Effective online dating headlines
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By the time she discovered she had been conned, Ms Marshall had paid out more than $250,000.
She signed up for online dating site Plenty of Fish, and shortly after was contacted by a man named Eamon, who claimed to be an English civil engineer living in the USA.By this time the man claimed to have gone to Dubai to take up a short-term work contract, after which he said he would come Australia to be with her.It was then that he started to ask for money."In Dubai there were an increasing number of problems that he needed financial support for," said Ms Marshall."There was supposedly a cheque he had received for the work which he couldn't cash because it needed to go into his bank in England."He also said he needed money to pay taxes or they wouldn't let him leave the country."I gave him money for the taxes and that night he was attacked and he lost the money."Just as she thought she had paid his way out of the country, he claimed to have a car accident on the way to the airport."The next thing he's in hospital needing money for medical treatment," said Ms Marshall."I was a bit surprised [by] somebody contacting me from so far away, when I was clearly saying I wanted somebody to explore Melbourne with, but we continued to communicate," she said.Over the next month Eamon expressed a keen interest in Ms Marshall, and soon began professing his love for her."They bomb you with love," she said.
"This was somebody I felt I could marry and spend the rest of my life with." They chatted online and spoke on the phone, but whenever they tried to video chat his webcam wouldn't work.
The two would spend hours a day talking to each other online, often chatting into the early hours of the morning."They make sure they take up a lot of your time and they isolate you from your friends," said Ms Marshall."If your friends say watch out for this guy, they say 'don't listen to that friend; what we have between us is special and they will never understand'."She said the late nights left her tired, lowering her defences.
In 2010 Jan Marshall tried online dating, and soon after met a man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with.
Less than two months later he disappeared, leaving her heartbroken and in thousands of dollars of debt.
"I just took everything on face value – I wanted to be loved by a man, I wanted to be taken care of by a man," said Ms Marshall.
Now Ms Marhsall, who trained as a social worker, is starting a support group so survivors of online dating fraud can meet and talk about their experiences."Just in the talking and hearing themselves talk, there is a healing process," she said.