Quitting dating apps after being threatened for calling a scammer out: ‘It is just plain scary’ #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams

Online dating can be dangerous.

Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

  • A reader, Aletta Majola* details her unpleasant online dating experience.
  • She thought she had met a decent man online but soon discovered he was a scammer.
  • Luckily, her guard was always up, and her gut gave her signals to tread carefully.
  • Even though she ‘dealt’ with the scammer, she says she wants nothing to do with dating.

The excitement of matching with someone on a dating app should not blind you. The reality for many people who meet potential partners online is they come across dubious people. 

But for Aletta Majola*, as soon as she realised that she was being lied to, she played it cool and ‘dealt’ with the scammer. 

She counts herself lucky because she did not fall for it. Many people are in debt and not able to recover financially or mentally. Even though she survived this, she says, ” I’m done with this online dating nonsense and decided never to date again. It’s just plain scary.”

Sharing her story with us, Aletta says she decided to try online dating a few months ago. 

“I thought it was mature people and safe. Oh, how wrong was I,” she says. 

READ MORE | I tried all 3 major dating apps so you don’t have to. Here’s what I loved and hated about each

After meeting her match, they started chatting and soon exchanged numbers. The chats became frequent on WhatsApp, and she asked about video calling him. 

The potential suitor said he was from Sweden.

“At first, he had a story about not being able to use WhatsApp video calling and said he uses another app. 

“I downloaded the app, and sure enough, he called. I was at ease because the guy in the profile pic and the guy I saw on the video were the same person,” Aletta says.

READ MORE | ‘My boyfriend of 2 months scammed me off R600 000, told me to pawn my car and faked a hijacking’

She admits she generally has trust issues, so she moved cautiously.

The everyday chats intensified, and he decided that he was going to come to South Africa to meet her. “All plans were going smooth,” Aletta says. 

But before “boarding” a plane in September, he sent a message and called when he “arrived” in Johannesburg. 

READ MORE | ‘My dating app scammer wanted me to perform a ritual but I saw through the act and escaped’

“He actually sounded excited. A few minutes later, some lady from the airport called and told me this guy was detained because a huge amount of cash was confiscated from him. She said if the cash is converted to our currency, it’s over R4 million in cash he had on him. 

“So, long story short, she said the only way he could be helped is if I transferred R10 500 for a clearance certificate, then we (the guy and myself) could decide if we would transfer the R4.8 million in my account or open a new one.”

READ MORE | ‘At your age you can’t be fussy’: Should you settle when you’re dating after 40?

Aletta knew that it was a scam but played along.

“I called the airport and the hotel he said he booked. Both the hotel nor the airport had him on their systems. I called and then confronted him. He cooked up some lame stories and flipped on me.

“The last words that got stuck in my head was him threatening me and saying, “/w24/you”re going to be sorry for doing this’.” 

Not her real name*

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