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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Ashamed To Admit She Was Victimized Online

DEAR ABBY: After using online dating for almost a year, I have met someone, and it's getting serious. Problem is, during some of our first conversations, he talked about his previous online experiences. One involved a woman who asked him for money and how stupid she must've thought he was. Another time, he told me he couldn't understand how a person could send money to someone they met online and had never met in person.

Well, this person (me), who he thinks is so smart and successful, is one of those who was drawn in by an online person. I sent money several times. I am a well-educated and successful professional who is so ashamed of this that I haven't gone to the authorities. I cut ties with the person to whom I loaned the money. He promised to pay me back, but I haven't seen a penny.

I haven't told a soul I did this. Should I disclose this to my boyfriend? I want to be honest with him, but I also wonder if what's in the past should be left in the past. Please advise me. -- ASHAMED SOUTHERN LADY

DEAR LADY: I see no reason for you to discuss this with the man you are currently seeing, unless it is to enlighten him that even well-educated, successful people can be gullible under the right circumstances. Fortunately for you, you weren't seriously damaged by the person's failure to repay you. (Other intelligent, but trusting, people have suffered irreparable damage.)

Because you feel you were taken advantage of, it couldn't hurt to notify the authorities. Yes it's embarrassing, but human beings make mistakes. If you were preyed upon and the person was a scammer, you might be doing someone else a favor by reporting it.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Money