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Sex with Dr. Jess


July 13, 2023

Romance Scams & How To Date Safely

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Have you encountered scammers while dating online or in person? We received this query from a loyal listener:

“I started dating after divorce (I was married way too young at 19 years old, I’m 28 now), and I’m devastated after being scammed. He took over 20K from me, which I know is not as bad as some of the stories in the media, but it’s a lot for me. The worst part is I really did love him, and now I’m nervous to even; date again. I live in a smaller town, so online is really my only option unless I want to date someone from my high school who has already dated half of my family. I’m exaggerating, but for real online dating is my only option. How do I make sure; this doesn’t happen again, and also; how do I deal with the embarrassment? I’ve had to move home with my parents (I’m lucky we get along so well), but I haven’t told anyone why.”

Romance scams are more common and sophisticated than you may think. According to the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, in 2022, nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam with losses of $1.3 billion. And it’s growing year over year.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 1,928 reports of romance scams totalling $64,604,718 in losses, compared to 1,546 reports and $28,989,750 in losses in 2020. An estimated 5% of victims report romance scams, so this number is much higher in reality.

Jess and Brandon share their perspectives on how to date with confidence and protect yourself in the changing dating landscape.

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Romance Scams & How To Date Safely

Episode 325

[00:00:00] You’re listening to the sex with Dr. Jess podcast, sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.

[00:00:14] Brandon Ware: Welcome to the sex with Dr. Jess podcast. I’m Brandon, your cohost here with the lovely Dr. Jess.

[00:00:19] Jess O’Reilly: Hey, hey, I’m a new woman today.

[00:00:22] Brandon Ware: Why is that?

[00:00:22] Jess O’Reilly: Because I discovered the excitement of an electric bicycle.

[00:00:27] Brandon Ware: It’s, it’s, it’s a whole new world.

[00:00:30] Jess O’Reilly: For the whole bike ride yesterday, I was like, this is a whole new world. Did you hear me screaming it?

[00:00:35] Brandon Ware: Is it because you didn’t actually ride the bike?

[00:00:38] Jess O’Reilly: No, so I didn’t know that these electric bikes, you just touch the pedal and then they move for you. So I’m not good on a bicycle. Yeah, we know that. Yeah, like I get on a bicycle for 10 minutes and I’m in pain and I know that I need to get like my pelvic floor fixed, but I’ve torn my hamstrings so many times that something about sitting on a bike doesn’t work for me.

[00:00:57] Jess O’Reilly: Like I usually rollerblade next to my friend Mel who cycles and I have to bust my ass on blades and I have no problem with that. But the. Bicycle hurts my butt.

[00:01:05] Brandon Ware: Yeah, no, it’s not. My sits bones hurt today.

[00:01:08] Jess O’Reilly: Until yesterday, because it’s still hurt to sit on it. But anyhow, you just touch the pedal and the bike moves for you.

[00:01:15] Jess O’Reilly: And I’m probably 10 years behind everybody else, but I’m super excited about this because I don’t know, it opened up a whole new city to us. We were able to go way across the city and here it’s, you know, traffic’s so bad that it’s faster on a bicycle than getting in a taxi and I think it cost. 35 cents.

[00:01:31] Brandon Ware: Yeah, it was ridiculous. Like a dollar.

[00:01:33] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, part of the bike program here in Barcelona. Anyhow, I’m pretty excited about that. And okay, I’m in love. I’m in love with the city. Anybody who’s talking to me knows that it’s not just the three course lunches and the four hour lunches. It’s also, there’s the beach, the beach is fabulous.

[00:01:49] Jess O’Reilly: And yesterday we discovered a new. Not new to anybody else. New to us. Nude beach up, um, just kind of on the North end of the city, near Bogotel.

[00:01:59] Brandon Ware: [00:02:00] Near Bogotel.

[00:02:00] Jess O’Reilly: Yes. So that was, I was so happy because I hate a wet bathing suit and immediately I’m naked. Brennan was not though.

[00:02:06] Brandon Ware: No. I’m not always super comfortable ripping off the drawers right away.

