Commentators warned the woman not to send money to her boyfriend, who asked to borrow $ 5,000 after his child – whom she had never met – injured.
The original poster (OP), known as u / Throwra4977575, posted information on the situation on the popular Reddit forum “Am I The A ** hole”, where it received over 6,000 votes in favor and 2,600 comments. The post can be found here.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), victims of dating scams have lost more than $ 1.3 billion in the last five years, with a median individual loss of $ 2,400 in 2021.
Romance scams increased in 2021 and the number of reports increased by 80 percent compared to 2020. Romance scams also lose more money from victims than any other type of scam the FTC tracks.
The FTC warns that fraudsters often try to shift the blame onto other people by using them to transfer funds, such as losing a job or getting a family member ill.
The FBI recommends the following tips to avoid online dating fraud:
- Be careful what you post on the internet.
- Be wary of any attempt by the person to obtain inappropriate pictures or financial information that could later be used for a phishing scam.
- Be careful if the person promises to meet in person but never does by making an excuse.
- Ask lots of questions and don’t get into a relationship quickly.
- Check any photos or information posted by that person to make sure they have not been used elsewhere.
- Never send money to anyone you’ve never met in person.
In a post titled “AITA for refusing to pay for surgery on my boyfriend’s son?” The 32-year-old woman explained that she had met her 36-year-old boyfriend three months earlier at the airport.
Her boyfriend is single and has 6- and 12-year-old sons whom she has not met yet, although he showed her photos.
“He says it’s early for his children to meet me. It’s for their mental health and I respect it, ”we read in the post. “Every weekend I send them (somewhat expensive) gifts, and my boyfriend assured me that he would finally tell them where the gifts came from.”
The OP said her boyfriend hadn’t spoken to her for a whole week before informing her that his son was in the hospital. She said she felt bad and offered to visit, but her boyfriend said “there is no need” and “suggested” that he would send gifts instead to cheer him up.
“He later called me saying he was busy all day trying to come up with money to pay for his son’s surgery,” the post reads. “We chatted a little and then he asked if I could lend him $ 5,000 to pay for the operation.”
The OP said she was “surprised” and that her boyfriend said he felt “heavy” asking her to do so, but no one else “wanted to help.”
She explained that she was uncomfortable giving him $ 5,000 upfront as she was working hard to save money.
“He said it’s okay if I don’t feel comfortable,” the post said. “But then he started talking about it, saying that he badly needs help and that the operation must be next week under the doctor’s recommendation.”
“He got angry”
The OP said she felt pressured, but her boyfriend “promised” that he could see his children after the operation.
“In the end, I refused, and he got angry with me and continued on how cruel I was and how little I care about his children and him,” we read in the post. “But I swear it isn’t, but he hung up, saying he needed some fresh air.”
He then sent an image of the child’s arm with an attached drip to the OP, claiming it was his son. She said she cried and called him when she saw it, but got no answer.
“I still refuse to pay, but my friend says I should do it and make some sort of deal to get me my money back,” the post said. “AITA for not wanting to pay?”
In an OP update, she said she was thinking of an unexpected visit to the hospital to see if her boyfriend’s story was true.
The post commented on over 2,600 users, and many warned the woman not to send money in case she was scammed.
“NTA, but baby … it’s screaming SCAM,” one user commented. “I’m all happy for the doubts, but 3 months does not guarantee costly gifts for babies I haven’t met, or $ 5,000 for surgery on one of these babies.”
“You met this man three months ago. Honestly… it looks like you’ve been ripped off, ”commented another user. “Don’t pay. Did he say? [sic] what exactly is the health problem and what is the procedure? “
“NTA, but I really hope it’s fake and you’re not that naive. This is a huge scam, ”commented another. “He is not your boyfriend and he has no children. You have been persuaded to give this man gifts every weekend as a kind of test to see how gullible you are. You proved it, so now he’s skipping gifts and aiming for real cash. Block this man and learn from it. “
“Children can be real, and scammers can have children, too, but surgery is definitely not. He is betrayed by the false urgency of the matter, ”said one commentator.
“NTA. Run away. It’s a scam. You’ve never met children. You have no proof that they exist, ”commented another. “He sent you a picture of a hand with an IV drip, which could be anyone’s. After you refused, he began to emotionally blackmail you. You also send gifts to these kids every week? This whole post is one red flag after another. “
“DO NOT PAY. You will never get your money back, ”commented another user. “You’ve been dating for 3 months, you send” fairly expensive “gifts to children you have never met, and now he raises you for $ 5,000? There are red flags everywhere. pictures?
Newsweek contacted zu / Throwra4977575 for comment.
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