Ben Oostdam story # 315
INTERNET ROMANCEfrom ParetoLogic Newsletter
and Associated Press, Aug 13, 2007
(which happens to be my birthday date!)
Online romances may offer danger rather than love.
Some people, trying to find their soul mate on the Internet, have discovered machetes, fraud and sexual predators instead of romance.
A number of incidents over the past few months demonstrate caution is necessary when looking for love online.
In July, a 56-year-old Australian man was excited to visit Mali, a West African nation, to finally meet in person the love of his life who he met online.
Instead of being greeted by his bride-to-be and her promised gold bar dowry worth $85,000, he was met by a gang of armed bandits, according to an Aug. 13, 2007 Associated Press story.
They held Des Gregor, a wheat and sheep farmer, hostage for 12 days.
The thieves stole the cash and credit cards he had on him and asked for $85,000, threatening to cut off his limbs with a machete if he did not pay up.
Australian and Mali police teamed up to thwart the kidnappers by catching them at the Canadian Embassy when they went to collect their ransom.