[00:02:10] Jess O’Reilly: Do you not, do you feel a little weird being in a swimsuit when other people are naked?

[00:02:15] Brandon Ware: So I felt weird on both fronts yesterday. It was, it was, I felt weird wearing the bathing suit and then I felt weird not wearing my bathing suit.

[00:02:24] Jess O’Reilly: It was a very busy beach. Yeah, it was packed. I loved it though. I just loved that it was like people of all ages, folks who are local, folks from out of town.

[00:02:33] Jess O’Reilly: There was just, I mean, it was a very, very queer friendly beach. There was a, uh, what do you call it? A restaurant called be gay. Yeah. They wanted you to be happy. Be gay. I loved it. Anyhow, but it was, it was a mix of people like men, women, all of all that jazz, young, old.

[00:02:47] Brandon Ware: Yeah. I felt uncomfortable at first. And I kind of, when I was feeling it, I just sat there and I, and I remember thinking, I was thinking to myself, so why do I feel this way? What, what is it about this that’s making me feel uncomfortable? And then I started remembering, I’m like, first of all. It’s the human body. Second of all, I don’t know any of these people.

[00:03:04] Brandon Ware: And third, it’s just nudity. It’s not that big of a deal. And then you stripped down and went for a swim. And then I went swimming naked and it felt good.

[00:03:12] Jess O’Reilly: It feels so good to be in the water naked. Like, I don’t know, I get in there and I just feel like I’ve got everything I need in the world.

[00:03:18] Brandon Ware: You know what it is though? I, I do feel like there’s an element, an Of judgment. I, I, I’m like, I feel like I’m being judged.

[00:03:25] Jess O’Reilly: Are you judging other people?

[00:03:26] Brandon Ware: Clearly I am. I’m projecting.

[00:03:28] Jess O’Reilly: Do you, like, do you look at other people and judge them?

[00:03:30] Brandon Ware: Yes, I would be lying. I don’t think I look at other people and judge them, but you’re, you’re just, you’re looking at other people because nudity isn’t the norm, because we’ve made it into something special.

[00:03:39] Jess O’Reilly: So is it more men or women you feel you’re looking at?

[00:03:42] Brandon Ware: I’m looking at both. I’d be lying if I, if I didn’t say that.

[00:03:45] Jess O’Reilly: Okay. And do you, are you looking at them in a different way? Just because…

[00:03:48] Brandon Ware: Where are you going with this?

[00:03:49] Jess O’Reilly: No, I’m, I’m asking because… I’m thinking about like judgment. So you think people are judging your penis, obviously, not your belly button.

[00:03:56] Brandon Ware: No, no, I’m, I’m, I’m content with my belly button.

[00:03:59] Jess O’Reilly: Okay. [00:04:00] So you think people are judging your penis. Are you judging other people’s penises? Are you looking at penises and thinking about them negatively?

[00:04:06] Brandon Ware: Uh, no, I don’t think I’m thinking about them negatively. I think. I’ve been told that, you know, you’re supposed to be a certain, your penis is supposed to be a certain size.

[00:04:14] Brandon Ware: It’s supposed to be big or, you know what I mean? We’ve talked about this before. And when you look around, you’re judging other people relative yourself. And, and I got to tell you, eventually it was like, I’m just, I’m stripping down. I’m comfortable with this and I’m, get out of your own head. Like, stop making it a big deal.

[00:04:28] Brandon Ware: This is the self talk that I was telling myself yesterday. I was like, you know what? It’s not a big deal. This is nudity. I’ve, we’ve talked about this so many times, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t self conscious at first and then I was like, you know what? It’s not a big deal. Just, if I’m comfortable doing it, then just do it.

[00:04:43] Brandon Ware: And you know what I also thought? I also thought if I’m not comfortable doing it, just leave your bathing suit on. What’s the big deal?

[00:04:48] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, we don’t care.

