Reader spots Red Flags of Love Fraud in a woman he meets on a dating site

Glamour womanLovefraud received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Evan.”

I’m coming to Lovefraud again because I’m pretty sure I have just met another sociopath through a religious online dating website. She seems too good to be true, so I think she is … I’m just wondering what the best way to end the very short relationship would be.

Red Flag Reminders:

  1. Charisma and Charm
  2. Sudden Soulmates
  3. Sexual magnetism
  4. Love bombing
  5. Blames others for everything
  6. Lies and gaps in the story
  7. Intense eye contact
  8. Moves fast to hook up
  9. Pity play
  10. Jekyll and Hyde personality


– I contacted her via the dating website on Monday (4 days ago she already wants to meet and has told me what feels like too many times with too much enthusiasm that she really likes me)

This is either an example of Red Flag #8 (but wouldn’t necessarily be noticed on the first or second day) or just a woman who is really interested, and doesn’t want to lose a good prospect.

– She wrote back immediately. Not necessarily a Red Flag, but a little unusual for someone on a dating website to write back within minutes.

– We exchanged a few emails on the website and she asked if we could text. Also, not necessarily a Red Flag, as dating website communications structures are clunky to use for communication. Text seems less intrusive and “safer” than a phone call, so not really a Red Flag.)

– She sent numerous texts the same day/afternoon saying she was thinking of me, was so lucky to have met me etc. Not necessarily a Red Flag, since I’m not such a bad catch, but when coupled with the previous facts, starts to point towards Red Flags 2, 4, and 8. Not quite love bombing at this point, but at the same time the frequency is higher than normal and my 6th sense is starting to suspect something is amiss.

– She called later that evening even though I’d asked not to talk on the phone for a few days because I have bronchitis and can’t speak very well yet. Again, taken by itself doesn’t seem terribly unusual, and could just be a sign of an assertive person trying to show the other person she is interested. On the other hand, it ignored my request not to talk until my voice was recovered. Pushy at best, starting to raise Red Flags 2, 4, and 8.

– She asked me to send a recent photo, which I did. Also not unusual, but in conjunction with the other items is building a case that this might be a predator.

– Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning she sent “Good Morning” text messages, today’s included “Good morning gorgeous” and a mid-afternoon text of “Hugs, thinking of you”. The messages were sent at a very early time for me (5:45 am). Again, I can’t quite put my finger on it and say that this is a bad thing ”¦ who wouldn’t want such great messages in the morning? But the frequency of contact is now definitely feeling like Red Flag #4 Love Bombing. Because of a similar experience a few years ago with another sociopath, I realized at this point that I couldn’t really risk getting entangled with another sociopath, and even if this person wasn’t a predator, it was probably in my best interests to end the relationship as soon as possible.

– She called just before noon Wednesday, a couple of times Wednesday afternoon and three times on Thursday morning and afternoon. I didn’t answer the phone calls on Thursday. She sent texts saying she “butt-dialed” accidentally. This is an example of Red Flag #4 Love Bombing. Although it is possible that she did actually dial me accidentally, several times, two days in a row, I’m sure if I had answered the phone she would have struck up a conversation that would have taken a few hours to finish.

– Wednesday night (day 3 of knowing her) she asked what I thought about meeting in person: She lives in Omaha (supposedly) and I live in Colorado. There was almost an implication that she wanted to meet over the long 4th of July weekend. I paused for a moment, remembering that accelerated relationships are a trademark of the sociopath, and then she asked if she had scared me with that question. I said “No, but usually women don’t want to meet so quickly.” I think she thought she’d given herself away, so she backed up and said she’d like to meet at least within a month. A month also seems unusually soon to ask to meet, especially for the woman to initiate the request. Once again, there’s nothing that clearly identifies this as sociopathic or predatory behavior. It could be a person who just doesn’t want to waste time. I personally like to meet a new love interest as soon as possible to keep from wasting time with a person who isn’t going to be a match. On the other hand, combined with the recent Love Bombing and Sudden Soul mates (implied in conversations each day), it seems like Red Flag #8

Other Possible Red Flags

More observations from conversations over the last 4 days:

– She claims to be divorced from a wealthy ex-husband who was a sociopath with narcissistic personality disorder who was the son of a billionaire (car dealership owner). She demanded a divorce after 2 years of marriage and walked away from the relationship without asking for any money. This is interesting because the sociopath I was previously in a relationship with had a very similar story. While it’s certainly not uncommon for people to have been previously married and divorced, or even just in dating relationships it’s not that common for them to describe their exes so specifically sociopaths with narcissistic personality disorder. This could just have been a coincidence, could have been because I mentioned having previously been in a relationship with a sociopath with NPD, or it could have been her projecting her own issues onto her ex-husband, if he exists.This is Red Flag #5 Blames Others for Everything.

