slight hope that I might take her to him. I Googled the address he provided and it was a medical clinic. He said the house that he was living in was a huge Victorian home. There were no such houses anywhere close to the address he provided. When she questioned him about the location, he told her that he didn’t want us to pick him up at his daughters house and she of course believed him. He found every excuse why he couldn’t take a bus, fly or rent a car. He said that if he gets stopped on the road he would be deported back. The money she was wanting to send is the money that she was suppose to put down on a place to live. She tried everything to stay in my home. She wanted to stay with us worry free so she could send him the money. The day she is to put money down on the home she pleaded that she needed to send him $800.00 dollars and by noon he will deposit $1,000.00 into her account. I would not let her do this. On the way to the bank she is beside me in the car on the phone with him. She basically told him that my sister in law and I were holding her hostage. I heard him tell her “Sue it’s your money, take control of it!”. I went on to the bank and we put the money down on the home. When we got back to my house she was still on the phone with him. Now they were arguing and she looked at me and said “I hope your happy, were over!” and as much as that made me happy. I said to her “fine tell him to take a picture of himself in front of the medical office and I will jump in my car right now and go get him”. Well….supposedly that just pissed him off. And later that day they were a couple again.

I have not spoken to her since and sources have told me that they have moved again because she is still sending money and lost the previous house.

I wanted to share this story because it really does happen to people everyday. Not only are they effected by the scam artist but their families are effected as well. I am not sure what will become of her or this situation, I will share my new details. If I learn any ways to protect other people and herself from this type of scam, I will definitely inform everyone. I pray for her, but at the same time to protect my family I have removed her from our lives. I have made some calls and contacted some services. Hopefully something will help to put and end to this sadness. It’s sad when we have to show tough love and hope that it will open their eyes. There’s a saying that I always tell myself “you can’t help the ones that can’t help themselves first”. And I truly believe that. Her entire family has done everything possible to help and if you do or say anything negative about him then she is done with you and wants nothing else to do with you. I hope the best for her and the ones she’s currently effecting. And again, there is so so much more to this story.

What is your opinion about this? Is anyone else or know someone who is going through the same thing?

Sincerely Venting,
Mouse

For Better or Worse:

Better: Samantha Echols is my hero today. She recently found out that a neighbor of hers has cancer and no health insurance. She needs chemotherapy and can not afford it. Samantha went above and beyond when she decided to plan this big event to help raise money to at least get the treatments started. The fundraiser was a big success and we are very proud of her.

Worse: The people who snarl their noses at the person in front of them paying with change. Get over it! Stop judging people! Remember everyone is only one paycheck or bad day away from being on the streets. Contribute a little if you have so much, if not then stand back there patiently and stop your pouting. Seriously!!

Do you have any for better or worse stories to share?

Gossip!

Okay I have been gone for awhile. Dealing with a lot of family drama and drama in my community.

I created this site so that women of all ages can express how they feel about an issue or concerns they may have in their everyday lives.

I want to point out that I CAN NOT stand gossip. Which is funny since  this is a blogging site for Venting. But let me explain….There are two types of gossip in my opinion. Bad gossip is when RUMORS about someone or something get started and no one but the person that is the source of the topic knows the truth. Gossip is assuming you know what the truth is in a situation and unless you have proof to back it up then you are bad gossiping. Every time people get together to discuss someone, it is gossip. Gossip is not always bad. If you are going to gossip, simply know what your talking about and don’t assume, judge, make up or accuse without the facts to back it up.

The last month I have dealt with this so much and its frustrating, especially if your the one who is the source of the gossip. While people are spreading the gossip, the person who is effected by this is defending themselves for no reason. This is also a form of Bullying to me. Why on earth should someone feel they have to waste time out of their day to defend themselves just because people simply can’t mind their own business.

And please don’t get me wrong… we all gossip or at least some form of gossip. I talk too! Sometimes too much but, I never tell someone something about another person unless it is 100% true. I will not assume something about someone, my daughters taught me a saying ” assuming makes an ass out of you and me…ass u me” and I thought that was perfect.