[00:04:49] Brandon Ware: No, I know you don’t care. And you’re going to have to cycle home in a wet bathing suit. Yeah. And, and again, after all, a really long way for me to say, yeah, stripped down, got naked, hung out for a bit, I guess on multiple, multiple meetings there.

[00:05:01] Jess O’Reilly: Did you hang out with your wang out?

[00:05:03] Brandon Ware: I did. And then I got, listen, I can do that for days.

[00:05:07] Jess O’Reilly: What else? What else rhymes?

[00:05:09] Brandon Ware: Actually, I guess I got nothing. You took the only two I had.

[00:05:12] Jess O’Reilly: Those are the only two rhymes you had.

[00:05:14] Brandon Ware: But.

[00:05:14] Jess O’Reilly: Chill out with your dill out.

[00:05:15] Brandon Ware: Chill out with my dill out. Yeah.

[00:05:16] Jess O’Reilly: You can’t just say it when I’m saying it and take it as your own.

[00:05:20] Brandon Ware: You do? your jokes and say them louder, you know?

[00:05:21] Jess O’Reilly: So it’s interesting because it’s not your first time or your second time or even your It’s not my 10th time. 40th time. No. At a nude beach, but you still feel uncomfortable. I think it’s a good story to share because it, I think we always think of everything as an escalator. Like once you do, it gets, it gets easier and easier and easier and it doesn’t necessarily.

[00:05:39] Brandon Ware: No, it was also, the beach was packed. Like,

[00:05:42] Jess O’Reilly: I mean, you’re on top of people.

[00:05:44] Brandon Ware: Well, not quite, but,

[00:05:45] Jess O’Reilly: well, people are touching you. Like my towel was pretty much touching the next guy’s towel.

[00:05:50] Brandon Ware: Somebody took my sandals because they thought they were theirs.

[00:05:53] Brandon Ware: That’s how close I was to somebody else. But it was a busy beach. And I think that that also normalized it in the sense that it was, it [00:06:00] was just, there were so many people and honestly just living their best lives. And that’s what really reminded me that I was like, this isn’t a big deal. I’ve done this so many times before.

[00:06:07] Brandon Ware: And you know what? But you know, 10 minutes later I was like, yeah, you know what, I’m, I’m, this isn’t a big deal. I’m, I’m doing this.

[00:06:12] Jess O’Reilly: So if we go back tonight, would you feel less hesitant? Would you feel the same hesitance?

[00:06:17] Brandon Ware: I think I would feel less hesitant. Yeah. So, you know, there’s something very liberating.

[00:06:22] Brandon Ware: There’s something very comforting being around other people who frankly don’t care. And I think when I, when I remember it and when I look at it from that perspective, it makes me, it reminds me that nudity isn’t a big deal. We’ve made it into a big deal. I mean, I admit I feel self conscious, not so much about whether people think I look good or bad.

[00:06:42] Brandon Ware: It’s just the idea of people

[00:06:43] Jess O’Reilly: looking at you, right? Like the, and I’m sure nobody is looking at me, right?

[00:06:47] Brandon Ware: That was what I realized. It’s like, no one cares. No one cares.

[00:06:52] Jess O’Reilly: So to be honest, I was lying down next. below a woman. So like she was in front of me, she was lying on her stomach. And so we were really close to each other.

[00:07:01] Jess O’Reilly: So my view was kind of like right between her legs. So I could just see like right up her labia if I looked forward, but I’m not really looking. I’m mostly relaxing. I was actually on my phone dealing with a family group chat about our upcoming family reunion. Brandon’s being all contemplative thinking about, you know, getting naked.

[00:07:18] Jess O’Reilly: I’m just like, okay, auntie. Okay, auntie. Okay, auntie.

[00:07:22] Brandon Ware: My next therapy session and what I’m going to discuss.

[00:07:25] Jess O’Reilly: Anyhow, I’m, I’m excited that not only we have electric bikes to get us around the city, but also there are so many nude beaches and it’s, I don’t know, it’s such a belief to me to not have to wear a bathing suit, but also to have the option to wear one if you want to.

[00:07:38] Brandon Ware: Yeah. Agreed. Agreed.

