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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  129 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 20, 2019

I lost a very good friend to a Russian bride mill, back in the late 1990's.

He was a programmer at Apple, and targeted for all the earliest web scams. Lonely, divorced, British, and a workaholic, he had no game at all.

So when a pretty Russian girl began chatting him up online, he fell head over heels.

Then came the medical issues that prevented her from flying. Once she got those sorted out, then she'd be able to come visit him in Silicon Valley and they could consummate their virtual love.

The complications from the surgery weren't bad, but she didn't have the money to deal with it properly... you know how it is in Russia, everybody wants their under-the-table bribe to make sure you get the right meds, or the room with a window, or the right doctor...

But she recovered quickly, thankfully. She was ready to travel, once she got her passport and visa situation taken care of.

Which ... wow ... these cost a lot of money! I had no idea!

And the wait list is soooo long! It'll be MONTHS before I get my visa...

Fortunately, my cousin works at the passport office, and can bribe the right person to get mine to the top of the pile... buuuut... I haven't been working, due to a little relapse that has me in bed again. Sooooo....

This went on and on for 2 years, or so. They planned the wedding and everything.

My last message to him - before I was blocked - was something along the lines of, "So, have you seen her in person yet?"

He never told me the exact numbers, but I think he was in for around $100k.

I suspect he is still single today.

kleinbl00  ·  129 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've had a few friends catfished. One it was pretty obvious. He was stoked for us to meet her (he hadn't) and she was flying out. I cleared my schedule. About 3pm he called me in tears because she had to cancel. Me and my then-girlfriend came up to basically peel him off the walls for about eight hours.

I walked him slowly through all the warning signs that he'd been completely catfished. It was a good three, four-hour conversation. We left in the morning and he was in a better place. The next time I saw him he revealed all the stuff he'd dug up on her about her insane catfishing and evidence that he was hardly the first. He had a good laugh.

About four months later he said "You know, I've been meaning to ask but why, if you knew all along she wasn't real, you waited until I was in a crisis to tell me?"

I said "because once you've decided you're in love with someone the only thing you'll listen to is people telling you why you should be. It isn't until you're questioning that love that your friends can say anything. Otherwise we just have to sit by and hope it doesn't hurt too badly because otherwise we'll lose you as a friend."

He nodded thoughtfully. And still didn't ever let me in that closely ever again.