– Claims to have dated another man in Arizona who was also very wealthy but was also a sociopath. Same as above.

– The wealthy men she’d been in relationships with allowed her to enjoy an extremely lavish lifestyle including boats, and Lear jets. While certainly possible, it seems unlikely that I would run into two women who had previously been married to billionaires. This story is plausible but unlikely. Based on my previous experience and building anxiety, I would characterize this as Red Flag #6 Lies and Gaps in the Story.

– She mentioned on two occasions (that didn’t require it) how smart she was, specifically with an IQ of 156. Another interesting coincidence that my previous sociopath mentioned almost the exact same thing, that she was very intelligent and had an IQ in the 150s. Again, plausible but unlikely. Red Flag #6.

– Keeps saying (at least 4 times) that she had a 4.0 GPA from an accelerated program at a small college in Louisville. Same as above.

– Claims to have been through two life-threatening diseases and survived thanks to an experimental drug. So impressed by and thankful for the drug that she now works as a pharmaceutical rep for the company that sells it. Plausible but unlikely, Red Flag #6. Also, although she has recovered and is very optimistically (hopes to have $1M in commissions by this time next year) building a business as a pharmaceutical sales rep, and seems to be a very stong, intelligent, and independent woman this is also an example of Red Flag #9 Pity Play, subtly providing a reason to feel sorry for her, but also to respect her for her courage in facing death and surviving.

– She said that she had various jobs … model, pharmaceutical rep in Florida (where her work and clients were stolen by someone else), and actor. Again strange parallels between this person and the previous sociopath who claimed to have been a model. These jobs are all plausible, but they’re also unlikely, and when combined with the way they ended, always someone else’s fault. These are examples of Red Flags #5 and 6 Blaming others for everything and lies and gaps in the story.

– We spoke by phone Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings for a several hours each night. Again, not necessarily unusual when first meeting a new love interest. The conversations were pleasant and interesting, during which her charm and charisma showed very well. However, the content of the conversations (partially described above), as well as the frequency and length indicated additional red flags. Red Flags #1 Charm and Charisma, #4 Love Bombing, and #5 and #6 for conversation content. By the end of the second day, I began to feel like she was trying to tie up my time and begin isolating me.

On Thursday I emailed Donna to get a second opinion.

Virtues are targeted

One of the “problems” for people who are in early stages of new relationships is that they are usually good people who look for the best in others and assume others are just like them. Most people are, but when a new person in your life seems to be “perfect” or “too good to be true” there’s a strong chance they can be.

I met this person on a religious dating website where she wrote very specific items on her profile. Those items are exactly the kind of person who would be a “perfect” victim for the sociopath. The very virtues and strengths of character that most people would admire and desire in a partner, are specifically targeted by sociopaths because they lend themselves to exploitation while believing they are doing “the right thing.”

Although I would really like for her to be the “real thing,” my past experience and this gut feeling of anxiety tells me that she is not, and could put my future in jeopardy. There was a temptation to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I reminded myself of what happened the last time I did that. So at the risk of feeling paranoid and the chance that I would lose what could be a really great partner, I had to take action.

On Thursday, another day of love bombing. My anxiety was still building, even after refreshing my memory on the Ten Red Flags (by quickly reading Donna’s e-book). In the early evening, I replied to her latest text by telling her that “I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about the relationship and that the message I received was ”˜too much, too fast’ and that I needed to work on myself some more. I can’t in good conscience continue this relationship. Good luck with your search.”

This generated two additional texts from her, including the final one that said “Wow. God must have someone really wonderful and fabulous in mind for me. Thanks for eliminating yourself so quickly. Next! Lol.”

If I still had any doubts, the last text laid them to rest since it also exhibited a last chance love bomb and also a shallowness of emotion which, while not one of the Love fraud Ten Red Flags, is also a behavioral characteristic of a sociopath.

Thanks Donna for your book, website, and helpfulness!