[00:07:40] Jess O’Reilly: All right, so it’s the summer so we are doing our quickies and today we are talking about romance scams because I’ve received a few little messages about scams and I got a little bit more of a meaty one here with a question. So we’re gonna go straight into that. So this person writes in and says, I started dating after divorce.

[00:07:59] Jess O’Reilly: I was [00:08:00] married way too young at 19 years old. I’m 28 now. And I’m devastated after being scammed. He took over 20k from me, which I know is not as bad as some of the stories we see in the movies and the media, but it’s a ton for me. The worst part is I really did think I loved him and now I’m nervous to even date.

[00:08:16] Jess O’Reilly: Again. I live in a smaller town, so online is really my only option unless I wanna date someone from my high school who has already dated half my family. . Okay, I’m exaggerating, but for real, online dating is my only option. So how do I make sure this doesn’t happen again? And also, how do I deal with the embarrassment?

[00:08:33] Jess O’Reilly: I’ve had to move home with my parents, and I’m lucky we get along so well. But I haven’t told anyone why.

[00:08:40] Brandon Ware: Ooh, I feel for this person.

[00:08:41] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, I’m so sorry. This, this sucks. You know, I think, I think most humans are good, but when we run into the ones that do these types of things, it really is devastating. And you’re not the first person I’ve spoken to who’s been scammed.

[00:08:55] Jess O’Reilly: And I really, I think romance scams are among. The deepest hurt because it’s not just a regular breakup. Not only is there the emotional and the relational loss, but also the financial one. So it’s not as simple as dealing with the hurt and getting the support of friends and doing new things and breaking your routine because.

[00:09:13] Jess O’Reilly: For most people, unless you’re rich, rich, you’re forced to deal with the practical side first. Like, how am I going to pay your, my bills? And so you have this transition of moving back home. And I’ll say, you know, I’m, I’m glad you’re home with parents with whom you get along. And I hope you can perhaps tell them or tell someone else what happened, because.

[00:09:32] Jess O’Reilly: I think the secrecy is where shame breeds the most intensely. And I, I do think when you get it off your chest, you’ll feel so much better. But I get that you’re in a small town and you don’t want people sussing about you. So I, what I hope first and foremost is that there’s someone you can trust because you’re not the one who should feel embarrassed, right?

[00:09:53] Jess O’Reilly: Like these scammers should be. Embarrassed for their behavior. And I think we have to remember that this is [00:10:00] a full time complex job for scammers around the world. Like they’re good at what they do. They have networks. They work really hard and they’re smart, right? They study your profile. They build a complimentary profile that you’ll be attracted to.

[00:10:16] Jess O’Reilly: They have conversations that appeal to you. They suck you in. And they’re pros and I have to say my heart actually is racing a little because someone close to me was getting scammed and I literally heard this person on the phone with the scammer. My heart is racing right now talking about it because when I think about someone like Uh, scamming a vulnerable person and the way this person was scammed was they had an, a bit of a pop up on their computer that said that there was some sort of a virus and then they had to, I think they had to call a number to get it fixed or something like that.

[00:10:48] Jess O’Reilly: And then they get you on the phone and you know, they do this to older people as well. They tried to trick him. By getting him to give control of his computer. And I hear him on this phone call, but I’m not really paying attention. And then the phone call is still going on like 45 minutes later. And if I recall correctly, Brandon, you went downstairs and got on the phone with the scammer.

[00:11:07] Brandon Ware: Yeah, I did. And interjected quickly realized that it was a scam and called them out. And it, you know, it deescalated, but it was really, I don’t want to say traumatic, but it was really shaking, shaking for the. Person who was scammed like they were they were really they were upset about it understandably

[00:11:27] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, it wasn’t even me and i’m like i’m i’m really i can tell you my heart is racing I’m getting like sweaty now because it just sucks so much But the point is these people are good at their jobs and you know Dating and feeling like you’re in love can definitely make you more susceptible, I think, to missing some of the red flags because when we fall in love and we get that rush of dopamine, the fluctuations in serotonin, the intensity of norepinephrine and adrenaline, we experience what we call limerence, right, which is Uh, hi, we are literally high [00:12:00] on love and I’ve talked about this before.

