Many women have enjoyed a brief holiday fling, and most accept that such encounters will be over as soon as they board the plane home. However, some older women have been duped into falling for scams perpetrated by men they have met on holiday.
But how can you avoid being taken in by the romance scammers, and can vacation flings ever really work in the long term?
Sun, sea and scammers
For many older women, a holiday romance can actually be an important part of their vacation. After all, falling into the arms of a handsome stranger every night or strolling hand-in-hand along the beach at sunset is usually so far-removed from the routine of your everyday life that such encounters can be a great therapy and pick-me-up. This is especially true for the recently divorced or widowed, and it’s those women that the holiday romance scammers target.
Scammers are always young, good-looking, and physically fit guys, spending much of their time hanging around beach bars or patrolling the beaches looking for likely victims. They often have jobs such as lifeguards, waiters, and tour guides, which bring them into contact with suitable targets.
No matter how genuine they seem, these guys are well practised in delivering their lines. Sadly, it’s not your love they want; it’s your money, and possibly a visa enabling them to live and work in your country.
No-one likes to think of themselves as ‘vulnerable’ or naïve when it comes to affairs of the heart, but it’s this vulnerability that the scammers exploit. Here’s a typical example of how they work:
Julie is 55 years old and recently widowed. After the stress and upset of her bereavement, she decides to take a luxury holiday in The Gambia to cheer herself up.
Within hours of arriving at her resort, a waiter in Julie’s hotel begins to pay her a lot of attention. Julie is flattered, especially as the guy is 30 years younger than her and is extremely good-looking. They start dating, and by the end of her holiday they are very much ‘in love’ (or at least Jane is).
The young man wants to visit Julie at her home in the States, but his waiter’s wages aren’t enough to pay for an air fare, so Julie gives him the money to pay for his ticket. (Sadly, he had to cancel the visit at the last minute, because his mother was sick.)
Over the next few months, the two lovebirds are in touch daily through Skype. (Oddly enough, the young man can afford a very nice computer, broadband and a webcam).
Julie’s boyfriend is always struggling financially; he needs money for medical bills for his sick mother, his own health is failing, and he suddenly loses his job and is starving. If only Julie would wire him some more cash, he could sort out his problems and come and see her …
You get the picture! Eventually Julie runs out of money and the ‘love of her life’ disappears without another word. What Julie doesn’t realise is that her beau had another victim targeted the second Jane boarded the plane home.
This exact same scam has happened to many women, none of whom were stupid, yet all were taken in. Cougars, by all means enjoy a holiday fling, but always keep your wits about you and keep your money in your purse!
Can a holiday romance ever last?
Of course, some holiday affairs are genuine and around 10 per cent do go on to last. Here are some tips on how to keep the flame burning, even over a long distance.
Remember that ‘out of sight is out of mind’, and to keep a genuine long distance relationship going, you must keep in touch regularly. Skype is a great tool for this, especially if you have a webcam too. It’s also free, which can save you a fortune in regular phone call charges.
A good way of keeping the flame alive is to talk about the good times you had together when you and your boyfriend first met. However, you must also chat about what you both want in the future; if neither party is willing to relocate, the relationship is doomed from the very beginning.
- Future meetings and planning
It’s incredibly important that you know when you are next going to see each other. This gives you both something to look forward to and gets you through the hard times when you’re feeling lonely and down.
- Thoughtful surprises
You can help to keep the love going across the miles by surprising your lover with little things every now and then, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to make them feel special.
Sexy or romantic e-cards are a nice idea, as are unexpected text messages. If you know that your lover has a tricky meeting at work, you could leave a voicemail for them as a nice surprise when they get home after a stressful day.
Holiday romances can add extra spice and fun to a summer vacation, and the attention you receive is great for your ego! However, always be wary of scammers; if something appears to be too good to be true, it usually is