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37 Comments on "Reader spots Red Flags of Love Fraud in a woman he meets on a dating site"

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I am a woman in her mid-fifties. I was well into middle age (mid-forties) when I discovered the world of internet forums. I enjoyed the attention I received on these forums, as I was single and lonely. I received a lot of attention from the guys, and one turned out to be a sociopath (long story). But would you believe I was even targeted by a 19 year-old girl? She posted on the reptile forum that she had won a free cruise by selling the most cars that month at the dealership and who would like to go with her? I replied, half jokingly, that I would. I’m always up for adventure, so I gave her my instant message address. What happened next was something that I have never seen before. She started sending me pics of her naked butt. She told me that she sensed my energy from my posts on the forum and that I was an incredible person with great energy. She said she didn’t care about my age or gender, only my energy. (Who doesn’t like being told these things, right?) She tried to convince me not to put up barriers and boundaries and accused me of being too scared or mistrustful to love. I have to say she was SO convincing that I DID find myself asking myself “why not?” a few times. Finally, I came to my senses and realized that I was not attracted to nor interested in a 19 year old girl! But it is amazing how convincing these sociopathic types can be!!!

She left the forum shortly after my “rejection” and never came back. This was 8 years ago. I’ve watched a few sociopaths come and go on that forum. One of them I dated for 3 months, and he was the reason I came to this site. They are all gone from the forum – perhaps in prison or conning someone else. I’m still on the forum, happily posting pictures and stories of my pet boa, which is really the most sane use for the forum.

I highly doubt that person behind the persona was either 19 or female. Many real males pretend to be that age and use pics they find online to deceive others. I’m sure “she” returned to that site – as another name, or always had two or more names on it. That’s another tactic the manipulators use. I’ve seen this often over 15 years.

Wow, that never occurred to me, MissFortune. But why would “he” pose as a girl if he wanted to get my attention? Anyway, nothing surprises me about these types. I have not seen anyone with a similar personality on this particular site since “she” left – or whoever it was. But I’m sure she/he is on other sites trying to get attention. Not really sure what she wanted from me. It was very clear from my posts that I was not rich.

You gave him attention, so it worked ,didn’t it?

Men always assume that everyone wants a fresh, eager, assertive 19yo female. I see it on every game and chat I do, its the most common “persona” on the internet. I’ve even seen some RL boys (they admitted it) make a fake facebook page or other online profile with the “girl’s name” and a few pics (one used a porn star, some use their sister) and guys fell for it, and would cybersex and share rl details with these imposters. Many of these victims are now bitter and mistrusting (if they found out the ruse).

The difficulty once you’ve experienced a sociopath is collecting red flags from every person you meet afterwards.

I now find myself categorising people in every day life as being sociopathic. Some I’m sure I’m right. Others I dismiss as only having some sociopathic traits. And let’s face it, we’ve probably all got one or two.

My female sociopath ex has developed a pattern. She manages about two years with each man. Then it all falls apart for some reason.

Reminds me of those messages at post offices here in the UK. You reach the front of the queue then you’re called forward. In her case the smiley chatty voice says “Victim number seven please”

I also went through a period where I was thinking of everyone in terms of spath or not. After awhile it abated somewhat. I try to focus on protecting myself and on how interactions with and relationships with others affect me, rather than diagnosing everyone in the world. I also try to focus on the big picture of the results of someone’s life to discern who they really are, rather than smaller snippets of behavior. There’s no substitute nor short cut in getting to know what someone is like. It’s best to observe them in a variety of situations with a variety of people, in groups of family and friends. Dating one on one does not do that very well.
The list of signs are accurate clues, but it’s also important to look at whether they are successful in their careers, their close long time friends, living situation, etc.
I also focus on how someone makes me feel. Overlooking how often my ex psychopath made me feel bad in various ways, was probably the biggest red flag I ignored. I thought it was due to my state of mind, which was not accurate.

I went thru that phase too, Everything you say is true, I had no real role models growing up, so I made every bad decision a person could make, I was just looking for someone to love me, NOW I LUV MYSELF, I am in therapy, on medication and doing much better! Thanks to this site too!!! Hang in there everyone it does get better!!

Please don’t use any one or two or maybe three on that ‘list’ as bad signs. I used to be so shy about eye contact that my ex husband used to complain about it to me. But also that I couldn’t hear him with by back to him. When I had lost yet more hearing I know I do #7. There has to be some expression and lip reading involved or I have no idea what is being said. So I stare. (Check off the ‘blames others’ , too, since I tell the truth when people ask me why I started losing my hearing in childhood. …my mother had ins. yet didn’t consider my ear infections important enough to take me to a doctor.)

But that all being said….the net dating sites may have two decent men PER site. Take no one seriously on those. It is a scary world.