[00:12:02] Jess O’Reilly: The brain reactions are similar to someone who’s using cocaine and we start to idealize a new partner because what happens when you meet someone new is that you don’t know everything about them. And because they’re so exciting and so alluring in some way, we fill in. All of the gaps with idealization.

[00:12:19] Jess O’Reilly: So let’s say, you know, like 5% about them, but you just are so into them. You fill in that 95% with all the positives you can possibly imagine. And it could be 95, five, it could be 50, 50, whatever it is. We don’t know how much we really know about someone. And the reason we’re so into them is because in fact, we don’t know them.

[00:12:36] Jess O’Reilly: And so love requires all this vulnerability and. It makes it really easy to overlook some of the red flags. And I want to just say, I pulled up some data. It’s way more common than you think. So in the States, according to the federal trade commission in 2022, nearly 70, 000 people reported a romance scam and the reported losses hit 1. 3. Billion dollars and yeah, and it’s growing year over year. So if you look at the data for Canada, for example, where a smaller country in 2021, the Canadian anti fraud center received 19, 028 reports of romance scams, uh, totaling about 64 million in losses. Compared to in 2020, it was, uh, 1500, about 1500, 1546 reports and 28 million in losses.

[00:13:20] Jess O’Reilly: So you’re seeing like more than a doubling in the value year over year, just within a year. But here’s the really important piece. So it’s estimated. According to the Canadian data that 5% of victims are reporting. So this number is so much higher in reality. So you’re not alone, which of course I know doesn’t help you get your money back, but hopefully you know that you have, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed.

[00:13:43] Jess O’Reilly: Um, I think, I do think it’s important for all of us and for you, of course, to be aware of red flags moving forward, because you want to be confident when you’re dating, you want to feel excited. You want to have fun engaging with real profiles. Online. So in terms of red flags, the really common one [00:14:00] is that they open really quickly with some sort of urgent issue, right?

[00:14:04] Jess O’Reilly: They lost their job. A family member is really ill. They need to travel for an emergency. They need help with documentation. And they usually start with a small request for just a little bit of money, like a hundred dollars, a couple hundred dollars for an emergency because they’re testing the waters.

[00:14:21] Jess O’Reilly: Right. They’re seeing what you will do if you will do it.

[00:14:24] Brandon Ware: It’s kind of like when your bank account takes a few bucks out of your account at first to see if it’s, if it works.

[00:14:28] Jess O’Reilly: Sort of, yeah, absolutely. Um, and then they start to increase the amounts, they intensify the story, and it can be kind of hard to catch because you’re in love, you’re having a good time, the rest of the online relationship is going well.

[00:14:40] Jess O’Reilly: The requests seem reasonable and you’re an empathetic person. Like you want to help, right? If you can help with 150, if you can help with 1, 500, you want to do it.

[00:14:48] Brandon Ware: You know, when these questions come in, I often find I’m guarded. And I don’t really share what I really think, but let me share this. This person was a dick.

[00:14:56] Jess O’Reilly: I know,

[00:14:57] Brandon Ware: like, you know, it sounds to me,

[00:14:58] Jess O’Reilly: I mean, the scammer,

[00:14:59] Brandon Ware: the scammer was a dick and that sucks. And I understand that you’re, you’re clearly feeling terrible and you probably don’t want to share this with very many people. And I think all of those things are understandable, but at the end of the day, somebody screwed you over and they’re a dick.

[00:15:11] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, it totally sucks. Um, you know. I, I was reading too that it’s kind of unlikely you’ll get your money back, right? I was reading, you know, although I did read about a case in Canada where they got 32, 000 back.

[00:15:23] Brandon Ware: Really?

[00:15:24] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah. So the person who was scammed reported it to the Canadian anti fraud center who looked into it and they found, I guess, some documentation of banking addresses in Hong Kong.

