Lessons for online dating

Bevan Hurley at HoS reports:

A lonely Kiwi widower who was scammed out of $1 million by an Australian online service is living a retirement in virtual poverty.

Retired Taranaki Regional Council finance manager Alan Young had just lost his wife of 29 years to cancer when he answered an advertisement in a Taranaki newspaper for introductions service True Love Corps.

It cost Young his $500,000 house and life savings after he fell for a con artist he thought was his fiancee.

He now lives a “limited” life on a modest pension in a small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. He retired with no savings.

Australian courts ordered the dating company directors to repay money, but they are bankrupt and Young may never see the cash.

“It’s changed our whole lives,” said Young’s daughter Jo. “All of his shares and his life savings and house (are gone) and he came to live with me.

“My mum had cancer. She had just died and they took someone who was really vulnerable.”

The con artists are despicable scum. The should go to jail.

But also vulnerability and love, are not reasons to avoid common sense.

Court papers show Young signed up in 2006 and spent $10,000 upgrading his status with the service.

First warning sign. No dating service should cost that much.

She used family illness or disputes as excuses for not meeting him in Melbourne

Be sceptical if they proven difficult to meet in person.

but she accepted his marriage proposal in January 2007.

Don’t propose marriage to someone you have not met.

In 2007, he spent more than $400,000 providing “assistance” to Jovic, including borrowing $120,000 from his mother, who died the same year.

Never ever ever start providing money to people you have never met, unless it is trivial amounts. This one is the big neon flashing warning.

When Young flew to the Gold Coast, he found Jovic’s appearance and personality were different. She said it was due to the stress of a family dispute.

I’m staggered at this point, bells do not ring. Warning Sign 5.

In 2008, Jovic met Young in New Zealand but insisted on separate bedrooms as she had “promised my dear departed mother that I would not have sex until I married you”.

Warning Sign 6. No putting out.

They were to marry in 2008 in Brisbane but when he got there, he was told she had gone to Melbourne to see her lawyer.

Young flew to Melbourne where he got another phone call from Jovic, telling him she was flying to the United States where her daughter had been in a car accident.

Warning Sign 2 repeats itself.

Young contacted True Love Corp and recognised the woman who answered the phone as Angie Jovic, though the person identified herself as Hollie Veall, a director of True Love Corps.

Thankfully, he finally wised up. He is the victim and they are scum. However common sense should have warned him earlier. This does not like like a very sophisticated sting.

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