If your still having issues healing from your spath experience, I would wait till you get your head and heart in order, hopefully by counseling, its been at least 5 years and I still have no desire, I went thru that everyone is a psychopath stage too, Seems like there are more disordered people than sane normal ones….

Although my brief story is not about dating, it’s about women friendships (I’m a woman). When someone comes on too strong, flattering me a lot, admiring me, complimenting my talents (I’m an artist and musician), and claiming to have things in common with me but not following through on her own seeming interests, this has been a red flag I sometimes don’t recognize because it creeps up on me. One woman with whom I’d been friends for three years started out being a fine friend. We’d go places together, have lunch…stuff like that. Then she started edging up and dominating a lot more of my time than I wanted to spend with her. She began emailing several times a day, and phoning quite a bit. She has a psychiatric diagnosis,which doesn’t bother me if the person is balanced and in treatment. She is in treatment, but became very negative, alternating between praise and criticisms of just about everyone, including her therapist and psychiatrist, but not against me. I usually catch on to this sort of thing, and figure that “I’m next.” But this time it was to slow in coming. I began to advise her that we all net a support network, and urged her to find people to be in it, including friends, not just professionals. She found two support groups, which she didn’t like. Finally, I emailed her and explained that we needed to take turns calling/emailing each other. She wrote a nice email back, saying “I completely understand” and that was fine with her. However, the next time we got together for lunch at the senior center, she LIT INTO ME, screaming at me, saying “I will never, ever, call you or email you again!!” So I got up and said, “Bye, [her name]” and walked away. She followed me, saying “You are honest with me, and now I will be honest with YOU!!! You deserve to hear what I have to say!!” Of course, I did not argue with her, nor did I respond again. It never pays to argue with a raging person. As a friend of mine later said, “People like that are not in touch with reality.”

After what I saw with the psychopath who targeted me, I would advise anyone who is seriously interested in finding a nice person for a partner, to stay away from dating sites, especially Christian ones.

The psycho who targeted me LOVED Christian dating sites. He was on them ALL! I suspect he still is.

The disordered guy also masquerades as a female, as many perverted sexual predators do.

The disordered one fit all the red flags to a T, but I wasn’t able to figure it all out until I studied and the related information so thoroughly that it was impossible to mistake.

The disordered one went on to do an extensive smear campaign on me because of all the dirty laundry I discovered about him (bragging about his criminal behavior and events), and I suffered huge financial and social losses that I am still recovering from three years later.

The whole experience gave me a purpose to expose these predators and support their targets in our mutual recovery.

Stay strong, everyone!

Here’s a quick litmus test that became obvious to me after having been horribly attacked, surreptitiously by the very clever kook: If you are questioning either them or yourself…something’s not right.

If something’s not right (your “gut feeling”), trust it.

Apparently, research bears out (I forget the exact citation)that our innermost feeling about someone tends towards being accurate insofar as being aware of their hidden motives and agendas.

If someone has to demand that you “trust them!!” because you are questioning their behavior, that’s a huge red flag.

For those of you who are feeling lonely and are looking for someone nice, just hang on… Wait. Steer clear of desperation of any stripe. Love will find you. Be patient.

BTW, I’m with a really wonderful man now and it really does make all the difference in the world!

Wait! It’s worth it!!

Glad you’re doing well now. Thanks for sharing some good info.

I am curious why a male masquerades as a female on a dating site? Who is he targeting and for what? What’s his game?

to get any info they can, in any way shape or form!

Hinahina… very good advice!! Especially when it comes to trusting your own intuition. I didn’t even acknowledge that my gut was trying to tell me to run until I was too far in.

I have gone back on the dating sites recently to see what I think of the men and what they’re saying. It’s so incredible how I see them now! They all talk about what a nice “sane” guy they are. You are right that dating sites are full of these predators and should be avoided!

Happy for you that you’re doing as well as you are. It’s got to feel good. I know it’s a process, but I wish I could snap my fingers and be there too. I appreciate you sharing… it helps to see that getting past this is possible.