[00:15:34] Jess O’Reilly: So then the Canada anti fraud center liaised with Interpol in Hong Kong. Sounds like a movie, right? And they ended up freezing a portion of the lost funds so that the. person could make a claim and they got about 32, 000 back.

[00:15:46] Brandon Ware: What’s scary to me is that if they got 32, 000 back, how much had they lost? Because that’s probably a small percentage of what they actually gave that person, but it’s something it’s better than nothing.

[00:15:56] Jess O’Reilly: Right. And I, I’ve also heard from a couple of people messaged me on IG. [00:16:00] They said that they’ve also asked for cryptocurrency. Sometimes it’s money transfers. Sometimes they’ll actually get a small money transfer, like something tiny, and then they’ll say they have an issue with it.

[00:16:09] Jess O’Reilly: And then they’ll ask for your financial banking info so that they can use your identity to get loans or credit in your name. So that’s one of the women I was talking to, she had some loans taken out in her name.

[00:16:19] Brandon Ware: I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been transferring funds or moving things around and I’ve had to stop myself mid action and try to look at things.

[00:16:28] Brandon Ware: Impartially as though I’m a third person examining the sequence of events. And when I’ve done that, it’s given me a fresh set of eyes where I’m kind of like, okay, if I reflect, if, if somebody told me the story of what was happening, what would I say to them? And when I think about my own actions, it’s, it’s caused me to pause for a minute.

[00:16:44] Brandon Ware: I’ve done some extra due diligence. I’ve taken a few extra steps. I’ve made some phone calls. I’ve contacted third. Party people who could kind of, kind of like validate the person’s story or situation or, or plight, I guess, in this case.

[00:16:58] Jess O’Reilly: Wasn’t there a really good scam with, who was it? Do you remember when I’m talking about where somebody was calling you and saying that you owed money for something?

[00:17:05] Jess O’Reilly: Do you remember? It was like a big company, like a hydro company or something like that.

[00:17:09] Brandon Ware: Oh, this was legit. This was legit. I had a company calling me. Um, about, uh, uh, a heat pump rental and this heat pump rental for this property. Anyway, long story short, they had transferred into somebody else’s name and we owed 34 or something like that.

[00:17:26] Brandon Ware: And I kept getting these phone calls saying, you know, you’re owed, we’re going to take you to credit. And I kept brushing it off because I was calling. So what had happened was the heat pump company had transferred this amount owing to this third party company. Okay, so I called my heat pump company and I said, Hey, do we owe 34 and 18 cents?

[00:17:44] Brandon Ware: And they said, no, you’re in good standing. Everything’s fine. So when this collection company was calling, I would say, Hey, you know what? This is a joke. I would actually say to the person on the phone. I go, listen, this is a scam. I know you’re scamming me. Why don’t you? And I started getting obnoxious and they were like, we owe you 35.

[00:17:59] Brandon Ware: You owe [00:18:00] us 34. 18. And I’d say, you know what? Why don’t you give me your banking info? I’m going to, I’m going to transfer you 500. You know, I’m going to transfer you five. 1, 000. How about that? And they were like, no, sir, we only want 34 and 18 cents. And I’m like, stop calling me. And what had happened was a heat pump company, uh, didn’t realize that it had been that’s 34 been transferred to another section of their company.

[00:18:20] Brandon Ware: It was like the right hand didn’t know the left hand existed. It was so silly, but yes, I owed, I had to, I actually had to call and I apologized to the person that I was dealing with. I was like, I am so sorry. I have embarrassed myself. I have embarrassed you. I owe you a thousand apologies. And, and I was 34

[00:18:36] Jess O’Reilly: and 34 and 18 cents.

[00:18:38] Brandon Ware: I was so embarrassed.

[00:18:39] Jess O’Reilly: Sorry. I actually didn’t even know the end of that story. Cause I remember hearing you on the phone. So you did like the reverse scam where you weren’t being scammed, Yeah.

[00:18:47] Brandon Ware: And I was being an obnoxious jerk because I was, I had done the due diligence to make sure that it wasn’t owing, but in fact it was.

