It started out as a "Friend" request through Facebook and ended with a request for $75,000.00!
He said his name is Antonio Martino and had just recently moved from London England to Atherton California.
I am sharing this story in the hopes that women who encounter situations like this will have the advantage of being forewarned as well as knowing that they are not alone.
I have a very public profile on Social Media as well as Google. Having a public profile is important for my work as a Life Coach as this is how clients find my information. This is also how Antonio found me.
He friended me on Facebook and then called me 2 days later. We had a brief conversation on the phone and decided to email each other to get to know one another.
His story: He was born in Turin Italy, when he was 8 years old his parents were killed in a car accident and he was sent to England to live with his uncle (his father's older brother). At age 39 he married his wife but came home one day to catch her in bed with his best friend. He divorced his wife, got sole custody of his daughter, has been single for 4 years and is now ready to date. He decided to move from England to the United States and has been living in Atherton California for the past 6 to 8 months. His daughter, Nia, is in a boarding school in London England and he is working hard to bring her to the U.S. to live with him. He told me that Nia's school has Parents Day on the 25th of each month and he was looking forward to flying to London to see her. He is using the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org
He also told me he owns his own company, working as a Procurement Contractor, meeting his client's demands and his company website address is www.sky-sourcing.net
Yes, I checked out his website and after a few days, when I looked at it again, it had been suspended. He had a great reason for that, all of the information was for his London office which he had shut down when he moved to the United States and he is in the process of having a new website built.
We emailed back and forth and also communicated via Facebook Messenger. I requested that we find a time to Skype so that I could see his face and read his energy. We were able to Skype but the connection was poor and it lasted only a few moments. The man I saw seemed nice enough; he had a nice smile.
He apologized that he had a bad connection, disconnected, and resumed our conversation via texting.
On Wednesday, October 22nd I asked him if he had purchased his ticket to London. He replied, "I am going to do that today!" He told me he will be flying to England on Friday, returning on Monday and when he returned, he wanted us to meet face-to-face.
Friday morning he called me from the airport and said he wanted to tell me goodbye before he boarded his plane and that he would call me from England. He left and I got on with my weekend! On Sunday morning, he called me. He told me that he had some bad news for me. He said that the SAR (London's version of the IRS) had frozen his assets stating that he owed back taxes. He told me that it was just a temporary setback and that he was working to fix it but it is difficult because all of his money is tied up in the London bank and he only had about $7,000 cash in his pocket. And then....
He asked me if I could help him in any way. My response was to suggest that he find a way to raise the money by selling his BMW and any of his assets. Then the phone connection got bad so he hung up and began messaging me through Facebook.
My response: I blocked him on Facebook and decided that my connection to Antonio Martino was over. He called me several times and I added his phone number to my "Add To Reject" option on my cell phone.
He sent me several scathing text messages that I ignored and finally he fell silent.
I am sharing this story because I believe that when women share their story, it empowers them and other women who may be in the same or similiar situation.
The pen is mightier than the sword!
If something about my experience will help another woman, then sharing this story is an excellent way to Pay It Forward!
What can you do to protect yourself against online predators?
Most of all, I would ask that if you have read this entire blog, that you please post it on your Social Media sites. Ladies, we are very powerful and together we are stronger than when we stand alone. Share your stories, empower other women by letting them know that they are not alone. There is nothing shameful in having a negative experience. Sharing your story gives you the opportunity to take your power back and empower others at the same time!
Yours In Health,
Life Coach, Speaker, Author & Radio Show Host
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