I was hunted down by a serial scamster

2011-06-04 00:00

AND there I was, daydreaming (okay, it was a slow just-before-knocking-off time of day) last Friday, thinking of what I could get up to over the weekend, when suddenly the orange Skype window started blinking at me ...

It was 2.37 pm, and the contact was from Lieutenant-General Robert V. Antwerp asking me if I could chat. I was mightily impressed, I tell you, and I responded in the positive.

I asked how he got my Skype address. His reply was: “Well I was searching (can you search for that someone special on Skype? I don’t think so) for someone very honest, trustworthy to be trusted. There I saw your profile and found you, so I was interested and I decided to contact you.”

I asked him to tell me about himself and exactly where he was: “Well I am Lieutenant-General Robert V. Antwerp in the U.S. Army working here in Afghanistan on a peacekeeping mission.”

I asked him how stressful it was and how long he had been there and how much longer he expected to be there, thinking that this could be a scoop for The Witness, or Weekend Witness.

“Oh yes, it is very stressful here, my dear. I have been here for three years already and I don’t actually know when I will leave.”

I asked him if his current position is his permanent one and he said that it would be until he retired and then he is looking forward to owning an investment company.

He then said that I look “so beautiful.” [from my work pic on Skype in which I look dreadful]. I replied: “Oh, come on, you don’t even know me ... get serious.”

“Alright, madam,” replied he.

I then suggested that he e-mail me and give me some more information about his life, again thinking about a story for The Witness.

“As I said, I am currently in Afghanistan in the WAR ZONE.” He capitalised the last two words. “And the time here is 17.37 pm.” (The time that this came through was 3.08 pm.)

I told him that I had to go as it was knocking off time on a Friday afternoon and that I didn’t have a computer at home.

“OMG, Lynnette, I advise you to get a laptop please as we need to be chatting daily. I need you to always be there for me, okay?”

I suggested that he e-mail me instead as I could answer when I had the time and not have the Skype alert window in my face all the time.

He gave me his e-mail address and I e-mailed him to let him know that we were in touch. Stupid me.

I told him that he should contact me in three days’ time (Monday) and we could chat some more. Stupid me, because bright and early on Monday morning he was e-mailing me again, telling me how much he loved and needed me and calling me love and sweetie (vomit, vomit) and this time he sent photos.

I must have had a great weekend, because he nearly got me hook, line and heavy sinker.

The pics were of a nice-looking guy and I told him that he wasn’t bad- looking, but asked about his spelling in his messages as he couldn’t spell to save Afghanistan, yet alone Osama Bin Laden’s widows.

I told him that surely being a lieutenant-general qualified him to be somewhat intelligent and knowledgeable and able to spell.

Needless to say he didn’t reply to that question, to others, oh yes.

I mentioned the story to my daughter, who was horrified. She immediate pulled an Inspector Clouseau stunt on the guy and, bingo! she came up with the works.

Lieutenant Robert V. Antwerp is a fraud who has tried to con 419 — and counting — women.

He didn’t ask me for money, but the figure of $3 200 came up and how his ex-wife had treated him. I told him that this wasn’t the platform to talk about his spouse, which brought an abrupt end to that part of the chat.

One thing that should have alerted me to his scamming, flirtatious ways was his answer when I asked his nationality. He said that he was from, wait for it,“Kentukey, United States”. Stupid me times two.

P.S. My daughter also came up with the U.S. army e-mail address and all the fraud, hoax report contacts you can think of.

She contacted them with his details and urged me to do the same, which I did. I have since got a reply from the U.S. Army from a John MacEvoy, who thanked me and said he would follow the story up.

So beware ladies, the lieutenant-general is neither an officer nor a gentleman. Google him at http://419.bittenus.com/11/3/robertvanantwerp.html and see for yourself.

And there I was, thinking that I could retire in the shade of a palm tree next to an oasis in a luxuriously furnished tent in the desert (but only for a short while, you understand), with a high-ranking officer in the American army ... maybe even next door to that three-storey house with four-metre high precast walls and only the sounds of goats and sheep to interrupt my daily routine of watching TV.

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