[00:18:53] Brandon Ware: But anyway, going back to my point, which was, you know, looking in from the outside, it was like, are there any, is there anybody else that I could validate? This, this scenario with,

[00:19:01] Jess O’Reilly: yeah. And I think that part of the issue is that we don’t want to bring up our little kind of flutters in our stomach when something feels awry, because we want to like this person.

[00:19:10] Jess O’Reilly: We definitely don’t want our friends and family to think poorly of them. We don’t want to cast them in that light. And then most people also don’t report because they feel embarrassed. Right. And so I think about the story of getting this 32, 000 back and you know, the more we report. The more the authorities can investigate and potentially either get your money back, or at least stop them from doing the same to others.

[00:19:31] Jess O’Reilly: So, you know, other red flags, and we see this in dating, whether they’re romance scamming, whether it’s financial or otherwise, basically, if someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. And if there are gaps in their stories, like if they contradict themselves, if they have zero online presence, aside from a dating app.

[00:19:48] Jess O’Reilly: If they, you know, they’re telling little lies and then rolling back on it. If they’re always out of the country, traveling, working abroad, can’t meet up, or they say they’re going to meet up. And then at last minute, they keep canceling. [00:20:00] This could be a red flag. Of course, none of these things on their own, right? Like I’m always out of the country. Traveling,

[00:20:05] Brandon Ware: you’re always, you do follow through on appointments,

[00:20:07] Jess O’Reilly: but I’m a real girl, I am a real, real human part robot. And then I’ve actually heard from a couple of. Folks who said that the scammers say they’re a physician overseas and they ask for help with travel expenses.

[00:20:20] Jess O’Reilly: So they’ll, you know, like they’re out there saving lives. And so these lives depend on you. Also, if they want to advise you on how to spend your money and they talk about their financial success, but there is no evidence of it, like they expect you to pay for everything, pay attention and trust your God.

[00:20:35] Jess O’Reilly: I was talking to this other woman and she was dating this guy and she went to visit him and he lived overseas on an island. An island that’s close to me, to my heart. And she, for some reason, couldn’t stay with him because he said that, yeah, he said that like he had Airbnb’d the house cause he was supposed to be overseas traveling.

[00:20:56] Jess O’Reilly: So he literally drove her by these supposed houses that he owned, but they stayed in a hotel and he clearly had, he had family. Like, he had a full on family living in houses, probably not the houses he drove her by. But we just, again, like, if something seems fishy, we have to think about ways to protect ourselves.

[00:21:12] Jess O’Reilly: And in fact, what you said, Brennan, I think, as soon as something doesn’t sit right, ask questions, and then ask a friend for a second opinion. Because… A friend is not blinded by lust or by limerence or by love. And so they can probably weigh in with a more rational perspective. And I know that’s a hard thing to do because we all want to feel like, Oh, we’re independent and we’re adults and we’re good judges of character.

[00:21:35] Jess O’Reilly: But again, these people are pros. It’s like actors, they can make you feel something. You’re watching a show and all of a sudden you’re bawling in tears because they are skilled at what they do. Also look out for the love bombers, you know, those people who shower you with attention and affection early on, they tell you they love you before they even kind of know you and oftentimes that’s to manipulate and gain control.

[00:21:58] Jess O’Reilly: Now, this is hard because you [00:22:00] don’t want to feel like, Oh, I’m going in kind of with my dukes up. And if someone shows me attention that it’s something negative. So I do think it comes down to trusting your gut. And in terms of, you know, recovering and trusting again, I think you have to go easy on yourself.

[00:22:12] Jess O’Reilly: Like, you know, you have good instance instincts, you know. Actually, now your instincts are probably sharper than anyone else’s, right? Like you probably know better. So I think, you know, be kind to yourself, trust yourself, count on a friend if you can, and allow yourself space to heal, because this wasn’t just about the money.

