Modern technology has made it easy to manage everything from paying bills to scheduling doctor’s appointments with a swipe on your smartphone. But there are some things that demand a more personal touch. A Houston man found out the hard way that his quest for love via the world wide web was nothing but a scam—and it cost him almost $80,000.
Personal trainer, bodybuilder, and massage therapist Greg Davis is a busy, hard-working single guy who signed up on Match.com to meet women. That’s how he met “Malikah” who claimed to live in Chicago. Her suggestive photos and exotic looks immediately caught his attention. The two starting chatting online and then via emails and phone calls. “She pursued me, too, so I was like, ‘This is it,'” Greg told KHOU. “‘This is how it works.'”
What happened next sounds like an overseas email scam that most of us would just delete from our spam folders. After enticing him with sexy visuals and some apparently “convincing” conversation, “Malikah” told Greg that her father died and willed to her a multi-million dollar inheritance. She asked for his help in paying fines and storage fees on these piles of cash supposedly being held overseas.
Now Greg didn’t confirm any of this woman’s story but proceeded to send her huge sums of money in “increments of $5,000, $10,000” at a time. What’s even more curious is that the he kept going in his bag for TWO YEARS without ever meeting the mysterious “Malikah” in person. He hadn’t even tried to confirm her identity. As a result, Greg spent his retirement and took on a ton of debt to do as the con artist asked.
Before you start judging, know that Greg is kicking himself for not being more diligent. He has to laugh just to keep from crying. “I feel kind of stupid,” Greg said. Sadly, thousands of people get scammed for millions of dollars every year. In 2016, Texans were taken for over $16 million. Across the U.S., these scams total a whopping $230 million, so Greg is not alone.
So, what’s Greg’s advice to anybody who decides to give online dating a shot? “Make sure you’re actually face-to-face with the person you’re supposed to be dealing with because the internet dating thing? You don’t know what you’re getting,” he said.