"You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.
The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...
I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far.
"It is kind of a strange way to meet people," she wrote, "but it's not as cold as hanging around the produce department at the Kroger's." She also mentioned the deception she'd already encountered on previous dates — "lots of false advertising or 'bait and switch' folks," she wrote.
"It is amazing what people will do without conscience.
While the victim may become suspicious overtime, the scammer lures them in with pictures, hardships, promises, excitement, and claims of love.
I receive a TON of e-mails per year from victims asking for help (because they knew I always wanted to be a spy).
Unfortunately, by the time the money leaves their hands, it is gone forever. The scammers use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, and therefore, their true identity cannot be discovered.
Later, when she puzzled over their relationship, she'd remember this. That had been a fateful move; it made everything easier for him. After the funeral, a grief counselor told her to make no sudden changes in her life for at least a year, and she followed that advice.
Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s. His cancer took him swiftly, before she had time to process what was happening.