[00:22:31] Jess O’Reilly: It wasn’t even just about the embarrassment that, you know, you’re stuck feeling now. They also hurt you. Right? Like you need time to, I think, acknowledge the range of feelings you’re, you’re experiencing. And then I think you can also make some practical promises to yourself that you won’t send money again.

[00:22:46] Jess O’Reilly: You won’t receive money. If something seems fishy, you won’t share financial info. You won’t let them access your computer remotely. You’ll trust your gut and again, not be embarrassed to seek a second opinion.

[00:22:58] Brandon Ware: I feel like this would be really hard for me because you were somebody, not only did you. Lose a relationship that you were invested into, but also you were somebody there was theft.

[00:23:07] Brandon Ware: So it’s kind of a double whammy. So to give yourself a little bit more time, like you said, just to get over this, because it’s not just a simple breakup.

[00:23:13] Jess O’Reilly: When I think, I don’t know if we’ve talked about this before. We had an issue once where we were duped out of some money and it was like a business thing.

[00:23:21] Jess O’Reilly: And investment thing was a lot. It was when we were really young. It was a lot of money for us at the time. And, um, I won’t get into the details of it, but I remember. Feeling really scared that we had lost the money because it was a lot of our money, but also feeling very, I felt stupid. I felt embarrassed.

[00:23:39] Jess O’Reilly: I felt, and I made all these excuses as to like why I had done my due diligence, but I remember that I really had to rationalize it to myself. I remember definitely feeling. More upset over the shame. I just thought of it now. Sorry, I would have brought this up earlier. I feel remember feeling more upset about the shame than the money itself, even though we needed that money.

[00:23:57] Brandon Ware: Yeah, I was embarrassed. I didn’t. And like you [00:24:00] said, I didn’t want to talk to anybody about it. It took some time and there was some recovery. But at the end of the day. Uh, yeah, I think for me it was the embarrassment that was the biggest deal.

[00:24:10] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah. You know, I wanna say I also went to the RCMP and got some of their advice on what to do if you’re the victim of a scam.

[00:24:18] Jess O’Reilly: So I thought I’d just quickly share this. So, number one, they say stop all contact with the scammer. Um, don’t try and kind of do your own side work or be a pi. Just cut off contact. Let your financial institution know right away. So that they can halt any outstanding payments if you’ve shared any personal information, financial information, contact all of your financial institutions, letting them know that you’ve been a victim of fraud, change all of your passwords and your pins immediately cancel, request a new debit and credit card and put a fraud.

[00:24:49] Jess O’Reilly: Alert on your credit files, they say with Equifax and TransUnion and they said to also just check your credit monthly to see if new credit is being applied for in your name. Oh, I wouldn’t have thought of that. They also said to report the situation to your local detachment. So, your police department with as much information as possible and to file a complaint with the Canadian anti fraud center through their confidential online reporting system.

[00:25:12] Jess O’Reilly: But that’s for Canada. For the states, they say if you’ve lost money or possessions or other personal information to call your local police department and then visit the Federal Trade Commission to report the scam online. And the website is report So report fraud dot ftc as in federal trade

[00:25:36] Jess O’Reilly: And their job is to protect consumers and offer tips to kind of help safeguard personal information. So this is, um, you know, I, I feel bad, but I’m glad to hear that you’re at home. Hopefully you have a network of support. It sounds like you’re already open to dating, which is amazing. And like I said, I think you probably have better instincts than any of us now because you’ve been through it.

[00:25:56] Jess O’Reilly: So we will stop there with our quickie episode [00:26:00] and. Unrelated to the topic, but still lots of fun. Wanted to let you know that we have our podcast code active again at happiercouples. com. So if you want to learn a new skill, a little bit of mind blowing oral for our all different bodies, or if you want to check out mindful sex or last longer in bed, head on over to happiercouples. com use code. Podcasts to save 25% this week. Thanks for chatting, babe.

[00:26:26] Brandon Ware: Thank you.

[00:26:26] Jess O’Reilly: Have a great one folks.

[00:26:28] Jess O’Reilly: You’re listening to the sex with Dr. Jess podcast. Improve your sex life, improve your life.