My first encounter with Sergeant Kelvin Williams from Tucon Arizona and serving in the US Army was on 4th November 2015. I received a friend request on Facebook and was intrigued as to how this dashing US soldier had come across my contact details. I responded asking if we had friends in common. He told me he was a secret admirer and enjoyed looking at my profile picture.
After reading the Real Man Behind the Screen I now realise that his questioning about my status etc. was his way of seeing whether I qualified to be a good candidate to scam. I now realise that I was too open and honest from the word go and fed him with information which served to ensure him that he had a good victim.
I told him that I was a widow of 18 years. He sympathised and said that he was a widower who had lost his wife to breast cancer three years ago and was left to bring up his 6 year old son. He went on to say that his son (picture of toddler approx. 2 years) was in his house in the UK with a Nanny while he was on a peace keeping and surveillance mission in Abuja, West Africa.
I noticed from our first correspondence that his diction was very poor and his messages were peppered with spelling mistakes and poor grammar. It was always in lowercase (i). He also used ok a lot which I found very annoying. I tried to overlook all these imperfections in order to find out more about him. He wanted to know everything about me but in hindsight I realise he told me very little about himself.
When I asked him to talk on the Messenger phone he said that he was not allowed to because of being in the Military, but gave me a mobile number which I could not get through to.
Within a week he was madly in love with me and planning to come to UK to spend Xmas with me!! He started asking prying personal question. I told him that I had not known him long enough to answer these questions. He was in a rush to find a suitable partner to share the rest of his life with and to help bring up his son and he felt I was that person.
Always wearing my cautious hat, I felt that he was moving too fast and all was not right but decided to play along with him. He gave me all the flannel about being the one he has been looking for all his life, his soul mate, his everything and that he would not be complete without me. Had I been young and naieve by this time I too would have been madly in love!!
By 13 November he was asking me to apply for 3 weeks emergency leave so he could come to the UK to spend Xmas with me. He said that as it was emergency leave the girlfriend, wife, partner etc. had to apply. I told him that I was not one for making spur of the moment decsions, I had to assess the situation and take everything into consideration. He counteracted by telling me he has lots of money to spend as he earns $48,000 a month and will lavish me with everything I want and need when he comes to the UK. Eventually I said ok and asked what I needed to do.
He sent a draft of the emergency leave application letter for me to copy and send to his Commander in Chief. This I did. I completed it and forwarded as he asked albeit that it was to an Outlook address. I knew the US Army would not be using an Outlook address. I was shocked and horrified by the response I received from his “Commanding Officer in Chief”, it was really badly written and gramatically appaling.
I did some research and found that the so-called CinC had retired 3 years previously. When I was asked to pay $1,500 for the pleasure of Sgt Williams’ company I knew for sure that I had been scammed.
At this point I called him a scumbag and told him that I knew he was a scammer and that Nigerians are famous for scamming – to get a conscience and a life and go and earn a living in a decent way. I was sorry and felt foolish that I had been taken in by his scam. His response was to tell me that I had really hurt his feelings and the only reason we was still talking to me was because he loved me so much.
I decided to change tactics and plead poverty. His reply was that he would try to get half the money from a friend if I could come up with rest. Talk about half a loaf is better than none! This scammer was just not giving up.
Eventually I stopped replying to his messages and after 3 days of no response from me he gave up and deleted himself from my Facebook page. All his messages were deleted but after a while they were reinstated so I still have the proof of our correspondence.
At this point I decided to do some research on “scammers” and came across Diana Garren and her Support Group. I bought and read Diana’s book “The Real Man Behind the Screen”. This has been a real eye opener. I have learned so much and I am passing information on to family and friends who I know go on the Internet to warn them not to let curosity get the better of them (like it did me) because these scammers will stop at nothing to get hold of your money.
I was fortunate that my cautiousness stood me in good stead and I was not persuaded to part with any money unlike some victims who have lost everything.
Diana is doing sterling work to bring these scammers to the world’s attention. I hope and pray that she will be successful in her mission and that those in power and who can help will listen and endeavour to erradicate this heinous crime which has destroyed the lives of so many people.