Internet Dating Scams

3 July 2015: A Writer’s Favorite Day – Book Launch Day!

Yep, I think any writer will tell you that their favorite day is the day they have a new book hit the market, and for this old girl, that’s TODAY!!!  Yep, If Love is a Lie, Finding and Losing Love Online, hit Amazon this morning.  There are two different versions of the book for sale.  The regular version, and “The Spicy Version.”

It’s a romantic thriller at heart, but a romance none the less, and I did two versions to satisfy two different Romance Reader types.  Those who like a little more spice in their romance, and those who prefer a little more fade to black when things start to heat up.   Hence the regular, PG version, and the Spicy Version, a bit more NC-17 plus.  😉

Still, why do two versions of the same book?

Funny you should ask, but it only takes a few hours to make the modifications if while you’re editing the original version, you highlight the racy bits and bobs.

But enough to this, now it’s time to celebrate!  To check out my book, you can click on the book cover images below to be taken to the book’s page on Amazon.  PURPLE = The Spicy Version.  GREEN = The Regular Version.

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online (The Spicy Version), by Jennifer Geoghan

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online (The Spicy Version), by Jennifer Geoghan

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

IF LOVE IS A LIE …. Love is never as easy to find as we wish it would be. When Emily started her online romance with Antonio, a man who seemed to be the one she’d been waiting for all her life, she had no idea what sinister motives lied behind the photos of Antonio’s amazing brown eyes. Blinded by her own desires for romance and companionship, she embraced the lie and ignored the truth of her persistent suspicions of his motivations. What will she do when she learns her great love is nothing more than a scammer, not after her heart, but her money? With revenge her only motive, she sets out on an adventure to bring Antonio down and see him punished for what he’s done to her. But when she’s forced to confront him face to face, will she ultimately find love in his arms, or in Evan’s, the sexy but stoic FBI Agent who enlists her to bring Antonio to justice?

Loosely based on the author’s own unfortunate online romance with a scam artist she mistook for the man of her dreams, the first half of this novel mirrors the author’s own journey to the startling truth of her paramour’s guilt. In life it’s true that we can’t all have happy endings, but though we can’t live them, sometimes we can write them for ourselves.

The real question is … in this case, is truth stranger than fiction?

IT'S HERE!!  If Love is a Lie, by Jennifer Geoghan

IT’S HERE!! If Love is a Lie, by Jennifer Geoghan


3 May 2015: Editing the Uneditable

As I’ve mentioned before, my current writing project is a novel based on my real life internet dating experiences.  I’m working in real emails and texts that I exchanged with the scam artist who romanced me then asked for money.  In the process of crafting those emails and texts into a readable book, I’ve been forced to edit Antonio, my scammer.

The question I’ve been struggling with is exactly how much can I edit before I lose his voice?

Antonio Giovanni, my scammer, said he was born in Italy and living in South Dakota.  I believe this was simply a ruse to cover over his imperfect English.  His grammar and use of the proper tense of verbs, adverbs and adjectives was pretty bad at times.   Problem is, that was part of his cover.  I believe he is really in Malaysia.  So if I edit out all of his writing errors, I lose part of his character in my story, the scammer posing as an Italian immigrant in America.

BUT … who wants to read a novel full of grammatical errors?  Ah, not you see my conundrum.

So, I’ve been doing my best to walk a fine line and edit Antonio’s errors down to a minimum while retaining enough to keep the foreign flavor of his character.  Let me tell you, it’s not easy.  I’m having to have the woman being scammed in the book comment every so often on his errors just so the reader of the novel will remember they are in there intentionally.  That’s another issue.  I don’t want my readers to think I MADE THE MISTAKES Antonio did.

So the question is … how do you take an email and make it sound like it’s a man from Malaysia posing as Italian immigrant living in South Dakota as written by a woman from Long Island who lives in Florida?

Yep.  That’s me, always the difficult one.  🙂



4 March 2015: Editing Antonio

My current project is an odd novel to write.  It’s a strange mix of fantasy and reality.  The reality part of the novel is the first half, where I retell how I was romanced by my Malaysian scam artist.  I certainly wasn’t aware of this until it happened to me, but there are people in this world who deliberately target women on dating sites and romance them for a few months.   Then they have to go out of the country for work.  While out of the country, something will happen, like they get hurt on the job.  Then all of a sudden they have to come up with a large sum of money to pay a doctor bill before the can leave the country they are in and come back to your loving arms.  Many lonely women will send them this money and then strangely never hear from the love of their lives again.

Enter Antonio, my scam artist.  He tried, God bless his soul, but thankfully I was raised never to loan money to strange men no matter what the circumstances.  You should have heard the shock in his voice when he asked me for the money and I replied “Um… No.”  Thankfully Antonio came up with a better story than the broken leg one I read up on later, so I have something more interesting to write about, but I was amazed when I googled internet dating scams to find out how common this kind of scam is.

But what a good story beginning.    The first section of my book is almost completely the actual emails and texts that we exchanged with a little dialog thrown in to help it along.  But here comes the fun part, editing Antonio.  The man (or woman for all I know) knew how to write the kind of emails that make a woman melt, but also had atrocious grammar and punctuation.   The fact that I spend some part of every day fixing his emails and texts for him is a little … disturbing on some level.  I mean these were meant to hood wink me in a big way!  Yet there’s something satisfying in knowing I could have done his job better had I been born a low life like Antonio.  Yet, I can’t subject my readers to his grammar/punctuation errors.  It’s gets a little tiresome after time.

I also laugh a little when I think that a certain portion of my book won’t have been written by me.  But what is he going to do, press charges for copyright violations?  I think not, at least not after I already reported him to the FBI for internet fraud!  Poor Antonio.  😦   I’ll probably dedicate the book to him anyway.  After all, he was my inspiration.   Besides being one hell of a good story, I’m hoping my book will help educate women on the dangers waiting for them out there on internet dating sites like where my incident occurred.