I will give some examples from my own experiences,  My mother in law, sister in law and her three children came to live with us recently again. This is like the 5th time or so, and with all the negativity in the air from the past I knew this time it was not going to turn out well. They were given a time limit of when they needed to have a place of their own. Partly because that is what they gave me. As time went by they put forth no effort to find anything. And if I mentioned looking then my sister in law would get on our computer and look at houses way out of their means. So I decided that I would help and of course everything we came across had something wrong with it. And if there was nothing wrong with it then my Mother in law would come up with another reason why they can’t take the home. One reason, is my mother in law has been sending money to a man in Nigeria for the last 7 years. I will discuss that topic in another blog. However, the day we found something and was headed to the bank to get money for the deposit. My mother in law began to cry and pleading that she needed to send him the money now and that he would send even more back to her by noon. BS!! And because I did not let her do that, she then became very angry with me and started telling family members gossip about me and my family.

She told her mother that we forced her new place on her and she is not happy there, stole money from her and that we treated our dogs better than we treated them. So when her mother (grandma) called my husband to express how she felt without even getting his side of the story first. My husband instantly went into defense mode and felt he had to explain everything to her. She believed her daughter at first but after getting both sides of the story she understood the situation better. Why should my husband and I have to defend ourselves because someone is bitter and lives for drama. We shouldn’t have to and no one else should have to either. Another case after that was a few weeks later when I received a text message from my sister in law. Thanking me for calling CPS and how her kids think I am just the nicest aunt ever. She was being sarcastic, and that instantly boiled my temper. Because now not only is she assuming I called CPS, she now has her children involved and believing their aunt is the one who called.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away, Let it go! People that cause that type of gossip and negativity feed off the one who has to do all the defending. And there comes a point when you just have to walk away until the ones you love relies what they are doing is wrong and they need to grow up and learn how to carry on a conversation without emotionally or physically effecting anyone. Sometimes they learn and sometimes they don’t.

Another example of unnecessary gossip is right here in my own community. We have a Facebook page for the members of this housing area. I am a recent member and I’m already ready to pull my hair out. The reason I joined is because we were having a lot of break-ins in our area and I thought this would be a good way to find out when the neighborhood watch meetings are, HOA updates and so on. Well…so far it has been a giant white picket fence where they all gather to assume and bicker to one another. One of the issues that came up was the break-ins. The day it happened, they were posting that it was a white van and then all of a sudden the suspects changed vehicles and is now driving a green Camry. The green Camry got stopped by the police and it turned that it was a couple of teenagers that should have been in school but they were scared out of their wits. They had no idea that they were marked as the ones doing the break-ins.  They are also currently building more homes here and a lot of the comments was that the workers are the ones to blame. Because none of this started happening until they got here. Do these people not relies how ridiculous they sound? How would they feel if someone suspected them without proper-able cause? Okay and then just this past Saturday a lady posted ” not to be an alarmist….but a family just told me that there was a white van that offered to fix her daughters bike and the police are on their way to investigate. Keep your eyes out for a white van”. The next comment was a highly offended FBI agent, former military man in our neighborhood. He simply explained that he drives a white van and how would they feel if they were getting the stares and snarls every time they left their driveway. He explained that if you are going to accuse a certain type then you should get a license plate number or a better description of the vehicle. Instead of just “white van”. He also explained that we do not live in a worry free time and that our children of a certain age should not be outside alone or without the supervision of an adult.
We all have our own opinions about this I’m sure, However, I completely agree with Mr. FBI man. It’s also irritating to me that he had to go on this neighborhood media site and defend himself simply because people speak without gathering all the necessary information first. We all do it! we just need to remember that we need to think of how we are effecting the source of the topic before we open our mouths.

What do you think about negative gossip?

Mouse

 

For “better” or “worse”

 Better:  My family and I have come with an idea to help raise money for families that just need boost or a fresh start. There are so many Americans right here with us that need our help just as much as the ones overseas. I will keep every one updated when the event starts. We are super excited and we hope that a lot of families will benefit from this.

Worse: I am going to start taking a camcorder with me when I go through a drive thru. Good customer service is so hard to find these days. This keeps getting worse and worse. Poor attitudes, rude, lack of care for their jobs. It is truly sad to say that only 10% of the time when I go through a drive thru is the worker polite and courtious. It does not matter how nice you are, they just are not happy with their job and will take it out on you. How many times has this happened to you? How often do they get your order wrong? I recently ordered a large coffee at a McDonald’s and when the young lady handed me the cup through the drive thru it was only half full. When I said something to her, it was obvious that I was not supposed to do that and she serious said. “well I already made a pot of coffee and this is all that is left….do you want me to make another pot? you will have to park if so”. Yes! I want you to make another pot of coffee, I paid for a large and I don’t mind parking if it means my order will be right….Thanks

Whats your thoughts? If anyone has any for better or worse stories, please share. Maybe we can all learn something new today.