I didn’t meet my ex on a dating site. But he was certainly on enough of them throughout our 10 year relationship. He forgot to sign out of his hotmail while using my laptop and when I went to go into my hotmail, his came up. I closed it and tried again, again his came up. I tried again, same thing so I thought, “Hold it, maybe God wants me to see something” so I looked at his inbox, and right there was “your most recent matches” from POF. I thought, it must be spam but then decided to look. it let me in, no password needed and sure enough he had at least 8 women on his favorites list and numerous others he was chatting with. He was sending them all basically the same emails. “I know this may sound strange but I really feel like we are soulmates, I feel it in my gut, and I always follow my gut; it has never led me astray.” (to like 10 women) “Do me a favor, tonight at 11 go out and look at the moon, know I will be looking at the moon also. We can look at the moon together, imagine me coming up behind you and sliding my arms around your waist and pulling you close. Not much longer and we can do it in person. I can’t wait. It’s kinda scary but I think I am falling in love with you.” gag me!!!!
He changed a few details for each woman, one he loved kids and would help her put them to bed and then they would go out and look at the moon together.
His profile sounded wonderful, I would have dated him. He was new to this and shy about bragging about himself, just a lonely guy who was looking for love and wanted to spoil a woman.
I sent them all each other’s emails, wrote a personal message to the ones he seemed the most serious about and was planning on meeting and I changed his profile to reflect the truth. He was living with me, under my roof and we had been together 8 years. he was a liar and a cheat and talking to a dozen women. I heard back from several of the women thanking me before he caught on I had done anything and then he changed his password. But I got in through history one more time and read some of his responses to these women. He told them his psycho ex hacked into his computer and was trying to ruin his life. He begged the women to not ruin what they had, not let his psycho ex win. Some of them swallowed the poison I guess. I kicked him out. I took him back 5 months later when he called saying he had been given 6 months to live and had an epiphany, I was the only woman he would ever love. he is still alive and he screwed around the whole time.
Anyway, a little tip you might what to try if you are on dating sites. most people use the same username on all the sites they visit. Try Googling the username of someone you meet on a dating site. No guarantees but you could be surprised what pops up. My ex had profiles on every dating site and hookup site on the net even a xxx porn gay site. Warning* be prepared – you may not like what you find and be sorry you went snooping

UGH! How horrible.
Thanks for sharing your story though.
Not only was he living with you and going on dating sites looking for other women it seems like he didn’t even care that he left browser open without a password.
My rummy hurts just thinking about it.
About the snooping..which I don’t think in your case it was, women intuition leads us to the truth.
Mine would always tell me mine was broken, and that women are in some sort of club.
I am done with my sociopath. I don’t love him, heck I don’t even like him.
He is a evil person and I am working on me right now.
One day at a time!

Stronginthecity, thanks. I am over him now but it’s been 5 years and he still stalks me and tries to destroy anything positive that comes my way.
When I found the Gay xxx porn site I could have puked. His sister and I were really close and I told her what I found but I wasn’t sure it was him, if it was him it was a really old picture. I showed her and she was uncertain also, it sure looked like him but the guy in the picture was much younger and had dark glasses on. He was sitting on a couch playing guitar with his feet up on a coffee table and his feet were right in the forefront of the photo. It looked familiar to both of us.
I remembered there was an old photo album of his in the bedroom and got it so we could see if we could find any old pics and compare. I let the album open to a random page and there was the exact photo! I screamed and dropped the album.
We were both in shock. He was a man’s man, mechanic, harley riding, kinda dude he fancied himself a James Dean type guy or James bond.
But I was so in love with him I was prepared to stand by him if he wanted to “come out”. To me it was kinda a relief to finally have some sort of answer that made sense.
It took a couple of days before I could build up the courage to say anything and then I just said it. I told him I had been looking to see if he had posted the videos of us having sex (that he had secretly taped and I discovered quite by accident when his 16yr old son found them on his laptop; talk about mortifying!!!)
and handed him my phone with his profile open on the screen.
He didn’t bat an eye lash. He just said “Yeah so. I haven’t used that picture in a long time.”I said well it wasn’t that long ago it says you joined less than 2 years ago. he shrugged. I said, “it says you are gay.” he said “SO NOW you think I am gay!!” and snorted.
I said “You filled out the profile not me.”
He looked at it again and there is was, 3 boxes to tick straight, gay or bi and the tick was beside the gay and he had two “friends” and both of them had no clothes on and were men.
He still denied it so I let it go, I was leaving him anyway so it didn’t really matter. But you know throughout the 10 years I was with him I had this feeling he was gay but couldn’t put my finger on why I felt that way. I was talking to his mom a while later and she told me the same thing she had even asked him if he was gay and he had gotten angry. She didn’t know why she thought it either. A person’s gut never lies. If only we would trust it.

Trust your gut feeling on this. So many times we tend to focus on minutiae hoping to find logical reasons for our apprehensions or to discredit our intuition. This is unnecessary. If she is creeping you out, then that is all the excuse you need to let her go. Tell her you’re broke.

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