Online Dating-Beware

After the wonderful response to my post An obscure friendship-My experience I decided that I would like to share another bad experience I had with a person, this time an ex boyfriend. I assure you, my life hasn’t just been full of crappy relationships, I just think it’s interesting to discuss the bad ones.

Back in 2012, I was a little all over the place, having been recently divorced (read about that too if you like He’s left a mess behind: broken family) I wasn’t sure of what I wanted from a relationship, or even where I would find a decent one. I joined a dating website, I won’t name names but let’s just say it was ocean based 😉

I  chatted to a few different people online and eventually came across a guy called Oli, yes that is his real name, I have no issues naming him! He seemed really nice, good looking, he had a child, hard working (apparantly) and very easy to chat with. After talking for a while we decided to meet up for a walk and a chat at a local lake and parkland. He arrived and we sat chatting for hours, he told me all about how he used to own a multi million pound company but had ended up going backrupt. Now, why wouldn’t I buy this? If he were trying to impress me, he would have told me that he was rich not that he used to be rich. So i had no reason to doubt this story.

He told me that he had moved back to live with his parents and was in the process of brainstorming a new business plan as he wanted to get back into working and making money again as soon as he could. Great! A guy with ambition.

Let’s skip the boring bits and fast forward a little. Oli had begun to spend A LOT of time over at my place, so much so that he had even turned up with a suitcase and overnight bag full of ‘essentials.’ He put the suitcase under the bed and put me under strict instruction to not go in there, he was diabetic and claimed that it contained needles and he didn’t want me accidentally getting hurt. I took that.

He would often dissapear of an evening or leave the house to make phone calls and I did notice that despite telling me that he had a part time job tiding him over, I would be paying for a lot of things. Things would turn up at the house, that had been brought in my name, and I’m not talking a phone case from Amazon or a pair of jeans, I’m talking a cooker and a sofa! The first I heard about the sofa was when I received a phone call from the company asking when I wanted delivery. I was clueless, I hadn’t ordered a sofa. The week previous, Oli and I had been to look at a rental property which was much closer to my family and he was in the process of getting us in there, he told me that he had ordered the sofa as a surprise moving in gift. Thing was, whenever the estate agent would call him, there always seemed to be a reason he couldn’t talk. Odd! Anyway, Oli asked me to see if the company would deliver the sofa to the new house but they refused and said it had to be delivered to the address on the CREDIT APPLICATION, yes he had taken out credit in my name and I knew nothing about it.

Oli borrowed money from my friend, who at the time had no reason to believe that she would never see it again, it was only £200 but to a single mother, that was a lot of money and she lent it in good faith. Some time later, and still no new house, Oli told me that he had been offered some temporary construction work in Manchester. OK, brilliant. So off he went. He said that he would be up there for a few days to a week at a time over a period of six weeks. I was going to miss having him around but I knew that he needed to work so I waved him off and looked forward to his return.

I heard nothing off him for four days. Not a call, not a text, zilch. I was pretty worried about him if I am honest. On the fourth day, late in the evening, I received a call from him apologising that he hadn’t been in touch but that the workload was immense and the weather had been awful so he was soaked and exhausted when returning to his ‘hotel’ that he was bathing and falling straight to sleep. I accepted this but did tell him that he had worried me and I would like even just a text before bed to let me know he was OK.

Oli returned after about a week and he only stayed for one night before going back to Manchester. He seemed off, really off and my gut was telling me that there was something not right. So once he had left, my friend and I pulled the suitcase out from under the bed. Needles schmeedles! It was rammed, and I mean rammed with paperwork, letters from credit companies in the names of many different women, even his own mother. A diary containing admissions to having fraudulently taken over £18,000 from his parents. I was horrified! Who had I been living with? It went further, he had put some boxes in my shed and we went through those too. There were drawings and disturbing poetry and notes. None of which I could make much sense of other than he wasn’t right.

One of the women named on the many letters was somebody who I was quite easily able  to track down on Facebook, I had to let her know about all this finance that was in her name. She had no idea! She told me that she had had a brief relationship with Oli and he had acted strangely so she had paid a visit to his father, who explained that Oli suffered from bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication. OK, so that explains a little but it doesn’t explain or excuse the things he had been doing.

I tried to call him but got no reply so I sent him a text saying that I urgently needed to speak with him. He eventually got back to me and without me even being able to start telling him what I knew, he ended the relationship. Fine! Good riddance!

I demanded that he pay me back everything he owed and I reported to the police what had happened and what I had discovered. Turns out he was already wanted for the same crime reported by another woman! It get’s better! He actually had a girlfriend, who is now his wife, in Manchester and he was swanning off to do this to women all over the country, presumably telling her he was ‘working away’ I decided to get in touch with his partner to warn her what he was up to but I never did get a response, so either he told her I was some crazy woman or she was in on the whole thing.

In total Oli left me in around £5000 worth of debt, which I still receive letters about today despite having informed the companies of the situation. I even had a baliff turn up who I politely told that I had not taken out this money and I certainly wasn’t going to pay it back. I informed him about the police report, he noted it all and I never saw him again so that must have all come out in the wash.

Moral of the story? Be extremely careful who you get involved with, especially when meeting somebody online. I’m not saying that everyone is like that, the majority of people aren’t but they are out there and sadly it’s up to us to pick out the lunatics and scammers.

Some years later the police turned up on my door asking if I had any weights that were left by Oli, he had been arrested for some kind of fraud against Argos and gained these weights in the process and had claimed they were housed at mine. Nope. Never seen them, I asked the police for an update but never got one. I still don’t know what happened to him or where he went. Whether he went to prison, or if he is still with his wife. And in all honesty, I don’t want to know, I just hope he gets what’s coming to him.

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