For the first time, it seemed like there was someone who really cared about me.In the midst of this, Anders asked to borrow £1,000 to cover his hotel bill in Dubai.
Then, one rainy Sunday afternoon last August, I was at home alone when a polite, friendly message came through from someone saying he’d seen my profile and thought I looked really nice. He had a Linked In page and a very professional website.
He told me he was between contracts but his agent was about to secure him a job in Dubai.
He included cooking and baking among his likes, and his dislikes were ‘lies, deceit, betrayal, cheating’.
Anders wanted to know everything about me – my favourite colours, favourite books, favourite films, favourite foods, even the name of my pet cat.
It’s easy to be flattered – most men don’t want to know everything about you.
It was the first time we’d spoken and most of our relationship was conducted by email.
It was quite a short, slightly awkward conversation – he had an accent but he’d told me he was from Norway so I didn’t question that. It seemed like a lovely gesture at the time – but of course it gave him an excuse to find out where I worked, to collect as much information about me as possible.
I’d had an operation on my jaw and was in a lot of pain; Anders found a local acupuncturist through Google and made an appointment for me, setting it all up and telling me to go along.
I followed the instructions and saw his account, which looked real enough. Again, he needed me to help by paying small amounts through Western Union and Moneygram.
He gave clear instructions on where the nearest branches were to me, what time I needed to be there and how to pay it.
I don’t know how long this would have gone on for if my friend hadn’t become concerned.